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Friday Recap

Some questionable officiating decisions helped to make this a very good night of college hockey, and set up tomorrow as a huge night for a lot of teams.

The most controversial decision came from referee Steve McInchak who decided to disallow a Michigan State goal that clearly went through the net, proving once again that even video replay can't save officials from their own incompetence. Why is McInchak even assigned to these games? In my opinion, either Steve Piotrowski or one of the Shegos clan should be assigned to every Michigan/MSU game.

The disallowed goal would have put MSU up 2-0. Instead, Michigan tied the game up at one later that period and the score stayed that way the rest of the game for the tie. Michigan State really could have used that extra point to help them stay ahead of Michigan.

It's been a tough week for Michigan State fans in regards to officiating. On Wednesday, they lost to Michigan in basketball thanks to heavy foul disparity in Michigan's favor. It almost makes me feel sorry for Michigan State except for three things:

1. Eddie Brown is a cheater.
2. Larry Stevens was held on the final play of the Spartan Bob game.
3. What is an official going to do to a Michigan State fan that life hasn't already done?

Crazy call #2 was made by WCHA official Randy Schmidt in the North Dakota/St. Cloud game, who allowed the Huskies first goal to stand, despite the protests of Sioux fans. The Huskies scored the game-winning goal when a puck deflected off of Sioux defenseman Taylor Chorney's skate and past the UND goalie.

This puts the Huskies in an interesting position now. They needed to come out of this weekend with some points. Now that they've got at least two points secured, they can go out tomorrow night and try for the sweep. A sweep of the Sioux would put the Huskies in a position that they could finish as high as fourth place in the league. They certainly seem like a team on a roll, and with Bobby Goepfert in goal, there's no telling how far they could go.

The biggest game of the night was probably Minnesota's 5-4 victory over Wisconsin at the Kohl Center. A big second period put the Gophers up 5-1, but Wisconsin came out flying in the third period and closed the gap to 5-4. Referee Todd Anderson made some tough calls against Wisconsin in the third period though that put them shorthanded,and while the Gophers didn't do anything with the powerplay, it really took away the momentum they had.

With the Gophers win, the WCHA race has become quite exciting. I'll go record as saying that the winner of tomorrow night's game will be the WCHA regular season champion. I still don't think that the Badgers have the confidence to think they can win without Brian Elliott, but the third period tonight should give them a little momentum to take into tomorrow night. Gopher goalie Kellen Briggs looked extremely shaky in the third, and the Gophers seemed relieved to get the win tonight. I think Wisconsin will rebound and get the win tomorrow night.

Tonight's "Anybody on Any Night" game in the CCHA was Western Michigan upsetting Northern Michigan 4-2. Northern Michigan isn't in great PWR position right now, and it's going to be hard to get much better if they keep losing games they could win.

Lake Superior continued to play solid hockey with a dominating 6-1 win over Bowling Green. One interesting note is that despite being so badly outplayed, BGSU only took two penalties the entire game. If you're getting blown out that badly, at least consider trying to cheat.

Mankato beat Duluth at the DECC tonight. 8th defenseman Blake Friesen stepped in for suspended defenseman Steve Wagner and Brent Cummings and scored his first collegiate goal. Duluth is certainly struggling right now, after having lost 5 straight league games. Their freshmen continue to be extremely dangerous though.

For Mankato, they have to pretty much win out, except for their series against Wisconsin, to really have a shot at home ice. Getting a sweep in Duluth would give them some nice momentum and at least keep them in the hunt for another week or so. One of the keys will be providing enough help for goalie Dan Tormey. Right now, Tormey is stopping most everything except rebounds and breakaways where he is left out to dry. Now that Mankato has increased their scoring, if they quit leaving Tormey out to dry, they just may be able to challenge for home ice.

Miami beat Ferris State, which helped keep them out of trouble in the CCHA race. No should catch them. They just need to worry about hanging onto their first seed in the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State beat Notre Dame 1-0 tonight. The game was good news for some teams and bad for others. Notre Dame is hanging around the .500 RPI mark and there are some teams that would love to add them to their teams under consideration record in the PWR.

There's two games in Alaska right now. UAA and Denver are tied at 1 after one period, and UNO is beating UAF 3-1 after one period. This could be Omaha's first ever win in Fairbanks.