CCHA conference play opened up this weekend with five conference series, and four of them ended with both teams taking home points. Six teams are currently tied for third place in the league. This is going to be a fun final season of the CCHA, and a very tight race, especially in the middle of the pack.
Notre Dame 5 Northern Michigan 2
Notre Dame 3 Northern Michigan 2
Notre Dame walked away with the only sweep of the weekend for a huge six points on the road. Not many teams are going to be able to do that against Northern Michigan this year, especially in Marquette, so this could be huge for Notre Dame in terms of the CCHA title race.
The most positive sign for Notre Dame so far is that they're not just relying on their two big scorers in TJ Tynan and Anders Lee. Eleven different players have scored a goal this year, out of 17 total goals for the Irish, and no player has more than two goals.
Michigan 4 Miami 2
Miami 4 Michigan 3
Miami got a bit shook up on Friday night when starting goalie Ryan McKay only made it five minutes into the game before leaving with an injury.
On Friday, Michigan got a big two-goal third period that was the difference in the game. On Saturday, Michigan melted down in the third period, turning a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit in just under a three minute span.
Michigan freshman goalie Jared Rutledge got the start on Saturday, meaning he's now been in net for both of Michigan's losses. It might be some time before he gets an opportunity to get back into net.
Lake Superior 3 Michigan State 2
Michigan State 4 Lake Superior 2
Michigan State finally pulled out a win on Saturday after losing three straight in Lake Superior. The biggest news out of this series was that Lake Superior starting goalie Kevin Kapalka left Friday's game with a shoulder injury. We should find out later this week just how serious it is. Kapalka was expected to play nearly every minute of action for the Lakers this season, and is one of the best goalies in the league.
Ferris State 6 Alaska 3
Alaska 3 Ferris State 2
Ferris State went down 2-0 early in Friday's game, but rallied back in the first period, and ended up pulling away from the Nanooks in the second period. Saturday's game was tied at 2 until Alaska's Tyler Morley scored the game-winning goal with just 50 seconds left in regulation.
It's still early, and one game can skew the numbers, but after years of incredibly steady goal tending, Alaska looks like they could have some concerns in goal. None of their three goalies as a save percentage above .900 right now. For a team that isn't going to be able to run-and-gun with teams, they're going to need better numbers out of their goalies.
Ohio State 1 Bowling Green 0
Bowling Green 3 Ohio State 3 BGSU wins shootout
Ryan Dzingel opened the scoring with a goal eight minutes into the game on Friday, and Brady Hjelle made it stand up with a 25-save shutout.
Bowling Green starting goalie Andrew Hammond wasn't able to play due to injury, but back-up Tommy Burke had a pretty good weekend. Bowling Green was tied for second in the CCHA last year in shootout wins, and if they're going to finish higher in the league standings than they did last year, getting those extra points will be a key.