Last weekend was an exciting one for college hockey in the mitten with eight of the 12 games featuring the state’s seven Division I programs being decided by just one goal.
We now turn our attention to Week 18 and the final weekend in January. Only six of the seven mitten-made hockey clubs will be playing this week; Michigan State (9-16-1) has a bye. The Spartans were a part of those close calls last weekend, dropping both games to (13) Minnesota in one-goal nail-biters.
MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES at FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS
RECAP: Ferris State (10-17-1) was in the minority of the games played involving teams from the mitten. The Bulldogs mustered just one goal in two games at home against Bemidji State. Conversely for Michigan Tech (13-9-5) exploded for a total of nine goals in a sweep at home against Alaska.
UP NEXT: These two teams resume their rivalry, wrapping up the season series this weekend in Big Rapids. They split the first two games up in Houghton back in early December. Ferris will be itching to get back on track, having lost nine of their last ten games played. Meanwhile, Tech will look to keep their potent offense going, they’ve tallied 4+ goals in four of their last six.
PLAYER TO WATCH: FSU freshman Lucas Finner was responsible for the team’s only goal last weekend against Bemidji. It was just his second of the season in 18 games played, and first since November 2, 2017, at Michigan. And MTU freshman defenseman Mitch Meek recorded his first multi-goal and multi-point game of his career in Friday’s 5-2 win over the Nanooks.
SCHEDULE: Friday (01/26) and Saturday (01/27) | 7:07 p.m. ET
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE LAKERS
RECAP: Lake Superior (6-18-4) was the victim of two losses decided by a single goal, dropping both games at North Michigan by identical 3-2 outcomes. Perhaps more disappointing, they were both games in which they held early 1-0 first-period leads. The Lakers are now 1-9-3 away from home.
UP NEXT: LSSU returns home to Sault Ste. Marie where they have marginally been better this year. They will welcome in (15) Bowling Green (14-8-6), who is coming off a sweep of Alaska-Anchorage and sits in third place in the WCHA with 40 points. The Falcons took both games from Lake Superior in their first meeting earlier this year, one coming via the shootout.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Diego Cuglietta totaled three points (G, 2 A) in both games against Northern Michigan last weekend. Cuglietta now has five points over his last three contests after coming up empty in that department over his previous nine games.
SCHEDULE: Friday (01/26) @ 7:37 p.m. ET | Saturday (01/27) @ 7:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 99.5 FM WYSS
RECAP: Michigan (12-10-2) put together another really strong weekend against a ranked conference foe, sweeping (12) Penn State at home and holding the Nittany Lions to just two goals total in the two games played. They are already just one win shy of matching their total from all of last season.
UP NEXT: The gauntlet that is Big Ten Hockey continues for the Wolverines as they prepare to face hated rival (6) Ohio State (15-5-4), who is coming off a bye. OSU swept the Thanksgiving weekend series in Ann Arbor the last time these two met, and are now 6-2 in their last eight games against Michigan.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Freshman forward Josh Norris had himself another nice week, scoring two goals and assisting on another in the two games against Penn State. Norris now has scored in three straight games and has five total points over that same span.
SCHEDULE: Friday (01/26) @ 7:05 p.m. ET | Saturday (01/27) @ 8:05 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: MGoBlueTV | 1050 AM WKTA
NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS
RECAP: A pair of wins for (20) Northern Michigan (15-10-3) gives them 43 points, holding their second-place position in the WCHA. Since January 7 of last season, the Wildcats are 24-15-5 overall, after starting last year’s campaign with just five victories in the first 24 games.
UP NEXT: NMU has a golden opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the league this weekend, with leader Minnesota State playing games out of conference. Standing in the Cats’ way are the aforementioned Seawolves of Alaska-Anchorage (2-18-4), who have won just once over their last 12 games going back to December 1.
It certainly won’t be easy for Northern, they’ve turned in a .500 record in their last 14 games played in the state of Alaska, going back to November of 2013.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sophomore Darien Craighead potted two more goals last week against the Lakers, both coming in Friday’s 3-2 victory. That now gives Craighead 15 goals on the year, more than doubling his output from last season (7). He’s also one point shy of matching his freshman mark (25) with eight games remaining in the regular season.
SCHEDULE: Friday (01/26) and Saturday (01/27) | 11:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 100.3 FM WUPT
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
RECAP: (12) Western Michigan (13-10-1) salvaged a split at home against Colorado College, both games ending in overtime. But the bigger news for the Broncos was the lower body injury suffered to sophomore Wade Allison. The team’s leader in goals and points will miss the remainder of the regular season.
UP NEXT: The Broncos still very much remain in the hunt for the top spot in the NCHC, but it’ll be a considerable uphill battle from here on out without the hockey services of Allison. And it does not get any easier for Western, they travel to (19) Nebraska-Omaha (12-11-1) this weekend, where WMU is just 3-6 away from Kalamazoo this season.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Western Michigan tallied eight goals by eight different players last week. Spreading the wealth might be the best course of action with the irreplaceable Allison sidelined due to injury. But a guy like sophomore Dawson DiPietro may need to step up some. DiPietro had just one assist last weekend against Colorado College. Prior to that, he had four straight multi-point games. DiPietro has found the back of the net 10 times this year, second only to Allison’s 15 for the Broncos.
SCHEDULE: Friday (01/26) and Saturday (01/27) | 8:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: NCHC.tv | Z96.5 FM WZOX