Week 18 is looking rather light around the Mitten. Three teams – Michigan, Michigan State and Northern Michigan – all have byes this weekend. But before we dive into the Week 18 preview, we will recap how the three listed above did.
- The losing streak is over! Michigan and Michigan State met up together for the first of two series this year and it was the Spartans taking care of business. They blanked the Wolverines 3-0 in Ann Arbor on Friday to snap a nine-game skid. The two rivals played to a 2-2 tie on Saturday in East Lansing, with Michigan getting the second point available via a 1-0 shootout win.
- As for Northern Michigan, they too had a very productive weekend at home against Alaska-Anchorage. The Wildcats potted a combined ten goals in their two wins over the Seawolves. Even with the sweep, they are still tied with Anchorage in the basement of the WCHA.
On to the preview!
FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS (8-15-4, 7-10-3 WCHA)
Ferris is coming off a hard-fought and fairly-even split on the road against conference leader Bemidji State, where each team exchanged five-goal outputs in their respective wins over the other last weekend. Among those finding the score sheet was Chad McDonald, who collected three points with two goals and an assist. Ferris’ top goal scorer and point-getter, Gerald Mayhew, potted his 13th on the year and added two assists, giving him 23 points.
Ferris is back home this weekend where they will host Bowling Green (13-14-2, 11-10-1 WCHA). The Falcons sit 3rd in the league with 35 points, behind only Michigan Tech and the aforementioned Beavers of Bemidji. We last saw them back in early December against Michigan Tech, when the Huskies swept them. They’ve played roughly .500 since then (5-4).
Ferris has a great chance to climb in the standings with limited WCHA action going on this weekend. Two of the teams they are chasing, Lake Superior State and Minnesota State, play each other this weekend. FSU trails LSSU by two points and by Alaska, who is off this week, by just one point. FSU and Bowling Green split in their first meeting earlier in the year.
- Fri, January 27 – 8:37 p.m. ET (can also be seen on ASN)
- Sat, January 28 – 7:07 p.m. ET
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE LAKERS (11-12-3, 8-9-3 WCHA)
An impressive showing from the Lakers last weekend as they total nine goals on the board in a sweep of Alabama-Huntsville at home. For one weekend, they recaptured some of that early-season scoring explosion and they’ll need to do it again this weekend.
As we already teased a little about it. LSSU hits the road this weekend down into Mankato to play Minnesota State (14-9-3, 10-7-3 WCHA). We saw the Mavericks just last weekend when they were up in Houghton playing Michigan Tech, where they played to a 4-4 tie (winning shootout, 1-0) before getting shut out 4-0 in the second game.
As we mentioned with FSU, this is a huge game in terms of standings in the WCHA. The Lakers would have to sweep the Mavericks just to put themselves in a tie with MSU in the conference positioning. It’ll be a tall order, because LSSU is just 3-9-2 away from Sault Ste. Marie this year. Mankato meanwhile is 8-3-2 at home. These two teams split way back in early November at Lake Superior.
- Fri, January 27 – 8:07 p.m. ET
- Sat, January 28 – 8:07 p.m. ET
MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES (15-9-6, 12-3-5 WCHA)
Michigan Tech got eight goals from five different players last weekend against Minnesota State. They got two goals each from three sources – senior Tyler Heinonen (5, 6), junior Alex Gillies (3, 4) and freshman Chris Gerrie (2, 3). Heinonen in particular is one of 12 Huskies with at least ten points on the season, speaking to their versatility and spreading of the wealth.
With Bemidji State off this weekend, 2nd-place Michigan Tech has a golden opportunity to close the game between themselves and the Beavers. They’ll have to do it on the road as they kick off a two-week road trip, starting with a series in Huntsville (7-17-2, 7-11-2 WCHA). As we just saw, the Chargers allowed nine goals to Lake Superior and like everyone, they too are vying for positioning in the standings. Every game counts as the conference tournament draws near.
Michigan Tech can not look ahead to next weekend’s series at Bemidji State, they must take care of business first. They’ll be facing a Chargers team that has lost six straight and a team they beat earlier in the season at home (five out of six points back on Oct. 14-15).
- Fri, January 27 – 8:07 p.m. ET
- Sat, January 28 – 8:07 p.m. ET
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS (13-6-3, 7-6-1 NCHC)
Welcome to the top 10, Western! With a sweep of Colorado College last weekend and losses by some teams in front of them, the Broncos have found themselves in the USCHO Top 10 polls.
Now with a clear target on their back and the season slowly drawing to a close, Western will have to continue to stay poised and confident to further prove themselves to their opposition in the league. But no doubt it’s been a remarkable bounce-back season for head coach Andy Murray and his Broncos. Murray’s team will travel down into Ohio this weekend and play Miami (8-10-6, 4-6-4 NCHC).
The last time we saw Miami on the docket was when these two last played one another back in the first week of November at Kalamazoo. The Broncos swept them that weekend, outscoring them 11-5 in the two games. That was in the midst of a ten-game streak for the RedHawks where they did not earn a win in regulation or overtime. They answered that skid with a five-game winning streak but are 0-2-1 in their last three.
A brief look into the NCHC standings. Western is in 3rd place with 23 points, 12 behind conference leader Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs are out of conference this weekend playing in the annual in-state North Star College Cup, as is St. Cloud State (6th place – 19 points). Meanwhile, second-place Denver (29 points) is hosting fourth-place Omaha (22 points) this weekend. And fifth-place North Dakota (20 points) is playing at last-place Colorado College this weekend. It’s a big weekend for the Broncos for sure.
- Fri, January 27 – 7 p.m. ET (can also be seen on CBS Sports Network)
- Sat, January 28 – 7:05 p.m. ET
2016-17 DSN MICHIGAN COLLEGE HOCKEY POWER RANKINGS
[Last week’s ranking]
- Western Michigan 
- Michigan Tech 
- Lake Superior St. 
- Ferris State 
- Michigan 
- Northern Michigan 
- Michigan State 
TEAM BROADCAST INFORMATION
|FERRIS STATE||97.3 FM WDEE||WCHA.tv|
|LAKE SUPERIOR STATE||99.5 FM WYSS||WCHA.tv|
|MICHIGAN||1050 AM WTKA||MGoBlueTV|
|MICHIGAN STATE||1240 AM WJIM||Spartan Sports Network|
|MICHIGAN TECH||93.5 FM WKMJ||WCHA.tv|
|NORTHERN MICHIGAN||1003. FM WUPT||WCHA.tv|
|WESTERN MICHIGAN||96.5 FM WKZO||NCHC.tv|