Sunday, January 28, 2007

WCHA Men's College Hockey: The Plot Thickens

I know this may not be an incredibly popular topic, but to each his own. Here on The Sports Flow we intend to try to talk a little about here we go. Oh yea, and because my UND Fighting Sioux just came off a HUGE sweep of the #1 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is packed full of well above-average teams this season. But this is nothing unusual. If you follow college hockey much you can probably remember back just a few years ago when the Frozen Four was made up entirely of WCHA teams. This truly an amazing feat if you think about it. Imagine if the Final Four was comprised of USC, Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona (All Pac-10 teams)? This should be considered just as amazing.

This year the WCHA features a very highly contested race to the WCHA tournament.
Here are how the up-to-date standings look:
1. Minnesota- 29 pts, 13-4-3, .725 win %
2. St. Cloud State - 26 pts, 11-5-4, .650 win %
3. Denver- 24 pts, 11-7-2, .600 win %
4. Colorado College- 21 pts, 10-7-1, .583 win %
5. North Dakota- 20 pts, 9-9-2, .500 win %
6.(tie) Wisconsin- 17 pts, 8-9-1, .471 win %
6.(tie) Michigan Tech- 17 pts, 7-10-3, .425 win %
8.(tie) Alaska Anchorage- 15 pts, 7-12-1, .375 win %
8.(tie) Minnesota State- 15 pts, 6-11-3, .375 win %
10. Minnesota Duluth- 12 pts, 5-13-2, .300 win %

Now, with such a highly contested race featuring such good teams the parody in this league is incredible. For instance, Wisconsin is coming off a year when they won the National Championship last year and they can be found in the middle of the pack. You have a talent-packed North Dakota team that struggled mightily early on (1-7-0 in the month of November) who just completed a sweep of the #1 team in the land in Minneapolis (the first UND sweep of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 26 years!). This leaves a young and talented UND team poised to make a run for a repeat WCHA Championship. With Jonathan Toews (featured right), TJ Oshie, and Ryan Duncan (all super Sophs) the Sioux sport arguably the best first line in the nation. All three of these guys can score at will and you can count on seeing all 3 of these guys' names being announced at next year's NHL Draft (unfortunately).

Also don't forget, after this weekends action you have a St. Cloud State team that is only 3 pts. out of the conference lead. Stay tuned folks! Because you are in for one wild ride as we come down the stretch in WCHA conference play. And please don't be surprised to see at least 2 of these teams in the Frozen Four. Because as good as East Coast collegiate hockey is, I think that the top 6 teams in the WCHA can skate with the best from the East. Come tourney time it should be interesting.

Other WCHA Scores from this weekend:
N. Michigan 2 at. Minn- Duluth 4
North Dakota 5 at Minnesota 3
North Dakota 7 at Minnesota 3
Minn. State 3 at Wisconsin 1
Minn. State 1 at Wisconsin 4
St. Cloud State 3 at Denver 2
St. Cloud State 0 at Denver 2

Oh yea, and GO SIOUX!


Anonymous said...

Yeah Toews and Oshie have already been drafted. and the wcha breaks down tiebreakers by wins so all those teams arent actually tied. good post tho

grittysquirrels said...

I was actually aware that Oshie and Toews were drafted last year. I just hope they would stay for another year (Although i don't know why they would). But look for all three of their names to be mentioned come draft time next year. Also, thank you for the information about the standings. I didn't know that. That is just how i found the rankings listed at: under -----> Thanks for reading! Any other comments or questions?

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