A brief look how the WCHA did this weekend:
Friday: Minnesota 5 Michigan State1 Saturday: Minnesota 7 Michigan State 1
These games weren't even as close the final score indicated. Minnesota put up three goals in the first period on Friday, and four in the first period on Saturday. They scored seven goals on Saturday and only allowed 11 shots. Most impressive is that they had seven different goal scorers on Saturday, and no player had more than two points individually, showing off a level of depth that no other team in the WCHA has shown yet.
Thursday: Lake Superior 4 Michigan Tech 2 Saturday Michigan Tech 8 Lake Superior 4
The battle coming into this series would be whether Michigan Tech's offense could put up goals on Lake Superior's stout defense. It's pretty safe to say Michigan Tech struggled to do that on Friday night, scoring just two goals on 33 shots. But the Huskies offense exploded at home for eight goals, including five from their top line of Blake Pietila, Tanner Kero, and Milos Gordic.
Friday: Nebraska-Omaha 5 Army 1 Saturday Notre Dame 3 Nebraska-Omaha 2
Army isn't exactly a college hockey powerhouse, but heading into this game, I thought they had a pretty decent looking roster, and could give UNO a game, but UNO scored a couple quick goals early and was never really threatened. On Saturday, they went toe-to-toe with a very talented Notre Dame team, and came up just a bit short. All-in-all, I came out of the weekend with a better feeling about the Mavericks than I had coming into the weekend.
Friday: Minnesota-Duluth 6 Ohio State 2 Saturday Ohio State 3 Minnesota-Duluth
Duluth looked unstoppable after their convincing Friday night victory, and maybe the most convincing challenger to Minnesota in the WCHA. That excitement was tempered a bit with the loss on Saturday. The Bulldogs had to be encouraged however with the fact that Mike Seidel and Caleb Herbert seem to give them a legitimate first line, even with the departure of Jack Connolly last season.
Friday: Northern Michigan 2 Wisconsin 1 Saturday: Northern Michigan 4 Wisconsin 2
Yeesh. I thought the Badgers offense would be pretty solid this season because they'd be getting points from Mark Zengerle, Tyler Barnes, and Michael Mersch. I just didn't realize they'd all be coming on the same goal, like they did on Friday night. Northern Michigan is a sneaky tough team, but this was not a promising start to the season for the Badgers.
Friday: New Hampshire 5 St. Cloud 3 Saturday New Hampshire 4 St. Cloud 2
It's never great to start out the season with two straight losses, but St. Cloud did go on the road to play a pretty decent Hockey East team. Goalie Ryan Faragher's numbers were pretty ugly after this weekend, but I think it's tough to draw too many conclusions from this one. The Huskies should rebound with a home series against Alabama-Huntsville, and then they'll get a true test of where they stand with a tough run of WCHA games.
Friday: Minnesota State 4 Alabama-Huntsville 1 Saturday Minnesota State 2 Alabama-Huntsville 2
Conventional wisdom says that these should have been two easy wins for Minnesota State, and neither were. Still, it might be tough to judge because they were opening the season on the road against a team pretty that was pretty amped up for their one shot at playing a major team at home this season.Those results don't necessarily look a team that will challenge for home ice in the WCHA this year, but like St. Cloud, this may not be a representative example.
UAH goalie John Griggs made an impressive 51 saves to earn the tie, and almost steal a win on Saturday night.
Friday: Colorado College 5 Clarkson 4 Saturday Colorado College 5 Clarkson 4
Who knows how good Clarkson is, but it has to be reassuring to the Tigers to score 10 goals on the weekend after losing so much of their scoring last season. Colorado College had a 5-1 lead in the third period before almost giving it up by allowing three unanswered goals. The Tigers needed two goals in the third on Saturday for a come-from-behind win.
Friday Alaska-Anchorage 2 Canisius 0 Saturday Alaska-Anchorage 3 Air Force 3
They weren't exactly playing the cream of college hockey this weekend, but Air Force was expected to do big things in Atlantic Hockey this year, and the Seawolves will take any wins they can get. They've got a winning record, and somehow aren't the worst team in Alaska right now.