MAC Hockey Open Thread Round Two

We are back at Lawson Ice Arena tonight for Ice Duchenne Weekend

Greetings everyone! We are gonna give this another go to see if we gave this some publicity earlier in the week, then maybe we'll get a few of you to join in. We are again live from Lawson Ice Arena because quite frankly, its a 10 minute walk for me versus a 3 hr drive to Bowling Green or 5 hr drive to Oxford, plus hotel expenses. Plus I have the pass for Western games, so this is my only option (for now).

This is the first, and only, time the Ohio State Buckeyes and Western Michigan Broncos will meet this year. Both teams come into this game with struggles: WMU with offensive struggles, OSU with winning problems. Western has had 1st place on the past 2 Fridays, only to give it away the very next day to the bottom 2 teams in the CCHA. Ohio State has yet to win a game in 2012. Ding ding.

The Lawson Lunatics will come with their added venom for this series. Since most students grew up MSU or Michigan fans, hating Ohio (and Notre Dame) comes with the territory.

Again, the live radio feed can be found here. The video is subscription based, and will post the link in the comments.

This is first Ice Duchenne Weekend at WMU, and across the CCHA. It is in support of those with Duchenne's, a form of muscular dystrophy that hits home in the form of Bronco assistant coach Rob Facca's 4-year old son Louie. For more information, and to either bid on some GREAT auction items, or just donate, please click here.

Other MAC game notes and stuff after the jump, join the fun tonight!

UPDATE: We are back for the Saturday game. Just look for the line in the comments to see where to start

Now time to go in depth for our games.

We start in Oxford, OH, where the Miami RedHawks take on the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers. I won't go too far with this series as UAH is so bad that Miami SHOULD sweep easily. This won't improve their NCAA chances too much, but a loss could hurt them. The UAH story is actually very compelling. Their program was set to be cut at the end of the year after they couldn't find a conference in the whirlwind that was this summer/fall, but after some loving support, I believe their program was saved. I'll look into finding their articles if you are interested.

Next we head to Bowling Green where the Falcons are taking on the Northern Michigan Wildcats in a battle of low-ranked CCHA teams. NMU was as high as 4th in the Pairwise (the best NCAA tourney predicting rating), but has since fallen hard, yet is still t-13th in the Pairwise. Bowling Green has been .500 in conference play since Jan 1st, and looks to continue to ruin teams' chances, as Alaska could overtake NMU to move out of 10th for the first time since November (I think). Nothing much more to that series than lower seeding jockeying.

Now for the big one. Here in Kalamazoo, the 2nd placed WMU Broncos take on the t-4th OSU squad who held 1st place most of the season before struggling all this year. Ohio State has been so bad, they haven't even won a shoot-out either. But don't sleep on the Buckeyes, who are led by Senior goaltender Cal Heeter, who was red-hot the first half of the season. Western looks to find their offense, led mostly by Sophomore forward Chase Balisy, who after scoring a goal in 5 straight games has just an assist in the last 6, with the Broncos going 2-4-0 in that span.

This series is big for both teams, who not only are looking to keep their CCHA Regular Season Title hopes alive, but want to keep 1st round byes alive. We'll be reporting other key scores as they come in, and tell you how each affects the mess that is the CCHA.

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