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I Have Returned

Sorry about the lack of weekend postings. I was busy enough that I didn't try posting much, and when I did try posting, Blogger was messed up enough that I couldn't. There was a lot of great stuff in the college hockey blogosphere this weekend though. I'm not gonna link to all of it, but I recommend using the links on the sidebar and you should find some great stuff.

The season is still young, but there seem to be a few stories emerging in this college hockey season.

1. The WCHA's bottom-feeders are much better than expected.

Anchorage fans, this is an close to an apology as you're going to get from me: you're not as bad as I thought. I didn't pay much attention last weekend when they beat the eastern version of themselves in Merrimack, but they picked up a last-second 6-5 win over Alaska, and then tied the 'nooks on Saturday night. Freshmen Jon Olthuis got the start on Saturday and played a great game.

Michigan Tech had their second straight productive weekend. This time, they swept Icebreaker winner Vermont. Sophomore Robbie Nolan got his first career win on Saturday, which I have a tough time believing because he was pretty good last year, but that's what they tell me.

Minnesota State was another team that wasn't expected to do much this season, and in the first game of their two series this season, they've looked like that team. But they're clearly not Jewish because the Mavs definitely roll on Shabbos. The Mavs have more wins in the month of October than they won in the previous 5 Octobers combined and are sitting at .500 with two wins that are looking pretty good right now.

2. There looks to be some impact freshmen

Quite a few freshmen are dotting the list of leading scorers in the country, led by St. Cloud's Andreas Nodl and Minnesota's Jay Barriball with 8 points each. Following them is Alaska's Dion Knelsen, Notre Dame's Kevin Deeth, and Denver's Tyler Ruegsegger with 7 points.

As a bit of a corollary, Shattuck-St. Mary's is doing a great job of developing players to college hockey. That may seem like an obvious statement, but last year it was Jonathan Toews and Michael Gergen coming straight from Shattuck to college hockey and scoring double-digit goals. This season, Kyle Okposo and Kevin Deeth, who spent a year in the USHL after going to Shattuck are off to great starts, and more importantly, Tyler Ruegsegger and Zach Harrison, both of whom came straight from Shattuck, and who many people thought needed an extra year of juniors, are both off to excellent starts. Both players have already moved into solid spots on their team's second line.

3. The CCHA Isn't Any Clearer

Nobody has really emerged in the CCHA yet. All four conference series in the CCHA have ended in a split. The non-conference results haven't shown much either. Notre Dame looks to be good thanks to their blowout win over Boston College, and Ohio State, who is the only team under .500 in the conference, looks to be pretty weak after they were dismantled at home by Minnesota.