WCHA weekly preview: March 4-10

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The final week of the WCHA regular season is here, and it’s bound to be an exciting one.

But first, a review of last week’s games.

In WCHA matchups, Wisconsin faired the best, sweeping Nebraska Omaha.

North Dakota also did well, taking three of four points from Bemidji State. North Dakota won 4-2 on Friday night but tied 2-2 on its senior night.

The other three WCHA series all were splits: Denver vs. Minnesota, Michigan Tech vs. St. Cloud State, and Minnesota State vs. Colorado College.

In non-conference action, Wisconsin lost 3-2 in overtime to Penn State, as part of a rare Sunday-Monday series. Wisconsin had won the Sunday game 5-0.

The other two non-WCHA series were sweeps. Minnesota Duluth beat future WCHA member Alabama-Huntsville 4-2 and 4-0. Alaska won the Governor’s Cup over in-state rival Alaska Anchorage 2-1 and 3-1.

Entering this week, the WCHA standings are as follows:

WCHA standings as of 3-4-13

WCHA standings as of 3-4-13

With such a tight race, hardly anything is set in stone going into this weekend’s games.

Only St. Cloud State, Minnesota, North Dakota, or Wisconsin can earn the top spot in the WCHA playoffs. Minnesota State cannot earn the top spot due to tiebreaking procedures, but it can still share the MacNaughton Cup with St. Cloud State.

Only St. Cloud State and North Dakota have clinched home ice in the playoffs. Minnesota is very close to clinching, but the Gophers haven’t done so officially. Even one point this weekend would give them home ice.

The only seed that is locked in for the WCHA playoffs is the 12th and final seed. Alaska Anchorage clinched that a while ago.

The team with the next fewest possible playoff seeds is Colorado College, which is guaranteed either eighth or ninth. With a three-point lead over Minnesota Duluth, the odds are that Colorado College will finish eighth.

Here are all the different possibilities for playoff seeding:

Table showing potential seeds for WCHA playoffs

This is how the final week of the regular season should be. With the exception of Alaska Anchorage, everyone has at least something to play for, and some have much to gain or lose.

The only matchup with no implications on either the MacNaughton Cup or home-ice advantage is the first one to be previewed, Colorado College vs. Michigan Tech.

Colorado College vs. Michigan Tech

  • Times/Locations:
    • Friday at Michigan Tech (6:07 p.m. CT)
    • Saturday at Michigan Tech (6:07 p.m. CT)
  • Records:
    • Colorado College – 10-12-4 WCHA (8th), 13-16-5 overall
    • Michigan Tech - 7-15-4 WCHA (10th), 11-17-4 overall
  • Last Ten Games:
    • Colorado College - 4-3-3
    • Michigan Tech - 4-5-1
  • National Rankings:
    • Colorado College - Unranked USA Today, Unranked USCHO, T-31st PairWise
    • Michigan Tech - Unranked USA Today, Unranked USCHO, Unranked PairWise
  • Head to Head:
    • Have not faced each other this season

St. Cloud State vs. Wisconsin

  • Times/Locations:
    • Friday at Wisconsin (7:07 p.m. CT)
    • Saturday at Wisconsin (7:07 p.m. CT)
  • Records:
    • St. Cloud State – 17-8-1 WCHA (1st), 20-13-1 overall
    • Wisconsin - 12-7-7 WCHA (T-4th), 16-11-7 overall
  • Last Ten Games:
    • St. Cloud State - 6-3-1
    • Wisconsin - 5-3-2
  • National Rankings:
    • St. Cloud State - 8th USA Today,  8th USCHO, T-10th PairWise
    • Wisconsin - 14th USA Today, 14th USCHO, 20th PairWise
  • Head to Head:
    • Have not faced each other this season

Nebraska Omaha vs. Minnesota Duluth

  • Times/Locations:
    • Friday at Minnesota Duluth (7:07 p.m. CT)
    • Saturday at Minnesota Duluth (7:07 p.m. CT)
  • Records:
    • Nebraska Omaha – 14-10-2 WCHA (6th), 18-14-2 overall
    • Minnesota Duluth - 8-13-5 WCHA (9th), 12-17-5 overall
  • Last Ten Games:
    • Nebraska Omaha - 5-5-0
    • Minnesota Duluth - 2-6-2
  • National Rankings:
    • Nebraska Omaha - Received votes in USA Today, 16th USCHO, T-25th PairWise
    • Minnesota Duluth - Unranked USA Today, Unranked USCHO, Unranked PairWise
  • Head to Head:
    • 11/10/12 – 3-2 Nebraska Omaha win (at Nebraska Omaha)
    • 11/11/12 – 6-3 Nebraska Omaha win (at Nebraska Omaha)

Minnesota vs. Bemidji State

  • Times/Locations:
    • Friday at Bemidji State (7:37 p.m. CT)
    • Saturday at Bemidji State (7:07 p.m. CT)
  • Records:
    • Minnesota – 14-7-5 WCHA (T-2nd), 22-7-5 overall
    • Bemidji State – 5-14-7 WCHA (11th), 6-18-8 overall
  • Last Ten Games:
    • Minnesota - 5-4-1
    • Bemidji State – 1-6-3
  • National Rankings:
    • Minnesota - 2nd USA Today, 2nd USCHO, 2nd PairWise
    • Bemidji State – Unranked USA Today, Unranked USCHO, Unranked PairWise
  • Head to Head:
    • Have not faced each other this season

North Dakota vs. Minnesota State

  • Times/Locations:
    • Friday at Minnesota State (7:37 p.m. CT)
    • Saturday at Minnesota State (7:07 p.m. CT)
  • Records:
    • North Dakota – 13-6-7 WCHA (T-2nd), 22-7-5 overall
    • Minnesota State - 15-10-1 WCHA (T-4th), 21-10-3 overall
  • Last Ten Games:
    • North Dakota - 5-2-3
    • Minnesota State - 7-2-1
  • National Rankings:
    • North Dakota - 5th USA Today, 5th USCHO, 7th PairWise
    • Minnesota State - 10th USA Today, 10th USCHO, T-8th PairWise
  • Head to Head:
    • Have not faced each other this season

Alaska Anchorage vs. Denver

  • Times/Locations:
    • Saturday at Denver (8:37 p.m. CT)
    • Sunday at Denver (1:07 p.m. CT)
  • Records:
    • Alaska Anchorage – 2-18-6 WCHA (12th), 4-21-7 overall
    • Denver - 12-9-5 WCHA (7th), 17-11-5 overall
  • Last Ten Games:
    • Alaska Anchorage – 1-7-2
    • Denver - 5-4-1
  • National Rankings:
    • Alaska Anchorage – Unranked USA Today, Unranked USCHO, Unranked PairWise
    • Denver - 11th USA Today, 12th USCHO, T-8th PairWise
  • Head to Head:
    • Have not faced each other this season

Idle Teams

No WCHA teams are idle this week.

2 thoughts on “WCHA weekly preview: March 4-10

  1. Hey Brittany – great status summary of the final stages of the final WCHA season. Just wanted to use the comments real estate here to give a shout out to my Minnesota team. Hope you don’t mind! Go Gophers!!

  2. Hey Derek, thanks! I probably shouldn’t have approved your comment based on the final two words, haha. But even as a North Dakota fan, I have to admit that the Gophers are pretty good this year. UND and Minnesota will probably end up facing each other in the WCHA Final Five or the NCAA tournament.

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