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UMD21
10-28-2018, 11:02 AM
As we wrap out the early season going into conference play, who will be the disappointment? Who will be the dark horse surprise?
Last year, the NCHC was only able to get 3 teams in. B1G held the overall best OOC winning % at .678 vs NCHC’s .649 despite B1G going 5-10-2 against NCHC opponents. Currently, teams are tied at 4-4-1 in head to head play with the NCHC leading at .670 with next best .652. We will see how the rest of the season plays out. I remember someone saying “if you want to make the NCAA, schedule like Penn State. If you want to win the NCAA-schedule like Notre Dame.
Source: https://www.collegehockeynews.com/reports/standings-interconf.php

I expect UMD to win their first regular season conference title since the early 90s (how surprising is that—2 Nat titles out of 60ish teams—can’t beat out ~10 in regular season).. SCSU looks to be the most relevant challenger thus far despite some key losses and coaching change. Omaha looks like hot garbage.
CC is my upset pick of the year. Not expecting them to be top 2 or even 3 but definite strides of improvement. Also thinking Denver may surprise people—they looked pretty solid in facing adversity vs Fairbanks. Really hard to expect much of them with as young of a coach as Carle. And every year, we’ve been waiting on WMU to have a break out season—could this be it?

My picks:
1. UMD
2. SCSU
3. UND
4. WMU
5. CC
6. Denver
7. Miami
8. Omaha
Pretty confident in my top 2 and bottom 2 picks. Middle of the pack will be interesting—but hopefully the middle pack teams score well in pairwise this season

UMD21
11-05-2018, 01:35 PM
Well, if there is one takeaway from the season it is the importance of recruiting the right team. SCSU and Denver are both doing great despite a coaching change and huge loss of scoring (but f'kng Luko...), Minnesota is as hot pile of trash as they were even with a solid coach behind bench. With UMD off, while I was dozing off with UND-Wisco game on my phone I was flipping the TV between the DU-WMU and OSU-ND games. I noticed the passes were tape to tape in the Denver game, while the puck just seemed to be floating around the ice a lot with the B1G game with very few connecting passes.

As for talking way too early about post season expectations, one thing that stuck out about last year was despite going 5-10-2 against the NCHC, the B1G got the most teams in the tourney with the leading overall winning % (.678 vs .649). The B1G does a really good job padding their stats against teams from out east. B1G is currently 8-1 against ECAC teams this year as well. Currently the NCHC still leads win % at .684, B1G at .573 and WCHA third with .477 (but WCHA is 7-4-1 vs B1G, 5-15-12 vs NCHC...). We're roughly half way through the season as far as out of conference play goes, so definitely worth looking at those stats

If Denver can get a few more meaningful wins as the season moves on, they look to definitely be outperforming expectations. Challenge for the top? Not sure, definitely can't rule it out at the moment. They looked great against adversity overcoming a 2-3 goal defecit against UAA a week ago

Biddco
11-05-2018, 05:29 PM
Well, if there is one takeaway from the season it is the importance of recruiting the right team. SCSU and Denver are both doing great despite a coaching change and huge loss of scoring (but f'kng Luko...), Minnesota is as hot pile of trash as they were even with a solid coach behind bench. With UMD off, while I was dozing off with UND-Wisco game on my phone I was flipping the TV between the DU-WMU and OSU-ND games. I noticed the passes were tape to tape in the Denver game, while the puck just seemed to be floating around the ice a lot with the B1G game with very few connecting passes.

As for talking way too early about post season expectations, one thing that stuck out about last year was despite going 5-10-2 against the NCHC, the B1G got the most teams in the tourney with the leading overall winning % (.678 vs .649). The B1G does a really good job padding their stats against teams from out east. B1G is currently 8-1 against ECAC teams this year as well. Currently the NCHC still leads win % at .684, B1G at .573 and WCHA third with .477 (but WCHA is 7-4-1 vs B1G, 5-15-12 vs NCHC...). We're roughly half way through the season as far as out of conference play goes, so definitely worth looking at those stats

If Denver can get a few more meaningful wins as the season moves on, they look to definitely be outperforming expectations. Challenge for the top? Not sure, definitely can't rule it out at the moment. They looked great against adversity overcoming a 2-3 goal defecit against UAA a week ago
Nice work on this post.

I've actually been impressed with how the WCHA has been doing which appears to be very top and bottom heavy.

UND has been playing well as has DU but UMD and SCSU appear to be the class of the league. Although we shall see how things shake out this season. It's gonna be really fun as league play picks up.

purpleinnebraska
11-05-2018, 06:10 PM
Nice work on this post.

I've actually been impressed with how the WCHA has been doing which appears to be very top and bottom heavy.

UND has been playing well as has DU but UMD and SCSU appear to be the class of the league. Although we shall see how things shake out this season. It's gonna be really fun as league play picks up.

A lot of preseason talk was CC as a dark horse. You buying or selling on that one?

dogs2012
11-05-2018, 06:16 PM
Nice work on this post.

I've actually been impressed with how the WCHA has been doing which appears to be very top and bottom heavy.

UND has been playing well as has DU but UMD and SCSU appear to be the class of the league. Although we shall see how things shake out this season. It's gonna be really fun as league play picks up.

I'm back! The 6 year hiatus is over. Finally have a thread to comment on.

I agree with Biddy, great post on where things stand. It's really interesting to see how the win %'s play out as we know how the B10 likes to schedule easy OOC opponents.

St. Cloud is solid again this year and will be tough to beat out for the conference championship. UMD's team this year gives me a 2016-2017 Denver vibe. Teams can beat UMD in a single game but if you played a best of 7 series, very few if any teams would get to 4 wins against them. Strong in all areas and wear opposing teams down as the game goes on. I remember heading into the United Center hoping for a win, but not expecting it in 2017.

Dark horse is definitely going to be CC, there used to be a time when CC was always at the top of the standings. Maybe they're starting to bring that mojo back...

cetihcra
11-05-2018, 06:17 PM
A lot of preseason talk was CC as a dark horse. You buying or selling on that one?

I don't think CC is a dark horse to win the league or anything, but I could see them finishing 4th -- Leclerc can steal a lot of games when he's on, but they lack the depth of talent to consistently compete with UMD or SCSU (as shown by a sweep this past weekend). So, maybe neither buy nor sell?

These next 4 weekends are huge in figuring out the identity of this DU team, as they have @SCSU x2, Providence x2, Duluth x2, @NoDak x2...get through that gauntlet with 4 wins and we can talk about them being up there with UND/UMD/SCSU. They're a hard-working bunch, though not nearly as deep or talented as the past couple of seasons, and Cooley has been a very pleasant surprise.

r

AHABulldog
11-05-2018, 08:11 PM
These next 4 weekends are huge in figuring out the identity of this DU team, as they have @SCSU x2, Providence x2, Duluth x2, @NoDak x2



Wow... that’s an absurd stretch.

UMD21
11-15-2018, 10:21 AM
Very ready for this weekend’s UMD-DU series. Will be a small UMD alum gathering for the game on Friday but just had a kid so not sure if I’ll be in attendance but am craving a win vs DU than anybody else right now. I don’t think Denver can sweep but maybe end UMD’s win streak. But maybe Dogs will come at this week with vengeance, smelling blood

St. Clown
11-15-2018, 01:19 PM
Very ready for this weekend’s UMD-DU series. Will be a small UMD alum gathering for the game on Friday but just had a kid so not sure if I’ll be in attendance but am craving a win vs DU than anybody else right now. I don’t think Denver can sweep but maybe end UMD’s win streak. But maybe Dogs will come at this week with vengeance, smelling blood

DU played SCSU real tough this past weekend. I saw the Saturday game, and while SCSU controlled most of the action, DU took advantage of their early opportunities. They let their frustration show late, and started marching to the penalty box, even surrendering a 4x3 advantage with less than 2 minutes remaining.

SCSUBlackandRed
01-07-2019, 02:19 PM
Halfway through the overall season (or so) and a third of the way through conference play, here’s where we stand:

1. SCSU – 21 pts
2. WMU – 14
3. UMD – 13
4. Denver – 12
5. Miami – 12
6. UND – 9
7. UNO – 8
8. CC – 7

Not entirely surprised to see SCSU near the top. Had a lot of talent come back but with a new coach, wasn’t sure that would be the case. What has been surprising is the contribution from the freshmen. Fully expected the defending National Champs near the top with a solid core returning. Western has been a surprise on the positive front as has Denver. For to Denver to be where they are with the talent they lost as well as a new coach, that says a lot about the program. UND has been a surprise the other way. Possible they can make their usual second half run but man, two losses to Canisius doesn’t lend a lot of hope to that. Also thought CC had a shot to move up a little this year especially after seeing them play SCSU tough early but the wins just haven’t come.

Did some projecting out looking at the balance of the schedule (before the winter break) and here’s my guess at how things will end up for conference play (obviously ties will happen, just not going to go in that deep) – points projection and conference record in final 16 games:

1. SCSU – 51 pts (10-6)
2. WMU – 50 pts (12-4)
3. UMD – 46 pts (11-5)
4. Denver – 45 pts (11-5)
5. UND – 39 pts (10-6)
6. Miami – 35 pts (8-8)
7. UNO – 26 pts (6-10)
8. CC – 22 pts (5-11)

SCSU starts and ends the balance of the season with UMD and WMU. Think we’re looking at splits there as well as a split at UND and then a random loss over the easier games left with Miami and CC at home and at UNO. The first third was definitely a bit easier in comparison and definitely an advantage to face Denver earlier vs. now as they seem to be picking up some steam.

WMU is on a tear and it sure looks like that will continue. Per the projections, you can see I think UMD and Denver are going to be right there. Could really see either going slightly better than I’m projecting right now. UND. Man. Probably overshooting on them right now but again, have seen them get hot at the end so many times, just not ready to write them off. That being said with being #22 in Pairwise, they’re definitely staring down being on the road in the NCHC playoffs for the first time and needing to win the Frozen Faceoff to get into the NCAA’s.

As it stands today, the NCHC would have 4 teams in the NCAA’s. Both SCSU and Denver as #1 seeds, UMD safely in and WMU on the bubble. I do think UMD and Denver will flip seeds, with UMD moving up to a #1 and Denver a #2. If things go as I expect above, WMU would move up off the bubble and we’d have 4 teams in. Potentially a 5th if either UND or Miami gets hot and takes the Frozen Faceoff. Just don’t see UNO or CC as capable of stringing that many wins together.

Here we go, here’s to a fun run the rest of the way!

dogs2012
01-08-2019, 01:38 PM
Halfway through the overall season (or so) and a third of the way through conference play, here’s where we stand:

1. SCSU – 21 pts
2. WMU – 14
3. UMD – 13
4. Denver – 12
5. Miami – 12
6. UND – 9
7. UNO – 8
8. CC – 7

Not entirely surprised to see SCSU near the top. Had a lot of talent come back but with a new coach, wasn’t sure that would be the case. What has been surprising is the contribution from the freshmen. Fully expected the defending National Champs near the top with a solid core returning. Western has been a surprise on the positive front as has Denver. For to Denver to be where they are with the talent they lost as well as a new coach, that says a lot about the program. UND has been a surprise the other way. Possible they can make their usual second half run but man, two losses to Canisius doesn’t lend a lot of hope to that. Also thought CC had a shot to move up a little this year especially after seeing them play SCSU tough early but the wins just haven’t come.

Did some projecting out looking at the balance of the schedule (before the winter break) and here’s my guess at how things will end up for conference play (obviously ties will happen, just not going to go in that deep) – points projection and conference record in final 16 games:

1. SCSU – 51 pts (10-6)
2. WMU – 50 pts (12-4)
3. UMD – 46 pts (11-5)
4. Denver – 45 pts (11-5)
5. UND – 39 pts (10-6)
6. Miami – 35 pts (8-8)
7. UNO – 26 pts (6-10)
8. CC – 22 pts (5-11)

SCSU starts and ends the balance of the season with UMD and WMU. Think we’re looking at splits there as well as a split at UND and then a random loss over the easier games left with Miami and CC at home and at UNO. The first third was definitely a bit easier in comparison and definitely an advantage to face Denver earlier vs. now as they seem to be picking up some steam.

WMU is on a tear and it sure looks like that will continue. Per the projections, you can see I think UMD and Denver are going to be right there. Could really see either going slightly better than I’m projecting right now. UND. Man. Probably overshooting on them right now but again, have seen them get hot at the end so many times, just not ready to write them off. That being said with being #22 in Pairwise, they’re definitely staring down being on the road in the NCHC playoffs for the first time and needing to win the Frozen Faceoff to get into the NCAA’s.

As it stands today, the NCHC would have 4 teams in the NCAA’s. Both SCSU and Denver as #1 seeds, UMD safely in and WMU on the bubble. I do think UMD and Denver will flip seeds, with UMD moving up to a #1 and Denver a #2. If things go as I expect above, WMU would move up off the bubble and we’d have 4 teams in. Potentially a 5th if either UND or Miami gets hot and takes the Frozen Faceoff. Just don’t see UNO or CC as capable of stringing that many wins together.

Here we go, here’s to a fun run the rest of the way!

Before we crown St. Cloud NCHC champion, let's see them play a good quality NCHC opponent. The sweep over Denver is really the only calling card SCSU has on the season, they've had a pretty cupcake first half of the schedule. I think this weekend's series against UMD will be a good litmus test for who's who in the NCHC this year.

Biddco
01-08-2019, 10:44 PM
Before we crown St. Cloud NCHC champion, let's see them play a good quality NCHC opponent. The sweep over Denver is really the only calling card SCSU has on the season, they've had a pretty cupcake first half of the schedule. I think this weekend's series against UMD will be a good litmus test for who's who in the NCHC this year.

True although an 8 point lead and having a much improved WMU team as well in the mix make it tougher for UMD to win. This weekends series against SCSU is of course crucial. SCSU has shown they are the best team in the conference and nation so far. Question is can they keep that going?

I like UMD's chances as they can get rolling now that the schedule will not have multiple weekends off.

dogs2012
01-09-2019, 10:06 AM
True although an 8 point lead and having a much improved WMU team as well in the mix make it tougher for UMD to win. This weekends series against SCSU is of course crucial. SCSU has shown they are the best team in the conference and nation so far. Question is can they keep that going?

I like UMD's chances as they can get rolling now that the schedule will not have multiple weekends off.

That's fair, I guess I'm just not willing to concede they're the best team in the nation based on who they've played thus far. 4 series against ranked teams, Denver (#3), Northeastern (#12), Union (#15) and Miami (#20). The rest against cupcakes. #18 SOS in the nation. I have a hard time believing that if UMD had played the same schedule, we wouldn't have the same or better record. I think you could make the same argument for Denver, with that schedule they might only have 2 losses as well.

I may end up eating my words after this weekend, but I think we're so used to every NCHC team playing the toughest schedule in the nation that we assume all teams are equal. This year, St. Cloud's schedule is front loaded with easy competition. It isn't mapping out the way it has in years past.

SCSUBlackandRed
01-09-2019, 11:06 AM
I'm not saying crown them but the 7 and 8 point leads over 2nd and 3rd are big. I factored in splits to (UMD 2x, WMU 2x, @UND and let's call it Miami at home). They should sweep CC at home and UNO on the road. That's 10-6 to finish. Ties could/will muck things up a bit but that makes UMD and WMU have to go at least 12-4, possibly better, to pass them.

SCSU hasn't been swept this year and was only swept once last year (@Denver in early November). It's largely the same team as last year and I'd say even a little better. While it is possible they get swept at some point, it's not all that likely. Brett is doing a great job with the team as well. Some other Minnesota teams have struggled with a new coach at the helm...

This weekend will absolutely be a good measure of where things are at. Looking forward to it.

And the last series between UMD and SCSU at the Herb Brooks Center is going to be huge. Couldn't have asked for a better matchup to end the regular season schedule.

dogs2012
01-09-2019, 06:29 PM
I'm not saying crown them but the 7 and 8 point leads over 2nd and 3rd are big. I factored in splits to (UMD 2x, WMU 2x, @UND and let's call it Miami at home). They should sweep CC at home and UNO on the road. That's 10-6 to finish. Ties could/will muck things up a bit but that makes UMD and WMU have to go at least 12-4, possibly better, to pass them.

SCSU hasn't been swept this year and was only swept once last year (@Denver in early November). It's largely the same team as last year and I'd say even a little better. While it is possible they get swept at some point, it's not all that likely. Brett is doing a great job with the team as well. Some other Minnesota teams have struggled with a new coach at the helm...

This weekend will absolutely be a good measure of where things are at. Looking forward to it.

And the last series between UMD and SCSU at the Herb Brooks Center is going to be huge. Couldn't have asked for a better matchup to end the regular season schedule.

Very valid points. Although your second line about being the same team, I'd make that same argument for UMD. I think that last series of the year is going to decide who's crowned NCHC champions.

Biddco
01-09-2019, 07:20 PM
Very valid points. Although your second line about being the same team, I'd make that same argument for UMD. I think that last series of the year is going to decide who's crowned NCHC champions.

I just hope the teams will be close on the ending night so there's more drama.

This weekend will probably be a split which doesn't decide anything :D

First Time, Long Time
01-11-2019, 12:05 PM
Very valid points. Although your second line about being the same team, I'd make that same argument for UMD. I think that last series of the year is going to decide who's crowned NCHC champions.

Maybe. It could be argued UMD has a tougher 2nd half than the Huskies and SCSU already has an 8 point cushion. It very well could be wrapped up before that last weekend.

dogs2012
01-11-2019, 04:46 PM
Maybe. It could be argued UMD has a tougher 2nd half than the Huskies and SCSU already has an 8 point cushion. It very well could be wrapped up before that last weekend.

Looking at both schedules, GD you might be right. How did you guys swindle that easy of a schedule this year?! That may be the case. However, UMD has several players who have never experienced anything but a National Championship game. I'm interested to see how that experience comes into play as the year progresses. We all know how grueling the second half of the NCHC season can be. Either way, should be a fun weekend. I'm bummed FSN didn't pick it up here in the Twin Cities with no Wild game on. At least FSN+.

Biddco
01-12-2019, 10:40 AM
Maybe. It could be argued UMD has a tougher 2nd half than the Huskies and SCSU already has an 8 point cushion. It very well could be wrapped up before that last weekend.

Indeed. I hope it is not wrapped up for the obvious reasons but also because it would be an amazing weekend of hockey at the end of the year.



UMD wins round one of a four which helps but will be for naught if they lose tonight.

UMD was lucky and scored timely goals while SCSU was stifled. Really good win for UMD and it helped having back their three best skaters from World Junior.

UMD21
01-12-2019, 09:58 PM
Brodzinski penatly was a makeup call for all the other penalties against UMD IMO. Was just trying to prevent Bulldog from falling on goalie