Two weeks ago, the Boston University Terriers split a home and home series with then-No. 1 Boston College. However, since UNH lost, the BC Eagles regained their No. 1 ranking in the latest USCHO.com poll. This week in college hockey, there are not many games on schedule, as many teams take a break for the holidays.
No. 7 Western Michigan at Michigan: Prior to last year, the Michigan Wolverines had made the past 21 NCAA Frozen Four Tournaments. This year, Michigan has been struggling to win games. This series at Yost Arena is a battle of opposites dating back to November 2nd. Michigan has only beaten two teams (vs. Michigan State, vs. Bowling Green) and Western Michigan has only lost two games (at Notre Dame, at Alaska). If Michigan wants to make a statement in the CCHA, they need to do so this weekend against a No. 7 ranked Broncos team. This game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Net at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
No. 5 Miami (OH) at Ohio State: Ohio State has been steadily improving on the year. The Buckeyes’ top five scorers are all underclassmen and are still developing within the system. However, they’re not playing against just any team. While Miami is coming off a loss to Lake Superior, they are still deadly. Forward Riley Barber has been proving that the Capitals stole him in the draft by posting a measly 19 points in only 16 games played. However, the Buckeyes could split this series at home.
No. 3 Notre Dame at Bowling Green: Remember last week when I said Mario Lucia would have an impact? Yeah, the kid put up three points against MSU last week and was all over the ice. This week, he’ll do it again. Notre Dame wins on the road, nuff said.
Colorado College at No. 17 St. Cloud State: Both squads have been in and out of the top 20 all year. After a shortened season last year, senior Drew Leblanc has already scored 21 points for St. Cloud. However, the story of this series will be which goaltender shows up for St. Cloud. Ryan Faragher has been inconsistent this season. He has a record of 8-6-0 with a 2.44. The key to the series? Don’t let up more than three goals. When doing so, Faragher is 1-5.
GAME OF THE WEEK No. 20 Minnesota State at No. 13 Nebraska-Omaha: The battle of the Mavericks is the only ranked matchup of the week. Minnesota State heads into Omaha for a two game series. Nebraksa-Omaha has been on a tear since early November, only losing to Minnesota and St. Cloud. Its resume has been very impressive this year. The Mavericks have beaten the Gophers on their home ice, they have swept UMD, and played Notre Dame very tough earlier in the season. I like what Omaha has done on the year and expect them to continue to be a strong team as the year goes on. However, Minnesota State is on a roll of its own, sweeping its last 3 opponents. One of the best names in college hockey JPL (Jean-Paul Lafontaine) has been a top scorer for State, but I still think Omaha tendy John Faulkner continues his amazing season and sweeps.