Random updates

The Team USA played another exhibition game against Canada on Saturday in St. Paul, winning this one 3-2 in a shootout.

The Americans played only 17 skaters in the game, sitting injured forward Amanda Kessel once again.

Being that they didn’t use an 18th skater, that essentially confirmed the Herald’s report earlier in the week that USA Hockey has released forward Anne Pankowski and defenseman Lisa Chesson, setting its final roster (barring a major injury in the next two days). Had either Pankowski or Chesson been in St. Paul (or if they had a shot at making the final roster), they obviously would have played to give USA a full lineup.

Strangely, it seems that no media there asked why Pankowski or Chesson weren’t in St. Paul, and NBC Sports Network made no mention of that fact (NBC also didn’t mention that USA played one person short).

Anyway, USA and Canada play one last pre-Sochi game tonight in Toronto. Since both teams have already set their Olympic rosters, let’s just hope nobody gets hurt at this point.

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The USA men are poised to announce their Olympic roster on Wednesday after the NHL Winter Classic.

UND’s Zach Parise is a lock to make the squad and could even wear the ‘C’ as the team’s captain. It seems that T.J. Oshie has put himself in decent position to earn a spot on the roster with a solid first half for the Blues.

It sounds like Roseau’s Dustin Byfuglien is a longshot to make the team, even though he can provide a unique skillset and the ability to play either forward or defense.

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Western Michigan did the NCHC a favor by winning the GLI and helping the league’s nonconference mark a little bit.

As the calendar flips to a new year, the NCHC’s best nonconference record comes against the WCHA (11-4-5). But its two worst marks are against the Eastern conferences — 4-6-2 vs. ECAC and 5-7-4 vs. Hockey East.

The NCHC has two games left vs. ECAC (CC and DU host Brown), so it can get back to the .500 mark there. The Hockey East record will be much more difficult to rectify. NCHC’s remaining Hockey East games include CC hosting a top-five team in Providence and Omaha going to New Hampshire and playing without coach Dean Blais and forward Jayson Megna.

It’s still perhaps a tad early to really look hard at the Pairwise Rankings, but it’s not absurd now that it’s basically January.

St. Cloud State (No. 4) would be the only team to get in the NCAAs if it started today. UND is actually second among NCHC teams in the Pairwise at No. 18. Close behind UND it’s a very tight-packed group: Miami (21), Omaha (22), Denver (24), Duluth (27) and Western Michigan (31). CC has dug itself a gigantic hole at No. 49.

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UND recruit Jack Rowe was traded from Cedar Rapids to the Fargo Force — a team that needs offense badly.

Fargo is, by far, the lowest scoring team in the league (1.54 goals per game) and the Force haven’t scored more than two goals during its current eight-game losing streak.

Two encouraging signs for UND, though:

1. Christian Cakebread continues to be the team’s top offensive producer and is putting up decent numbers for a 1997-born player on a bad team.

2. Goalie commit Cam Johnson has a .914 save percentage, which is rather strong considering Fargo only has 5 wins in 26 games.

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With 22 points in 28 games, UND commit and former EGF blue liner Tucker Poolman continues to lead the USHL in defenseman scoring. His Omaha Lancers are the best team in the league.

20 thoughts on “Random updates

  1. Is it concerning that UND only has 2 games left with teams that are ahead of them in the Pairwise or is this too early to worry about that?

    • I dont think that it really matters. Things can change rapidly. If we keep playing well, there is no reason we wouldn’t move up. GO SIOUX!

        • UND definitely needs to worry about winning, regardless of who they are playing and where their opponent are in the standings. Take care of what you can control and go on another one of Hak’s end 2nd half surges.

        • I don’t think it matters as long as UND wins both games against BSU and stays at the top of the league. They will need to get some quality wins against teams like MU, DU and SCSU.

        • Will also help if we can stay out of the penalty box. We average just over 7 penalties a game, which 2nd in the nation. Staying out of the box will be key in getting more wins.

  2. Do you know of any media coverage for tonight’s USA v. Canada women’s hockey game (other than TSN, which I don’t get)?

  3. I saw that Parise fractured his foot and is out indefinitely. Do you think he’s still a lock for the Olympic team, and they’ll just hope that it’s healed by Sochi?

      • But I don’t think their pairwise rankings mimick the NCAA section rankings that uscho.com does. College Hockey News does a pairwise comparison between all 59 schools. uscho.com only does it for Teams Under Consideration (TUC), teams with an RPI over .500. Pus they factor in games against other TUC.

        Either way its to early to put much stock in those rankings. Sometimes it out of your control anyways. UND’s RPI increased over the weekend but they dropped two spots in that ranking.

        • My bad. I just read that concept of Team Under Consideration was removed from the comparison starting this season.

          Still means you need to win and you need your conference opponents to win their non-conference games.

  4. I have the app CHN which is nice for following games but there was recently an article “second thoughts” of some hockey east guy complaining about the NCHC it’s kind of a funny read

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