We're back from the holiday weekend and we're reading for more hockey as the calendar flips to December this upcoming weekend.
This week, both Michigan and Michigan Tech will be absent from the roundup as they still recover from eating too much over Thanksgiving… just kidding, they both have a bye. The No. 17 Wolverines were swept at home by No. 15 Ohio State, dropping out of the USCHO polls. The Huskies, meanwhile, collected two wins at Alaska-Fairbanks.
Everyone else is good to go this weekend.
FERRI STATE BULLDOGS
RECAP: Ferris State (6-9-1) earned a split on the road against Alabama-Huntsville last weekend, exploding for nine goals in two games. The Bulldogs have now scored 3+ goals in five of their last seven games, after tallying two goals or fewer in seven of their previous nine.
UP NEXT: FSU now returns home to begin a streak of six straight games in the Mitten State, beginning with two at home against Alaska-Anchorage (1-7-4). The Seawolves have not played since yielding two ties at home against Michigan Tech in the weekend before Thanksgiving.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Senior captain Mitch Maloney racked up five more points last weekend, including a hat trick in the first leg of the series with Huntsville. The Macomb native earned WCHA Offensive POW and national second star honors last week and has more goals than anyone in the country since the beginning of this month.
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/01) @ 7:07 p.m. ET | Saturday (12/02) @ 7:37 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 97.3 FM WDEE
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE LAKERS
RECAP: Lake Superior (3-8-3) was effectively off last week as they hosted the US U-18 team in an exhibition; the same team that Michigan will play this weekend at home. The Lakers have played a shade better lately, going 2-3-1 after dropping six of their nine eight contests.
UP NEXT: Perhaps LSSU can get things going at home this weekend when they welcome in Alaska (4-10-2) to Taffy Abel Arena. The Nanooks, as previously mentioned, were swept at home last weekend against Michigan Tech and have just one win in their last seven games.
PLAYER TO WATCH: The Lakers need to get forward J.T. Henke going. The senior from Trenton, Michigan has points in all but three games this season but just three goals scored. Henke is just one of four seniors on a team flooded with underclassmen, and Lake Superior needs him to lead the charge.
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/01) @ 7:37 p.m. ET | Saturday (12/02) @ 7:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 99.5 FM WYSS
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
RECAP: Michigan State (7-6-1) stubbed their toe a bit last weekend on the road against Penn State, dropping the opener 7-2 before salvaging a draw in the second game. A four-goal first period for the Nittany Lions in the first game ultimately set the Spartans back.
UP NEXT: MSU returns home for a monster showdown against top-5 foe Notre Dame (12-3-1). Newcomers of Big Ten Hockey this season, the No. 4 Fighting Irish are absolutely rolling right now, having not lost since before Halloween… that's a nine-game winning streak. They are coming off a very impressive sweep of No. 6 Minnesota last weekend.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sophomore Taro Hirose potted two goals against Penn State last weekend. While freshman Mitchell Lewandowski has been getting most of the attention, and rightfully so, the Calgary-born Hirose has been very steady as well. He now has recorded at least one point in six straight games and has 17 points through 14 games this season, after tallying 24 points in 34 games as a freshman.
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/01) and Saturday (12/02) | 7:05 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: Spartan Sports Network (check local listings)
NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS
RECAP: Northern Michigan (7-7) really struggled last weekend at Omaha, allowing eight goals in the two games combined to the Mavericks, resulting in a sweeping defeat. The Wildcats have now dropped three consecutive games, allowing 4+ goals in each.
UP NEXT: NMU does return home this weekend after a strenuous, travel-filled four-game stretch when they welcome in Alabama-Huntsville (5-8-1). This is our fourth look at the Chargers this season, who have played significantly better as of late, particularly since the calendar turned to November.
PLAYER TO WATCH: It seems that sophomore defenseman Philip Beaulieu may have found a groove. Beaulieu scored a goal in each game vs. Omaha last week, giving him four on the year to surpass his total from last season. Now with points in three of his last four, he's already halfway home to his freshman point total in just over a third of the games played as a freshman.
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/01) and Saturday (12/02) | 7:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 100.3 FM WUPT
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
RECAP: Western Michigan (9-5-1) split with a very solid Colgate team last week in Kalamazoo. The 5-1 loss on Saturday to Colgate was the first time in four games that the Broncos failed to score at least four goals.
UP NEXT: A very pivotal top-10 conference showdown takes place this weekend when Western Michigan travels up to North Dakota (8-4-4). The perennial power Fighting Sioux… ahem, sorry, that still bugs me. The Fighting HAWKS are winless in their last three games but have sat in the USCHO Top 10 all season long.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sophomore Dawson DiPietro has been a solid and perhaps under-reported contributor for Western Michigan all season. DiPietro had a goal and an assist in the 5-3 win over Colgate last Friday, giving him seven goals and 16 points through 15 games played this season.
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/01) @ 8:37 p.m. ET | Saturday (12/02) @ 8:07 p.m. ET