Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tigers PWR Takes Hit With Home Split Against Bemidji State

The brawl with UAA came back to haunt the Tigers last Friday as a depleted CC squad fell to Bemidji State 3-2. Thankfully the Tigers were able to rebound on Saturday night to the tune of a 5-3 win. CC was handicapped on Friday night by the loss of five players due to suspension, including captains Lee Sweatt and Brandon Straub. Bill Sweatt was also absent as he remains in Sweden with the suddenly rejuvenated Team USA. Despite that, the Tigers outshot the Beavers by a large margin, but still had trouble finishing. The weekend split dropped CC to 10th in the Pairwise Rankings. Bemidji State ran their record against the WCHA to a surprising 5-1-0.

The split was not a great way to start the second half of a season that includes some key matchups - especially at home. In the second half, the Tigers will face talented North Dakota, underachieving-but-still-defending-champs Wisconsin, and juggernaught Minnesota at home. Throw in a game against archrival DU and that's a pretty tough home schedule - but also one that could earn great standing in the rankings if CC is successful in the second half. The Tigers will also face St. Cloud State for the first time on the road.

CC's next series is against North Dakota at home, and is probably even more important to the Sioux than it is to the Tigers. UND badly needs wins to stay in contention for the tournament. The Sioux came into the season highly ranked and expected to compete for a national title this season, but have faltered badly in the first half to the tune of a sub-.500 record. A CC sweep this weekend would likely doom UND to a bottom half finish in the WCHA, while a Sioux sweep would pull them to within one game of .500 in league play.

Some more notes:

* CC's top recruit for next year, Tyler Johnson, has observers raving. His most recent accomplishment was a five point game (two goals, three assists) in a 5-0 win. Thanks to gmf1a of cctigerhockey.net for finding this.

* Kate Crandall of the Gazette writes about Chris Kawano's tough start on Friday night, and also mentions another potential CC recruit. Jeff Foss, of Moorhead High School, is also considering Maine, Boston University, and UMD.

* Potential recruit Rob Bordson, who recently visited CC, has decided to attend UMD instead.

* You can keep up with Bill Sweatt and Team USA at the Tiger Den section of the Gazette, which has really been impressive so far with their coverage of CC hockey. Kudos to Kate Crandall, who's doing a great job.

* CC's freshmen are really doing well so far. Looking at the stats, there's a few who jump out in particular. Brian Connelly (2-11-13) has really exceeded expectations - and with the loss of Brian Salcido before the season, it's a good thing. Billy Sweatt (4-7-11) has also been doing well, although that's in a smaller sample size. I was a little worried about Addison DeBoer coming straight from high school, but he's doing well too with four goals and three assists on the year. Lastly, Dre Vlassopoulos has played only five games so far, but has three points, including his first collegiate goal, which he scored this weekend against Bemidji State. Brian McMillin also notched his first in the same game.

* Brett Sterling is second in the AHL in points, and first in goals.

* Lastly, it's not much of a surprise, but it's great to see Jimmy Kilpatrick, Scott McCulloch, and Chad Rau doing so well after the departures of Marty Sertich, Brett Sterling, and Joey Crabb last year. We needed that. Having defensemen Lee Sweatt and Brian Connelly producing points is a nice bonus as well.


At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Kilpatrick didn't play in the first period of Friday's Bemidji gaem?

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure about Kilpatrick. Was he involved in the brawl?

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Runninwiththedogs said...

Hey, I don't know how to get ahold of you other than your comments, so I hope you read them.

You're up for the Gauntlet. Email me at dcarpentAThotmailDOTcom.

At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Marvene said...

Good words.


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