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February 22, 2024

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Around the CCHA- Week of 12/7

Around+the+CCHA-+Week+of+12%2F7
michigantechhuskies.com

Michigan Tech and Minnesota State bound forward 

Michigan Tech and Minnesota State came into the 2023-24 season with high expectations, the Huskies being ranked first in the preseason poll and the Mavericks finishing first and winning the Mason Cup a season ago.

Both found themselves ranked low early, as they were fifth and sixth respectively in the rankings going into the third week of play, finally climbing out of the bottom four and into the top three. 

Recently, the two teams have started performing to said expectation. Michigan Tech is ranked second with 16 points and a 5-3 record (1-2 in OT). They have outscored opponents in goals 23-21 and points 64-54 with an overall goalie save percentage of .906. The Huskies have shown a great balance of defense and offense with one of the higher save percentages and allowing one of the lower number of shots and goals in the CCHA. Along with that, freshman Isaac Gordon has a four-game point streak, scoring three goals in the last three wins. 

Minnesota State is the more on-and-off team, sweeping Ferris State, splitting with Bemidji State in an 11-goal weekend, getting swept by Michigan Tech, and then sweeping Lake Superior State. In CCHA play, the Mavericks have outscored opponents 30-23 with a 3.9% higher shot percentage than opponents. Their goalies are allowing 2.8 goals per game while the skaters score 3.8 goals per game led by fifth-year forward Sam Morton (7 goals 5 assists). 

The teams do not have an easy weekend, as Michigan Tech faces off with in-state rivals Northern Michigan in a home-home series, while Minnesota State battles fellow Minnesota team and current CCHA leader, St. Thomas. 

Tommies lose two in a row after winning five straight 

St. Thomas was swept by Bemidji State in the first games of the CCHA, then ran through both Northern Michigan and Bowling Green in back-to-back sweeps. After a win against Lake Superior State, the streak was broken in a 3-1 loss to #6 Lake Superior State, followed by a 5-2 loss to #8 Ferris State.  

Let’s be honest. It’s a bad look for the number one team to be losing back-to-back against two bottom-three teams. 

Having been outscored 8-3 in those two games, the Tommies found their only three goals with a man advantage despite 72 shots between the two games coupled with uncharacteristic subpar performances by both Tommie goalies.

Jake Sibell and Aaron Trotter combined for 56 saves but eight goals and an .858 save percentage from a goalie tandem that has averaged only 2.6 goals and an association-leading .909 save percentage. 

Bowling Green finds itself in two NCAA stat categories 

One might not expect the seventh-place team in the CCHA to be ranked highly in any statistic. Yet the Falcons find themselves ranked high in two national statistics. 

Bowling Green has the best faceoff-winning percentage in the CCHA, winning 521/971 inside the circles. Their .537 percentage places them 12th in the NCAA behind eight teams in the top 20 in the nation. Centers Josh Nodler and Spencer Kersten lead the team in faceoffs won, Nodler with 141 and Kersten with 133. 

The other area the Falcons have been very good is in the penalty-kill. They have a .880 kill percentage, with opponents finding only six goals in 50 attempts. This ranks them eighth in the NCAA, only .054 behind the leader, Boston College. Current starter and freshman Cole Moore has allowed only two power-play goals in 13 games and 41 penalty kills. 

Standings 

  1. St. Thomas* remains in first with a split against Ferris State.
  2. Michigan Tech* surges to second place after split with Bowling Green.
  3. Minnesota State rises to third after a win and tie against Lake Superior.
  4. Bemidji State falls to fourth after playing no games this week, back-to-back weeks with no CCHA games.
  5. Northern Michigan drops to fifth after losing and tying against Augustana and gaining no points. 
  6. Lake Superior remains in sixth with a tie and loss to Minnesota State.
  7. Bowling Green rises to seventh after win against Northern Michigan. 
  8. Ferris State won and lost against St. Thomas, remaining in last place.

 

*Teams that received votes this week in the NCAA men’s hockey rankings-Michigan Tech (10 votes) St. Thomas (3 votes) 

Individual Accolades 

 

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn). 

 

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