A quick recap of the first weekend of the season...
What Was Good
Alaska-The Nanooks started the season off with two wins, including a 2-0 shutout of Michigan, which is nice, but was a non-conference game, so it doesn't help them in the league standings. I had mentioned Alaska goalie Scott Greenham has a potential darkhorse for CCHA goalie of the year this year, and he's started off on the right foot, with a 0.50 GAA and .977 save percentage after the first weekend of the season. He's now got three shutouts in six career starts.
Michigan State-Say whatever you want about Clarkson, but the Spartans managed to score 10 goals on the weekend in their sweep over the Golden Knights, after only scoring 62 goals all of last season. Also, Corey Tropp mananged to avoid doing anything that probably should have landed him in prison, which is more than you can say about the previous time he dressed for MSU.
North Dakota and Minnesota State-Both were matched up against weaker non-conference opponents and took care of business and swept their respective series. North Dakota doesn't see another Hockey East opponent this year, so that perfect record could help in the Common Opponents category in some key PWR comparisons.
Bowling Green's goaltending-The young Bowling Green team looked completely undermanned and overmatched this past weekend, but one positive sign for the program was the play of goalies Nick Eno and Andrew Hammond. Both goalies finished the weekend with a save percentage above .900. Previous starter Jimmy Spratt never finished a season with a save percentage above .900, which really hurt the program. If the Falcons can get solid goaltending that keeps their team in games while their young team finds itself, they could steal some points and avoid being a doormat this season.
Colorado College-They only got a split, at home, and who knows where Northeastern is at post-Brad Thiessen, but they weren't the trainwreck that some were predicting.
Miami-They almost had to sweep this series. It would have been bad for the CCHA if one of the Big 3 took a loss to a mid-pack WCHA team on their home ice.
Nebraska-Omaha-They picked up their first two wins of the season. I have no idea how good those wins are, but some people seemed to think Lowell would be special this year, so that could be a nice win.
Alabama-Huntsville-I don't know how much their win Friday means, since I don't think too many people doubted their ability to steal the occasional game from just about anybody, but you can't help but smile when you look at that score.
What Wasn't So Good
Denver-On a sarcastic note, there goes the undefeated season the greatest team ever assembled. On a serious note, 10 goals, even to a very good team, has to be a cause for concern.
Ohio State-They returned a lot from a team that went to the NCAA tournament and got swept at home by Quinnipiac.
Northern Michigan-Same old Northern Michigan start, losing their third straight game to Michigan Tech.
St. Cloud's offense-A tough opponent, but still not a very good weekend.
WCHA officials timeouts- I was initially in favor, if not ambivalent about this rule change, but in practice, the results seemed to drag down the pace of the game a lot. If they're spaced out every five minutes like planned, it's maybe not bad, but it never works out that way with the amount of penalties that are called.
No names on WCHA referee jerseys-I guess I lost a bet that some of those clowns wouldn't be employed if it wasn't for the name on the back of their jersey. At least I broke even by taking the under on Dean Blais making his first goaltending switch within 30 minutes of his first game as UNO head coach.