Week 23: WCHA Tournament begins; Top 10 showdown in Kalamazoo

**All team information provided by either USCHO or CollegeHockeyNews
**All team broadcast information can be viewed at the end of the article


FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS (13-17-5, 12-12-4 WCHA)

It’s postseason time in college hockey. Four conference tournaments get underway this weekend, including the WCHA. It’s a three week event between the top 8 teams in the conference, with the winners of each weekend series advancing.

For Ferris State, they finished 5th in the league. So they will be playing their quarterfinal series match-up on the road this weekend against Bowling Green, who finished just ahead of the Bulldogs.

Both teams come in playing good hockey. FSU has won three of four, while BGSU has won three straight. The two met not too long ago in the last weekend of January, splitting the series at Ferris.

  • Game 1: Fri, March 3 | 7:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 2: Sat, March 4 | 7:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: Sun, March 5 | 7:07 p.m. ET (if necessary)

LAKE SUPERIOR STATE LAKERS (11-16-7, 8-13-7 WCHA) @ MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES (18-13-7, 15-7-6 WCHA)

After opening the year winning six of their first seven, the Lakers finished the year well under the .500 mark. They are also limping into the playoffs, having not picked up a win in regulation or overtime since January 21.

Nevertheless, they garnered enough points in conference play to finish 7th overall, and now have to travel up to Houghton and play No. 2 Michigan Tech, who more than took care of business in the WCHA this year. However, they too have not played well as of late, losing four of their last six.

These two met just once earlier in the year, way back in mid-November. The Huskies swept the Lakers that weekend, a series that also took place at Michigan Tech. Something’s got to give this weekend for either team.

  • Game 1: Fri, March 3 | 7:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 2: Sat, March 4 | 7:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: Sun, March 5 | 7:07 p.m. ET (if necessary)

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (10-17-3, 3-11-4 Big Ten)

Michigan was finally able to stop the bleeding. After going six straight games without a win of any kind, seven games allowing four goals or more, the Wolverines pitched a 1-0 shutout at Ohio State in the second game last weekend.

Back in the win column and back home in Ann Arbor, that leaves Michigan with two more series before the Big Ten Tournament. First up is a date with (5) Minnesota (21-9-2, 12-4 Big Ten), who split with Wisconsin last weekend to maintain their 3-point lead over the Badgers in the standings.

The Gophers have been among the hotter teams as of late, having won 10 of their 14 games this calendar year. Michigan will be looking to avoid a season sweep after Minnesota downed them in Minneapolis back in mid-January, outscoring the Wolverines 9-4 in the two games.

  • Fri, March 3 | 6:35 p.m. ET (Can also be seen on ESPNews)
  • Sat, March 4 | 8:35 p.m. ET (Can also be seen on Big Ten Network)

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (6-21-3, 2-12-2 Big Ten)

Like Michigan, the Spartans are having major difficulties trying to maneuver through a gauntlet conference like the Big Ten. Playing a Tournament-caliber team week in and week out can be lethal for both the Wolverines and Spartans.

Two more losses for MSU last weekend in their home finale against Penn State bumps their losing skid to four straight. Now they travel to Columbus this weekend to play (13) Ohio State (17-9-6, 8-7-2 Big Ten), whom kicked off this MSU losing streak just two weeks ago in East Lansing.

Perhaps Michigan State will perform better to close out the season. They are 4-6-1 in true road games this year… not great, but far better than their home record of 2-13-1.

  • Fri, March 3 | 7:05 p.m. ET
  • Sat, March 4 | 8:05 p.m. ET

NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS (12-20-4, 10-15-3 WCHA)

If not for a strong push to end the season, captivated by a win in the regular season finale against Michigan Tech, there is no chance that Northern Michigan is participating in the WCHA Tournament this weekend.

The Wildcats finished 8-3-2 over their final 13 games played, using that 5-3 win over the Huskies last Saturday to lock down the No. 8 seed in the conference tournament. So the good news is they are in. The bad news? They now travel to play top-seeded Bemidji State (20-13-3, 20-6-2 WCHA).

The Beavers come in winners in four of their last six games overall and have a season sweep of the Wildcats. But both of the previous meetings took place before Thanksgiving, so it will be interesting to see how NMU fares this go-round.

  • Fri, March 3 | 8:07 p.m. ET
  • Sat, March 4 | 8:07 p.m. ET

WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS (19-8-5, 12-8-2 NCHC)

After picking up four out of a possible six points last weekend on the road against Colorado College, the stage is set for Western Michigan at home in their regular season finale this weekend.

In comes No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth (20-5-7, 14-4-4 NCHC), who has not suffered a loss in regulation or overtime since January 13. It will be the second meeting head-to-head between these two, the first ended in a split up in Duluth back in mid-November.

Both teams are locked into their respective spots in the conference standings. Duluth is in 2nd place, 10 points back of first-place Denver and 10 points clear of third-place Western Michigan. The Broncos are 10 points ahead of both North Dakota and Omaha, who will surely be scoreboard watching this weekend to see who finishes in 4th place.

Western will obviously have the home ice advantage, posting an 11-2-3 record in Kalamazoo this year. But Duluth has been one of the better road teams this season, going 9-1-3 away from Duluth.

  • Fri, March 3 | 7:05 p.m. ET
  • Sat, March 4 | 7:05 p.m. ET

2016-17 DSN MICHIGAN COLLEGE HOCKEY POWER RANKINGS

[Last week’s ranking]

  1. Western Michigan [1]
  2. Michigan Tech [2]
  3. Ferris State [3]
  4. Northern Michigan [4]
  5. Lake Superior [5]
  6. Michigan [7]
  7. Michigan State [6]

TEAM BROADCAST INFORMATION

RADIO INTERNET
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