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View Full Version : Who will be the "darkhorse" in the WCHA this season?



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HarleyMC
09-24-2009, 12:43 AM
Last year UMD seemed to emerge as a "darkhorse" late in the season. This year my pick is SCSU.

Flashy Man
09-24-2009, 12:48 AM
I say MTU, as Coach Russell put it to the Misfits tonight, last year we never really had the chance to play as a team with all the injuries, so it's still to be seen what the team can accomplish.

Twitch Boy
09-24-2009, 01:18 AM
I already sang their praises (albeit backhandedly) in the 09-10 WCHA preview poll, but keep your eye on UAA this season. They finished ninth despite scoring 23 points last season, and returned just about everyone including a ton of goal-scoring now-seniors. If not for the second half slump, they could have finished right in the thick of the pack.

They do have some significant holes they will need to overcome to fulfill this role. Their biggest weaknesses are in goal and on the penalty kill. I'm not sure I'd consider Olthuis or Christiansen "world-beaters." Also, when Michigan Tech hangs 4 PPG on you in a weekend, you're in big trouble.

The bottom half of this conference is always a logjam. If - IF - UAA shores everything up and uses their experience to keep it together down the stretch, I could definitely see them winning a horse race against depleted tUMD and CC squads and finishing as high as sixth.

startthebus
09-24-2009, 01:40 AM
Well I hope St. Cloud State...I think this seasons depends almost single-handidly on freshmen goalie Mike Lee, though he should do fine because apparently our defense has really clicked this off-season..

SCSU Euro
09-24-2009, 03:56 AM
Does MTU finishing in 9th count as the darkhorse? :D

Actually, I'll go with Mankato

seriously...

SCSU Euro
09-24-2009, 03:56 AM
I think this seasons depends almost single-handidly on freshmen goalie Mike Lee

This is why nobody takes you seriously...

Dirty
09-24-2009, 06:28 AM
Denver

Jockstock
09-24-2009, 07:01 AM
Denver

Or in other words, any connection between the way Dirty's brain works and reality is purely coincidental.

brianvf
09-24-2009, 10:00 AM
apparently our defense has really clicked this off-season..

They really gelled in the SCSU intramural league? :)

ScoobyDoo
09-24-2009, 10:05 AM
Well I hope St. Cloud State...I think this seasons depends almost single-handidly on freshmen goalie Mike Lee, though he should do fine because apparently our defense has really clicked this off-season..

Huh?

Dirty
09-24-2009, 10:31 AM
Or in other words, any connection between the way Dirty's brain works and reality is purely coincidental.

Be nice, Tyler.

owslachief
09-24-2009, 10:44 AM
Ron His Horse is Thunder?

skiumah2
09-24-2009, 10:57 AM
...keep your eye on UAA this season. They finished ninth despite scoring 23 points last season, and returned just about everyone including a ton of goal-scoring now-seniors. If not for the second half slump, they could have finished right in the thick of the pack.I've never completely agreed with the theory that claims a team will be much improved because they have everyone back. Couldn't the opposite be assumed as well? If you have everyone back from a 9th place team, why would you say they are going to be better when they have the same 9th place players returning? :confused:

I can understand making this claim when a middle of the pack team has all their core players back, and have supplemented the roster with a highly recruited goaltender, or a big name freshman goal scorer, but a 9th place team? There may be a pretty good reason UAA finished in 9th last year. They didn't have players that were very good. Why should it be different this year just because they are a year older?

dggoddard
09-24-2009, 11:15 AM
I already sang their praises (albeit backhandedly) in the 09-10 WCHA preview poll, but keep your eye on UAA this season. They finished ninth despite scoring 23 points last season, and returned just about everyone including a ton of goal-scoring now-seniors. If not for the second half slump, they could have finished right in the thick of the pack.UAA is actually an intriguing pick as a Dark Horse.

I like to look at the last 10 games of the WCHA's previous regular season to gauge who was hot at the end of the year when everyone is scrapping for playoff position. UAA was right up there.


1. UND 7-2-1
2. DU 5-3-2
3. UAA 5-4-1
3. SCSU 5-4-1
3. CC 3-2-5
6. MSU-M 4-4-2
7. WI 4-5-1
8. UMD 3-5-2
8. MN 3-5-2
10. Tech 1-5-4

s11r9seat8
09-24-2009, 11:23 AM
I've never completely agreed with the theory that claims a team will be much improved because they have everyone back. ...
Good point, however
As i tell myself whenever i open my mouth:Consider the source, but i do think that defense does get better the longer that a pairing or group plays together, including and most importantly, from year to year. They adapt to roles and anticipate each other better with more game time on the ice together. The argument with myself has become whether raw talent is more important.
Offense is another matter...
Overall i picked Wisco (shudder) to win the WCHA.

scsutommyboy
09-24-2009, 11:39 AM
Well I hope St. Cloud State...I think this seasons depends almost single-handidly on freshmen goalie Mike Lee, though he should do fine because apparently our defense has really clicked this off-season..

Goaltending will be fine with Lee and Dunn. The question is can those four first year defenseman form last year take the next step. If so this is going to be a great year. If not, it is middle of the pack for this team again.

Shirtless Guy
09-24-2009, 11:56 AM
UAA is actually an intriguing pick as a Dark Horse.

I like to look at the last 10 games of the WCHA's previous regular season to gauge who was hot at the end of the year when everyone is scrapping for playoff position. UAA was right up there.


1. UND 7-2-1
2. DU 5-3-2
3. UAA 5-4-1
3. SCSU 5-4-1
3. CC 3-2-5
6. MSU-M 4-4-2
7. WI 4-5-1
8. UMD 3-5-2
8. MN 3-5-2
10. Tech 1-5-4
What can you really take from that when you look at what UMD did in its next 7 games after going 3-5-2 to finish the regular season?

startthebus
09-24-2009, 12:34 PM
Huh?

As in Pierre has seen the team practice this year and is very impressed by the defense. As in they worked out and got a lot stronger from last year. As in their off-season leagues/camps/etc really paid off.

SCSU Euro
09-24-2009, 12:39 PM
As in Pierre has seen the team practice this year and is very impressed by the defense. As in they worked out and got a lot stronger from last year. As in their off-season leagues/camps/etc really paid off.

Pssst.... EVERYONE "looks good and is clicking" in the offseason. I hope they are improved, but to say that its gonna happen because someone's watched some practices and reports that is, at the least, a little naive.

startthebus
09-24-2009, 12:46 PM
Pssst.... EVERYONE "looks good and is clicking" in the offseason. I hope they are improved, but to say that its gonna happen because someone's watched some practices and reports that is, at the least, a little naive.

And you've never posted anything naive on here?:confused: lol