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fairbanks hockey puck
03-18-2013, 11:10 AM
With thoughts on the conference championships, NCAA tourney, and the Hobey, wondering about thoughts about the "new" WCHA???
Ferris and Alaska, Northern and Bowling Green will be good. Look out for Minnesota State and I like the Mel Pearson led Michigan Tech Huskies and Bemidji State gave Minnesota a run for its money this past weekend....should be interesting....

AnchorsAway
03-18-2013, 12:08 PM
With thoughts on the conference championships, NCAA tourney, and the Hobey, wondering about thoughts about the "new" WCHA???
Ferris and Alaska, Northern and Bowling Green will be good. Look out for Minnesota State and I like the Mel Pearson led Michigan Tech Huskies and Bemidji State gave Minnesota a run for its money this past weekend....should be interesting....

I agree it should be interesting but what makes you think NMU will be good? They're losing their leading scorer to graduation and their starting goalie is leaving early leaving the only returning goalie a backup who didn't start a game and played roughly 5 periods the whole season...all this from a team that finished 2nd to last in the CCHA, went out with a whimper in the playoffs and went 5-15-1 on the road...

alnike
03-18-2013, 12:16 PM
Heading into next season...Here is my preseason WCHA poll.
1. Mankato State
2. Bowling Green (goaltending?)
3. Ferris State (get by on defense and goalie, not sure about the offense)
4. Michigan Tech
5. UAF
6. Lake State (Not a real exciting team on paper, especially at forward, but goaltending should carry them)
7. Bemidji State
8. NMU (Need an injection of talent, recruiting the 20 and 21 year old freshman has not gone too far)
9. Anchorage
10. Huntsville

davyd83
03-18-2013, 12:44 PM
I agree it should be interesting but what makes you think NMU will be good? They're losing their leading scorer to graduation and their starting goalie is leaving early leaving the only returning goalie a backup who didn't start a game and played roughly 5 periods the whole season...all this from a team that finished 2nd to last in the CCHA, went out with a whimper in the playoffs and went 5-15-1 on the road...You may wish to check your facts. Matthias Dahlstrom is expected to be the starter for NMU next season. He is highly regarded and spent the year at NMU practicing with the squad while gaining eligibility. Yes, they lose their top scorer, but he is the only one of the top 5 that they lose. Oh...as for whimpers...7-0 at home in game 3. Impressive.

stuckinwi
03-18-2013, 01:12 PM
It's going to be interesting... Don't have a good feel for any of the CCHA teams really... Starting to look forward to it.

Predictions:
MTU
...
...
...
...
NMU


That's all the matters really :D

AnchorsAway
03-18-2013, 01:14 PM
You may wish to check your facts. Matthias Dahlstrom is expected to be the starter for NMU next season. He is highly regarded and spent the year at NMU practicing with the squad while gaining eligibility. Yes, they lose their top scorer, but he is the only one of the top 5 that they lose. Oh...as for whimpers...7-0 at home in game 3. Impressive.

My apologies, you got me on semantics, I should have said the only returning goalie who stepped on the ice was the backup who played only 103 minutes and didn't start a game...Nothing against Dahlstrom but I think it's safe to say that a team with the situation that heading into a season with a starter who has never played a game in the NCAA (regardless of how highly regarded he may be) and a backup who hasn't played the equivalent of two games could be considered precarious at best when discussing their goaltender situation ( I should know, LSSU will be in the same boat following the next season).

Good point about LSSU getting stomped 7-0 in game 3 of our playoff series, that was embarrassing for sure....Remind me what was the score of game 3 between NMU and U of M??

FadeToBlack&Gold
03-18-2013, 01:40 PM
Without doing any research, I tossed a few darts at the *H bar and came up with the following:

1. Mankato
2. Ferris
3. Tech
4. BG
5. UAF
6. eNeMa U
7. Bemidji
8. LSSU
9. UAA
10. Huntsville

2-4 and 5-8 I view as being fairly interchangeable.

bigblue_dl
03-18-2013, 01:56 PM
1. Mankato
2. Tech
3. Alaska
4. Bowling Green
5. Ferris
6. Bemidji
7. Lake State
8. Northern Michigan
9. Huntsville
10. Alaska-Anchorage

GopherBigGuy911
03-18-2013, 02:05 PM
Without doing any research, I tossed a few darts at the *H bar and came up with the following:

1. Mankato
2. Ferris
3. Tech
4. BG
5. UAF
6. eNeMa U
7. Bemidji
8. LSSU
9. UAA
10. Huntsville

2-4 and 5-8 I view as being fairly interchangeable.

My Predictions:
1 - Mankato
2 - BSU
3 - Michigan Tech
4 - Ferris Bueller
5 - BG
6 - UAF
7 - Lake State
8 - Northern Michigan
9 - UAA
10 - Who HATES Huntsville

And I will say top 3 will qualify for the NCAA's
If Walsh plays like he did against the U they will be very tough. BSU was much better than their record reflects this year.

Chris Clark Fan Club
03-18-2013, 02:10 PM
Without doing any research, I tossed a few darts at the *H bar and came up with the following:

1. Mankato
2. Ferris
3. Tech
4. BG
5. UAF
6. eNeMa U
7. Bemidji
8. LSSU
9. UAA
10. Huntsville

2-4 and 5-8 I view as being fairly interchangeable.

I have no knowledge of CCHA teams as they don't get any coverage in Minnesota, but I do like the position the Mavericks are going to be in. There are rumors that Stephon Williams is getting looked at to leave early, which would suck to lose the goaltender of the year after his freshman season.

LSSULaker889294
03-18-2013, 02:45 PM
1. Mankato
2. Ferris State
3. Bowling Green
4. UAF
5. Tech
6. NMU
7. LSSU
8. Bemidji
9. UAA
10. UAH

stuckinwi
03-18-2013, 02:54 PM
My shot in the Dark not knowing much about the CCHA teams....

1. MSU
2. Tech
3. Ferris
4. BG
5. BSU
6. UAF
7. LSSU
8. NMU
9. UAA
10. UAH

manurespreader
03-18-2013, 06:37 PM
In his book " The signal and the Noise" Nate Silver talks about why most people who prognosticate are totally wrong. Especially those who prognosticate on TV.

So with that in mind maybe it would be better to elucidate about our respective teams a bit since most Wcha fans know little about the ccha teams and vica versa.

I don't know much myself but I do know a little so here's my little and i'd invite other fans to expound on it.

Mankato- Best goalie in the Wcha as a freshman, went over to an up tempo game when Hastings was hired as coach at the end of last year. Have a lot of talent. I don't know how much they are losing, but being Where they are, and with who is coach they will be able to recruit high end players and will be very competitive. they Skate on an olympic rink. Rink seats around 5500 if i'm not mistaken.

MTU- also has gone over to an up tempo game. Has two freshman goalies this year, sophomores next year, both got a good bit of time this year. Also quite a number of skill players, especially underclassmen, with more coming in next year. losing a couple of defensemen but picking up some good ones as well. Will be a better team next year than this year. Tech Skates on an NHL rink, capacity is around 4000 and though the rink has been around, it is in very good shape and is a really good place to watch hockey. Other hockey facilities( weight room, etc) are also very high end and compete with anyone's.

Bemidji- Very good goaltending, and a defensive game, Bemidji has a number of seniors and losing them will hurt to some degree. Bemidji likes to throw the puck up the rink and chase it down hoping to get behind a sleepy defense. Facilities are among the best in the nWcha. Fantastic nhl rink which is almost brand new, seating around 5500 also.They will be tough for any team.

AA- I think they will end up changing coaches this year. Play a defensive style on an olympic sheet. A number of positives going into next year but not as many scorers as they might want. Some good recruits coming in. The jury is out on how well they will do depending on the coaching situation and the amount of money they are willing to spend.

NMU- always in games they do better at home, also have an olympic sheet and swept st cloud in st cloud this year as well as wisconsin. I have no idea why they do poorly away or why they seemingly can't quite put it together.

Ferris- liked their team last year but know very little about this years team. NHL rink, which is quite small. Don't know much about the other facilities. I know they play a defensive style and have been fairly successful in doing so.

LSSU- seems like a jeckyl and hyde team but again I don't follow them closely at all. I believe they are getting some significant upgrades to the rink this year, which is an nhl size sheet. Even though we played them early in the year I don't remember much about the style of play or what they will lose or have coming in.

BGSU- older nhl rink which did get some upgrades recently, fairly new coach and a new positive attitude. losing a senior goalie and the top defenseman. I don't know that much about the incoming class, or the style of play. I was able to watch several of their games on TV and they were quite competitive with the big name schools. They did have some very good wins this year before seeming to fade at the end.
Hunstville- know very little except he rink is pretty big and it's warm there.

Alaska Fairbanks- Once again, don't know much, they had a number of good wins mid season and were very close to making the tourney but faded at the end. I suspect they will be a dark horse next year.

One other thing. all these olympic rinks. I think it's an advantage during the regular season, but come ncaa time I think it hurts a team. Things happen a lot faster on an nhl sheet and there is not the time that olympic sheets have. So I think teams with big sheets struggle more in the playoffs because of it. Especially st cloud.

beaverhockeyfan
03-18-2013, 07:49 PM
In his book " The signal and the Noise" Nate Silver talks about why most people who prognosticate are totally wrong. Especially those who prognosticate on TV.

So with that in mind maybe it would be better to elucidate about our respective teams a bit since most Wcha fans know little about the ccha teams and vica versa.

I don't know much myself but I do know a little so here's my little and i'd invite other fans to expound on it.

Mankato- Best goalie in the Wcha as a freshman, went over to an up tempo game when Hastings was hired as coach at the end of last year. Have a lot of talent. I don't know how much they are losing, but being Where they are, and with who is coach they will be able to recruit high end players and will be very competitive. they Skate on an olympic rink. Rink seats around 5500 if i'm not mistaken.

MTU- also has gone over to an up tempo game. Has two freshman goalies this year, sophomores next year, both got a good bit of time this year. Also quite a number of skill players, especially underclassmen, with more coming in next year. losing a couple of defensemen but picking up some good ones as well. Will be a better team next year than this year. Tech Skates on an NHL rink, capacity is around 4000 and though the rink has been around, it is in very good shape and is a really good place to watch hockey. Other hockey facilities( weight room, etc) are also very high end and compete with anyone's.

Bemidji- Very good goaltending, and a defensive game, Bemidji has a number of seniors and losing them will hurt to some degree. Bemidji likes to throw the puck up the rink and chase it down hoping to get behind a sleepy defense. Facilities are among the best in the nWcha. Fantastic nhl rink which is almost brand new, seating around 5500 also.They will be tough for any team.

AA- I think they will end up changing coaches this year. Play a defensive style on an olympic sheet. A number of positives going into next year but not as many scorers as they might want. Some good recruits coming in. The jury is out on how well they will do depending on the coaching situation and the amount of money they are willing to spend.

NMU- always in games they do better at home, also have an olympic sheet and swept st cloud in st cloud this year as well as wisconsin. I have no idea why they do poorly away or why they seemingly can't quite put it together.

Ferris- liked their team last year but know very little about this years team. NHL rink, which is quite small. Don't know much about the other facilities. I know they play a defensive style and have been fairly successful in doing so.

LSSU- seems like a jeckyl and hyde team but again I don't follow them closely at all. I believe they are getting some significant upgrades to the rink this year, which is an nhl size sheet. Even though we played them early in the year I don't remember much about the style of play or what they will lose or have coming in.

BGSU- older nhl rink which did get some upgrades recently, fairly new coach and a new positive attitude. losing a senior goalie and the top defenseman. I don't know that much about the incoming class, or the style of play. I was able to watch several of their games on TV and they were quite competitive with the big name schools. They did have some very good wins this year before seeming to fade at the end.
Hunstville- know very little except he rink is pretty big and it's warm there.

Alaska Fairbanks- Once again, don't know much, they had a number of good wins mid season and were very close to making the tourney but faded at the end. I suspect they will be a dark horse next year.

One other thing. all these olympic rinks. I think it's an advantage during the regular season, but come ncaa time I think it hurts a team. Things happen a lot faster on an nhl sheet and there is not the time that olympic sheets have. So I think teams with big sheets struggle more in the playoffs because of it. Especially st cloud.

Nice capsules. On minor correction, BSU only seats 4375, can get close to 4500 if the sell standing tickets like they did for the Goofers.

Hammer
03-18-2013, 07:53 PM
Hmmm...I wonder what was wrong with this thread (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?103326-The-New-WCHA-3-Revenge-of-the-Sieve-(2013-14))

UpNorthHockey
03-20-2013, 04:28 PM
I think the overall nWCHA power profile next year will look like this:

Top Tier: MTU, Kato, Ferris
Middle Tier: Bemidji, NMU, Fairbanks, LSSU
Lower Tier: BGSU, Anchorage, UAH

I think any team might jump or drop a single tier next season (i.e. BGSU might be in the middle tier, NMU could be in the top tier).
I predict we send only two teams to NCAAs. In the larger scheme of things, nWCHA is in the middle of the existing leagues:

Power ranking
10 - Hockey East - Benefits from picking up ND and from breakup of old WCHA....BC/BU/UML/ND are extremely strong programs
9 - B1G - MN, MI and WI are strong programs and all programs will get stronger due to $$
8 - NCHC - Will never have the profile or $$ of B1G, but definitely a step above nWCHA
6 - nWCHA - Less market visibility than ECAC programs, but a small step above in overall program strength
5 - ECAC
3 - Atlantic - Scholarship disadvantage keeps this league low in power ranking

Squarebanks
03-20-2013, 04:53 PM
I'd put BG in that middle tier but otherwise I think you're about right. Next year is, I think, a rebuilding year for UAF. Keeney will have a season under his belt but we are graduating a big chunk of talent this year and other guys will have to step up.

UAA might be a dark horse if they make a coaching change. When we canned Doc and hired Ferguson we were expected to finish last, and wound up 4th and headed to the Joe. A new staff with new energy can make a huge difference.

I'd put Mankato as the favorite, at least as long as Williams is there. Kid is a stud...I wish the 'Nooks could have kept him at home.


I think the overall nWCHA power profile next year will look like this:

Top Tier: MTU, Kato, Ferris
Middle Tier: Bemidji, NMU, Fairbanks, LSSU
Lower Tier: BGSU, Anchorage, UAH

I think any team might jump or drop a single tier next season (i.e. BGSU might be in the middle tier, NMU could be in the top tier).
I predict we send only two teams to NCAAs. In the larger scheme of things, nWCHA is in the middle of the existing leagues:

Power ranking
10 - Hockey East - Benefits from picking up ND and from breakup of old WCHA....BC/BU/UML/ND are extremely strong programs
9 - B1G - MN, MI and WI are strong programs and all programs will get stronger due to $$
8 - NCHC - Will never have the profile or $$ of B1G, but definitely a step above nWCHA
6 - nWCHA - Less market visibility than ECAC programs, but a small step above in overall program strength
5 - ECAC
3 - Atlantic - Scholarship disadvantage keeps this league low in power ranking

uaafanblog
03-20-2013, 08:03 PM
If you want to analyze next year's field then you have to put in the work. These guesses based on feelings and perceptions and whatnot could turn out but without doing some homework there's no basis for expecting them to be correct. Here's some metrics you need to look at IMO and in the order I think is most important ...

... Total Scoring lost
... Total Scoring retained
... # of upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) with attention to key positions and a reasonable estimate of performance
... reasonable projection of scoring from 2nd year players (a guy that got 5 goals as a freshman might not be expected to get 20 as a soph)
... evaluation of incoming players: take their scoring from juniors and weight it against the relative strength of the league they come from i.e ... USHL 1.0, BCHL .8, AJHL .8, M/SJHL .7, NAHL .65, other leagues "variable" --- this weighting of course is subjective and your estimation of the various league's strength may differ.
... Record from previous season
... Intangibles (you can't give a value to this but it can aid in your summary)

If you do something like this (any version really would give you more validity) then you have some sort of baseline from which to compare. Grant the merging of the leagues itself is an intangible that is difficult to assess. Are the assumed relative strengths and weakness really there? etc ... There are of course other metrics that you feel should be included. The most important thing is establishing that baseline for all teams in order to compare the potentials.

gfmorris
03-20-2013, 08:41 PM
Hmmm...I wonder what was wrong with this thread (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?103326-The-New-WCHA-3-Revenge-of-the-Sieve-(2013-14))

Everything! ;)

GFM

AnchorsAway
03-21-2013, 07:52 AM
As others have said, it's a tough call to speculate on how the league will shakeout (although I must admit it is interesting), The CCHA teams will be used to lower scoring, grind it out games (only 3 teams in their conference topped 100 goals this season) while the WCHA teams will be more accustomed to higher scoring, offensive games (8 teams in their conference topped the 100 goal mark this season) with UAH as a bit of a wildcard since they had a varied schedule, so it will be interesting to see what style becomes the norm.

Here's the breakdown on LSSU going forward: The Lakers were a team that was average at best offensively, and they will lose 3 of their top 7 goal scorers and 34% of their offensive points to graduation or early departures to professional hockey (possibly more, as another underclassmen is rumored to have received some notable attention from the pros). They are bringing in a few promising freshman but on the whole this is team without much of an offensive identity. Barring many of the new faces hitting the ground running offensively, this is a team that will likely struggle to score goals for at least the first portion, if not the entire season.

Defensively, the Lakers return their entire defensive corps along with both of their goalies; LSSU wants to play a tight defensive style and has shown the ability to do so at times, as this past season they held opponents to 2 goals or less in 22 of their 39 games including 6 shutouts.

If Lake State can keep the hatches buttoned down on the defensive end and have some players step up and score goals with come consistency, they have the ability to land in the top 3 of the nWCHA at season's end. On the flip side if the Lakers don't play to their MO defensive style and their offensive plays like a ship without a rudder and the team falls prey to its recent pattern of collapsing in the second half of the season they could just as easily finish in the bottom 3. In summation, their is a lot of unknowns when it comes to forecasting a new league with members coming from different corners of college hockey and that makes for a lot guessing and if, maybes, could be's and the 2013-2014 Lake Superior State University Lakers are shaping up to be a microcosm of that.