Welcome to #wouldwatch, a weekly-ish feature whenever I remember, or have time, chronicling this week’s college hockey TV games, plus the best non-televised game AKA the one I would watch.
We’ve been a little spoiled, college hockey. Two straight weeks featuring a televised #1 vs. #2 match-up will do that to you. Having Notre Dame and Boston College play a fantastic game on NBCSN, Wisconsin coming back from an early deficit to Michigan on ESPNEWS, and a pair of 4-2 games between Minnesota and Michigan State on BTN in addition to UMD-DU gives everyone across the country a game or two to enjoy on the old television.
This week? Ummm...let’s get to the televised games.
College Hockey on TV: (All Times Local)
7:00 pm CT Minnesota Duluth at Bemidji State (LPTV/TPT MN locally)
Yeesh! No televised games unless you’re in Minnesota. Every contest could be a “would watch.”
In fairness, most schools are off this weekend for finals. Only six D1 men’s hockey series are being played. However, there are some intriguing series which I would choose to watch on TV if the option were available.
HM: Bemidji State vs Minnesota Duluth (Friday-Saturday)
Although the series gets knocked out of the top spot due to technically being broadcast, I’m interested in seeing if the Beavers can continue its recent success against UMD. Not even a power outage at AMSOIL Arena stopped Bemidji State from taking both games last season. Two seasons ago BSU upset a NCAA Tournament-bound UMD team in the North Star College Cup. (The Beavers went on to win the tournament.)
This year’s Bemidji team is better than both of those two, however, you can say the same about Minnesota Duluth as well. The Bulldogs are the #1 team in the nation according to the polls, sporting an 11-3-2 record with one of the toughest schedules. Either way two games between the WCHA and NCHC’s best sounds like a good way to spend the weekend.
#2 Arizona State at UMass (Friday-Saturday)
On paper this seems like it would be a good series between a pair of coaches named Greg. Greg Carvel is in the first year rebuilding the Minutemen back to national prominence. Greg Powers and ASU are in their second year of Division 1 play. The Sun Devils, playing an all-NCAA schedule for the first time, have already matched last year’s win total while UMass (4-10-2) has had some quality home wins (Notre Dame, Army).
#1 Minnesota State at Princeton (Friday-Saturday)
Princeton is a sweep of Minnesota State away from reaching a turnaround you’d only see in a Disney movie. Winless at Thanksgiving, the Tigers have six wins in seven games since stuffing their faces with turkey. That includes a road sweep over aforementioned Bemidji State and a home-and-home sweep of Quinnipiac.
Minnesota State makes the trek to historic Hobey Baker rink tied for third in the WCHA (although 20 points behind the Beavers with 2 games in hand - games are worth 3 points). The Mavericks haven’t swept a series since opening the year 4-0. Ending the first half with a nonconference win or two (to add to ones against Minnesota and SCSU) would help for the second half WCHA stretch run.
Put the two teams together and #wouldwatch.
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate