I spent my first full night of the college hockey season on my couch, rather than at the rink, so I had the opportunity to skim a bunch of games, rather than focusing in-depth on one game.
Here were a few thoughts I had as a surveyed the college hockey landscape tonight:
-I already covered Minnesota State and Minnesota Duluth more in-depth here. But I'll make the point about Duluth again: If a team scores four goals and only gives up 22 shots on goal in regulation, that should be a win 9.5 times out of 10. Duluth can skate with anybody, but it's not turning into wins like it should.
-Thanks to the Patriot League Network, I watched most of Colgate's 3-0 win over Northeastern. I continue to be extremely impressed with Colgate. The offensive isn't all that explosive, but it's really tough to get through their defense, and goalie Charlie Finn is exceptional should a team get through that defense. Northeastern matched them for the most part, but a mind-boggling defensive lapse led to Colgate's first goal, and the Raiders are a very difficult team to come back against.
-Notre Dame defeated Lake Superior 5-3, with an empty-netter tacked on late. That's no huge surprise, the Lakers are going to struggle this season. But I thought the NBCSN TV crew made an excellent point in that even though the Lakers were losing, this doesn't look like the same old Lakers team. They're playing a much more high-tempo, aggressive style, and when they get some new recruits in--and they've been picking up a lot--this is going to look like a much different team.
-Michigan got embarrassed on their home ice 5-1 against New Hampshire. They're only two games into the season, but after a rematch against New Hampshire tomorrow, the Wolverines head out east for tough road games against UMass Lowell and Boston University--both of whom look even better than expected early this season--and then they have two tricky road games against Michigan Tech. The Wolverines are in danger of digging themselves into a serious hole to start the season.
Post-game, Michigan head coach Red Berenson talked about defensive issues--no doubt a problem-- but Michigan didn't get on the board until late in the third period either. There appear to be big issues in Ann Arbor that aren't going to go away without asking some very difficult questions.
-Another good night for the WCHA in non-conference play, in addition MSU's win over an NCHC team, Northern Michigan shutout Big Ten team Wisconsin 2-0 in Green Bay in the type of game you should be thankful that you missed. Northern Michigan goalie Mathias Dahlstrom was only the third star of the game, and even that seems a stretch since he only needed to make 18 saves for his shutout. Ferris State also picked up an overtime win over St. Lawrence on the road.