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Catching Up

There was a lot going on this weekend, and a lot of it was pretty important now that we're getting down to the end of the season. Here are my thoughts on the weekend.

Curse you, fate! After I had basically annointed Wisconsin this year's WCHA champion, Hobey Baker candidate Brian Elliott went down with some sort of leg injury and will miss a few weeks of games.

Freshmen goalie Shane Connelly took over for Elliott, and performed as well as one could hope for the Badgers. I still think that losing Elliott hurt Wisconsin's psyche as much as anything. Wisconsin wasn't nearly as confident with Connelly playing behind them and I think it showed in getting swept by Denver.

Now things get a little dicey for the Badgers. They essentially gave up 8 points to Minnesota last weekend after the Gophers swept Colorado College. If Minnesota is able to sweep the Badgers next weekend in Madison, there's a very likely possibility that they could finish first in the league.

One of the big questions is whether Brian Elliott should still be considered for the Hobey Baker award even if he misses 4-5 weeks with his injury. It's hard enough for a goalie to win the Hobey. but with Elliott missing 8-10 games down the stretch, I think it's going to be practically impossible for him to win it. It may not be fair, because when he's healthy, he is one of the best players in the country, but that's the way it's probably going to be.

As for the rest of the WCHA, it looks like the more things change, the more they stay the same. The general consensus was that Wisconsin, Minnesota, Denver, Colorado College, and North Dakota would be in the top 5 in the league and everyone else would be left fighting for the scraps. That conventional logic looked questionable last weekend, but with North Dakota and Denver both getting 4 points this weekend, they should be in pretty comfortable position as long as they don't have a couple terrible weekends.

The CCHA is still very confusing. The league race was already tight to begin with, but on Saturday, every team in bottom half of the league beat a team in the top half of the league, except for Western Michigan who lost to first place Miami.

Miami is in pretty good shape to finish first in the league. Everything after that is a complete crapshoot though, and it's impossible to predict who will win on any given night so there's no way to guess how the standings will end up.

There was quite a bit of recruiting news over the weekend too.

Academy of Holy Angels took on Hill-Murray in Minnesota high school hockey. They've seperated themselves as the two best high school hockey teams in the state, but three periods of hockey and an overtime couldn't settle who deserves the title of top team in the state. Holy Angels' Cameron Cooper scored late to tie the game. Minnesota recruit Mike Hoeffel had a goal and an assist for Hill-Murray. Another Gopher recruit, Jay Barriball had to leave the game when he suffered a concussion in the second period.

It's being rumored that Holy Angels forward Taylor Matson will be committing to Minnesota any day now, which doesn't come as much of a surprise.

Michigan State got more than a split in Omaha this weekend. They also picked up Omaha Lancers forward Nick Schepke. Schepke is having a very good season with the Lancers.

It's also being reported that Moorhead forward Jordy Christian has committed to St. Cloud.