Who can figure out the WCHA? Certainly not the coaches nor the media so far. Both groups pegged Colorado College to finish near the bottom and the Gophers to contend. CC is in first, the Gophers in ninth.
But it's early. And CC continues to be in a bit of turmoil. Freshman goalie Hudson Stremmel has packed his bags to play junior hockey for Prince George, B.C. Apparently he had seen enough of Joe Howe, another freshman goalie, who was 4-1-1. Howe played as a high school freshman and sophomore for Wayzata High.
Senior forward Andreas Vlassopolous of CC is out for the season. He is going to have surgery on his right knee.
And CC senior captain Mike Testwuide has not played since Oct. 16 when he suffered a concussion against Wisconsin. He hopes to be cleared to play later this week.
After losing 5-0 on Friday to North Dakota, Alaska Anchorage beat the visiting Sioux 2-1 the next night.
How? "Winning puck battles, taking assignments on face-offs, not turning over the puck, out-competing them, not taking undisciplined penalties," assistant captain Josh Lunden said. "Those are the little things that it takes to win in this league."
The Seawolves only had 36 shots in the series. They visit Mariucci Arena this weekend in a rare Friday-Sunday series. The Gophers football team plays Michigan State at 7 p.m. Saturday, so that's why there is no hockey that night.
JUTTING BLOODY AFTER WIN
Wisconsin snapped a six-game winless streak against Minnesota State Mankato by beating the Mavs 6-0 last Friday, but the host team won 3-2 the next night. And Mavs coach Troy Jutting's white collar was cover with blood for the postgame interviews. Seems his right earn got clipped by a stick on the bench.
No pain, no gain, right?
Zach Harrison of the Mavs scored the game-winner on a long power play in the middle of the second period.
Freshman forward Craig Smith of the Badgers got a 5-minute major for checking from behind and then as that was expiring junior defenseman and tri-captain Ryan McDonagh got another major for the same offense. Harrison scored on a 5-on-3.
After being hit by Smith, Mavs captain Geoff irwin is out for their season at Denver this weekend with an upper body injury.
ON PLAYER RATINGS, TEAM POLLS
Red Line Report, a well-respected recruiting source, rated center Nick Bjugstad of Blaine the 12th best prospect in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and center Max Gardiner the 18th. What they have in common is both have committed to the Gophers.
There are five Divison I college hockey teams in Minnesota, so guess which one is the higest rated in the national polls this week? If you guessed Bemidji State, you must have peaked.
The 3-0-1 Beavers. fresh off a Final Four trip last season, are No. 14 in the uscho.com poll and No. 14 in the INCH poll, and No. 15 in USA Today's ratings.
The only other state team in any of the polls is St. Cloud State, which is No. 17 according to INCH.