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Woog's Wisdom

10/13/2011, 8:51am CDT
By Greg Anzelc

Weekly WCHA Hockey, Hits & Highlights with Doug Woog!

Each week Minnesota Hockey Journal Editor Greg Anzelc sits down with the Wooger to discuss all of the action on the ice, as well as some of the great stories off of the ice!


Conference Play Gets Underway!

It’s always an exciting time of year when the WCHA season kicks off, and what better way to do it than to play UMD!

This season the Gophers have added some depth on defense and overall, the team speed is better. This group is full of some “team” players that can really make some good hockey plays as they have size and plenty of stick skills. There is definitely no lack in mobility or physicality on this squad. Last weekend the goaltending was solid but untested, but Minnesota should be solid between the pipes this season with Kent Patterson, who was named the WCHA co-Defensive Player of the Week.
Last weekend the freshman fit in really well skating on the lines they were with. They are only 18 but they appear to be 22 in hockey smarts. They were composed and moved the puck well. Overall last weekend the team came out, established themselves, got the lead and kept it going for 60 minutes. They went out there and went after it, and perhaps most importantly, stayed after it. This team will have some scoring depth among the first three lines. The question mark will be how the team will respond in their own end when the opposing team can apply some pressure.  

Looking at the weekend series at UMD, on paper these teams appear to be pretty even. Jack Connolly, Travis Oleksuk
and J.T. Brown will lead the way this season for the Bulldogs. Minnesota will bring a lot of emotion to Duluth on Friday night and be ready to play, and get after it with some aggressiveness. The question mark this weekend, for both teams, will be which players expected to step up this year, actually step up. Give the goaltending edge to Minnesota and that should be a difference that can equate to 2 points for Minnesota. This is a big weekend for both teams as each needs the momentum moving in the right direction: Minnesota re-establishing themselves and UMD continuing the momentum from the success of last year. This is a long-standing rivalry and this is the only meeting of the year, so there is some added incentive this weekend on the shore of Lake Superior.


Bemidji State (1-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) at No. 7-ranked Colorado College (0-0-0)
CC has one of the best players in the league in
Jaden Schwartz, a WCHA pre-season Player of the Year pick. Bemidji has enough top players to give CC a good game, but CC has too much high end talent.

THE CALL: 3 points for CC

No. 18-ranked Wisconsin (1-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) at Michigan Tech (2-0-0, 0-0-0 WCHA)
Wisconsin’s issue will be goaltending this year. Tech will be energized and play hard for their new coach, but Wisconsin is still too deep for Tech to sneak out of the weekend with a win.
THE CALL: Bucky sweep

This Week in the WCHA

Games for Friday, October 14:
* Nebraska Omaha vs Alaska Anchorage (NC), 3:05 pm AT; Wisconsin at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; Denver at Boston College (NC), 7:30 pm ET; St. Cloud State at Northern Michigan (NC), 7:35 pm ET; Minnesota at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; UMass Lowell at Minnesota State (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Maine at North Dakota (NC), 7:37 pm CT; Bemidji State at Colorado College (WCHA), 7:37 pm MT. * Brice Alaska Goal Rush (Fairbanks, AK)

Games for Saturday, October 15: Denver at Boston University (NC)7:00 pm ET; Wisconsin at Michigan Tech (WCHA), 7:07 pm ET; St. Cloud State at Northern Michigan (NC), 7:35 pm ET; * Mercyhurst vs Alaska Anchorage (NC), 4:05 pm AT; Minnesota at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Maine at North Dakota (NC), 7:07 pm CT; UMass Lowell at Minnesota State (NC), 7:07 pm CT; Bemidji State at Colorado College (WCHA), 7:07 pm MT; * Nebraska Omaha at Alaska Fairbanks (NC), 7:05 pm AT. * Brice Alaska Goal Rush (Fairbanks, AK)
41st Annual Grand Forks Herald WCHA Coaches Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)
Rk Team (First Place Votes) Points
1 Denver (7) 115
2 North Dakota (4) 110
3 Colorado College (1) 105
4 Nebraska Omaha 89
5 Minnesota Duluth 75
6 Minnesota 74
7 St. Cloud State 61
8 Wisconsin 54
9 Alaska Anchorage 36
10 Bemidji State 30
11 Minnesota State 29
12 Michigan Tech 14

WCHA Player of the Year
Jaden Schwartz, F, CC (8), Justin Schultz, D, UW (2), Terry Broadhurst,
F, UNO (1), Jack Connolly, F, UMD (1).

WCHA Rookie of the Year
Rocco Grimaldi, F, UND (10), Joey LaLeggia, D, DU (1), Jayson Megna, F, UNO (1).



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