It was a pretty quiet weekend in the college hockey world, as evidenced by the fact that on Saturday night, instead of poring through box scores and game recaps, I was looking up how many teams have fish mascots in the ECHL--a surprising four--and also as evidenced by the fact that perhaps the two most intriguing games of the weekend were actually exhibitions.
The US World Junior team played their first exhibition game on Sunday and tied RPI, before falling in a 12-round shootout. Looking at the US lineup, the players that didn't play may have been more interesting than who did play. Charlie Coyle and Jon Merrill were the only two non-returning players that didn't dress, among a handful of other returners, which would seem to cement their status on the team. I don't know that either is a surprise, but interesting nonetheless. The two US goalies split the game, with Andy Iles playing the second half and the shootout. I was leaning towards keeping Chris Brown off the final roster, but he picked up two goals in yesterday's game. Video of all the game's goals can be found here.
If you're not sick of all the World Juniors coverage here, the United States of Hockey blog is still doing a great job of covering the tournament, and there's some great Twitter options as well to keep up with things, including @USAH_AlexClark and @JulieRobenhymer.
Meanwhile, in Grand Forks, a North Dakota missing Derek Forbort took on an Under-18 team missing Rocco Grimaldi, with both at the World Juniors tryout. The U-18 was actually so shorthanded they had to borrow a line of forwards from the Alexandria Blizzard of the NAHL to round out their roster. The game was a pretty ho-hum affair, scoreless through two periods, before North Dakota broke through with a couple goals. The U18s scored very late to make it a one goal game, but it never was really that close. I only caught bits and pieces on TV, but nothing drastically changed my opinions from when I saw the U18s two weekends ago.
Results from real games played this weekend after the jump.
After some rough points this season, Colorado College picked up a solid split against Nebraska-Omaha over the weekend, and head into the midway point of the WCHA schedule in fifth place, and looking like they'll play the second half of the year on the NCAA tourney bubble.
The Tigers were hurt by playing with top scorer Jaden Schwartz, who will play on the Canadian World Junior team, but were helped in their Saturday win when six straight penalties were called against Nebraska-Omaha over an 11-minute period during the second period. All told, power plays ended up 11-2 in Colorado Colleges' favor, with UNO taking nine straight penalties at one point.
Getting away from conference play couldn't even help Michigan Tech. They lost 6-2 to Northern Michigan on Friday night to run their losing streak to 11 straight games.
Western Michigan picked up a home sweep over Union. Union is surprisingly good, despite being Union, according to the early season RPI numbers. They're currently 10th in the RPI, making those two pretty solid wins for Western, and the CCHA as a whole.