In bullet form...
-There was one real game over the weekend. Michigan blew a 4-0 lead at home and ended up tying Mercyhurst. Giving up three straight even strength goals in the third period highlights one of my bigger concerns about the team. Their defense is packed with talented, fluid skaters, but doesn't really have a shut down defensive presence they can rely on late, and they don't have the goaltending capable of bailing them out. Jon Merrill is perhaps potentially that guy, but he was a -2 in the third period on Saturday.
-One of the few teams to lose this weekend to a CIS school was Ferris State, who lost for the second consecutive year to a Canadian school. They lost 3-2 to Ontario Institute of Technology, despite outshooting the Fighting Tech Support 53-24. This year's loss was a little different in that it wasn't a third-string-never-gonna-play goalie giving up key goals. But the Bulldogs goaltending duo of Pat Nagle and Taylor Nelson should be fine. The bigger concern was replacing the scoring they lost to graduation from last season, and two goals on 53 shots seems concerning.
-Denver Post writer Mike Chambers learned from last year's mistake of declaring Denver the greatest team ever before they stepped on the ice, and made it all the way until after their first exhibition, a cakewalk against the NTDP team, to declare that all concerns were alleviated, and cast his Hobey vote for Jason Zucker. In a fate befitting that sort of hubris, the Pioneers were dominated the following night by Lethbridge--a team that managed just 11 shots the night before in a 5-1 drubbing against Colorado College.
-If you really want to draw comparisons between two rivals based on how they did against bad teams on back-to-back nights, Michigan Tech beat Nipissing in a relatively close 5-3 game, and then Nipissing lost 11-0 the next night to Northern Michigan. Alaska beat Windsor 9-0 on Thursday, including a second period where they outshot Windsor 20-0. Alaska-Anchorage needed an empty-net goal for a 4-1 win, though Windsor managed just nine shots total. I wouldn't draw too much from those, other than that the Canadian schools are pretty bad.
-One of the only interesting things about playing these terrible Canadian schools is seeing some familiar names--familiar in that we were told college hockey could not possibly exist without them--show up on the rosters of said terrible teams. Ontario IT's Steve Spade, Western Ontario's Josh Unice, Windsor's Christian Steingraber, Wilfrid Laurier's Ryan Bellows; all kids that were supposedly crushing losses for college hockey, and now here they are, younger than many US college hockey players, and their competitive hockey careers are essentially over. What's even sadder is that these kids are probably among the winners of the group, being in the roughly 30% that actually collects on their education package, since the majority of CHL players get neither a sustained NHL career nor their college education paid for.