It's been another 3 weeks, and this time I waited for one of our MAC schools to get in a mid-week game before I did this. Now I'm kinda regretting it. Oh well. Let's dive right into it then.
BOWLING GREEN FALCONS
After starting off nicely, the Falcons have came back down to Earth after being swept in back-to-back series by Notre Dame and Ferris State. However, they did recover nicely with a sweep of Canisius this past weekend. After 6 weeks, the Falcons stand at 6-5-1, but only 1-5-0 in the CCHA. Their 3 points puts them in 10th place, only 1 point ahead of last place Alaska.
The problem, as predicted, is goal scoring. They are tied for last in the CCHA with just 2.17 goals per game. Their defense isn't bad, it leads the 3 MAC schools at 2.25 goals allowed per game. This young team just needs to find their rhythm on offense, and they should be fine. Till then, things won't get any easier, as they travel to Miami for our first MAC-on-MAC action of the year.
Miami has FINALLY seemed to have found their stride. After starting the season at 2-6-0, and 0-4-0 in conference, the RedHawks have gone 3-0-1 for a total of 11 of 12 points in CCHA play the past 2 weekends. The opponents? @ Alaska and VS Michigan. Say what you will about Alaska, but the trek there is never easy. Also, Miami and Enrico Blasi have UofM's number as of late, scary.
The Miami offense is still somewhat anemic (2.33 GPG), but the defense has stepped up in back-to-back-to-back 2-1 wins, then the shootout win in the last game vs Michigan. The box score shows a little bit of a fight after the Friday game, so it's hard to actually adjust penalties, but it seems like the RedHawks are getting cleaner in their play.
Miami can get back into the thick of things with a sweep of Bowling Green this weekend, so RedHawk fans have a lot to look forward now if the hockey team can get back to their powerhouse form.
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
This absolutely kills me to write this. After starting the year 6-0-3, the best start since WMU first sponsored varsity hockey and they went 16 games unbeaten versus the likes of Henry Ford Community College, the Broncos have dropped 4 straight and are just looking, well, bad. The losses have came to Michigan, Michigan State (twice), and Notre Dame, but this is a Bronco team expected to be getting ready to compete in the HIGHLY competitive NCHC.
Western was 1 point out of first in the CCHA, and as high as #4 in the USCHO poll, and #3 in the Pairwise rankings, a formula used that best predicts how the NCAA seeds teams in the NCAA tourney. Western still stands at #10 in both polls, and #14 in the Pairwise, but they just lost last night to UND, so we'll see how far they fall.
The problem has seemingly been the power-play, where the Broncos are 2/35 since beating Alaska on October 21st. Just a lot of flat play has been seen too, and I have no idea where it's coming from (ie, allowing 2 breakaway goals that pretty much cost them the Friday game against MSU). Either way, Andy Murray must rally his troops as they only have 1 game left this month, the 2nd part of a weird home-and-home against #4 Notre Dame at Lawson next Tuesday.
This is the last update before finals, where I'll give out my 2.5 month awards and announce the mid-way MAC All-Conference team. Hey, since I'm one that sees it like this, I can do that.