Originally written on Goon's World  |  Last updated 10/27/14
This is it!  The last weekend of the regular season, buckle up sports fan, ‘cause we got a full slate of games.  The standings are still jam packed, with the top seven teams separated by 5 points.  It is possible to have a four-way tie for the McNaughton Cup, if things work out that way, not likely, but possible.  What we do know is that CC, UMD, MTU, BSU, and UAA will be on the road next weekend, we just don’t know who’s rink they will be at, and SCSU and UND have wrapped up home ice. WCHA STANDINGS 2012-2013 Team………………………W-L-T………Points 1. St. Cloud St……………17-8-1.…….….35 2. Minnesota……………...14-7-2……..…33 2. North Dakota.………….13-6-7………..33 4. Minnesota State………15-10-1....…....31 4. Wisconsin…....………..12-7-7………...31 6. Nebraska-Omaha…......14-10-2…...…30 7. Denver…………..……..12-9-5..…........29 8. Colorado College …….10-12-4...…….24 9. Minnesota-Duluth….…..8-13-5……….21 10. Michigan Tech………..7-15-4.…..…..18 11. Bemidji State……..…..6-13-7.......…..17 12. Alaska-Anchorage…...2-18-6.......…..10 The # numbers below are now the PAIRWISE rankings. WCHA Games #2 Minnesota @ Bemidji St. Last weekend the Gophers split (2-0L, 5-1W) with the Pioneers in Minneapolis and the Beavers got a point from NoDak (4-2, 2-2) in Grand Forks. The Gopher faithfully will be hoping for some help, from Wisconsin, this weekend to keep their hopes alive for the last WCHA title.  The Beavers still have a chance to move up the standings, they could finish as high as ninth place, with a sweep.  BSU plays sound defense and clogs up the passing and shooting lanes.  The Beavers style can frustrate teams, but if their opponents can get a lead, they can force BSU to change their style.  The Gophers will need to draw some penalties to get the power play some chances to score.  All the numbers point to the Gophers, but when teams like have BSU nothing to lose, you need to watch out for the kitchen sink.  GOPHERS 3-PTS Alaska-Anchorage @ #8 Denver (Fri/Sun) Last weekend the Seawolves were swept by the Nanooks (2-1ot, 3-1) in the home/home series and the Pioneers split (2-0W, 5-1L) with the Gophers in Minneapolis. The Pioneers still have some control over their own fate, but they need to sweep the Seawolves, and have UNO drop below them.  I’m sure the Seawolves would like to welcome DU to the bottom half of the bracket and keep them there, by winning a game or two.  DU played well last weekend in Minneapolis, I watched the replays. And if they play like that again this weekend, they should secure four points.  UAA has nothing to lose; they have been locked into last place for a couple of weeks now.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Shyiak pulled a few tricks out of his sleeve this weekend.  PIONEERS SWEEP #7 North Dakota @ #8 Minnesota State Last weekend NoDak got three points (4-2, 2-2ot) from the Beavers in Grand Forks and the Mavericks split (4-1L, 7-2W) with the Tigers in Colorado Springs. This is a big series for both teams.  UND still has an outside chance at the title and MSUM for that matter too.  The Mavericks are 10-5-1 at home this year and UND is 8-6-1 away from Grand Forks.  NoDak has scored three more goals and given up three more than MSUM has in the WCHA this season, so those are pretty even numbers.  The big difference is that NoDak has 7 ties in the league and the Mavericks have just one.  With so much on the line for both teams, this should be a very entertaining series to watch.  SPLIT Colorado College @ Michigan Tech Last weekend the Tigers split (4-1W, 7-2L) with the MSUM Mavericks in Colorado Springs and the Huskies split (5-3L, 5-1W) with the SCSU Huskies in St. Cloud. The Huskies gave themselves a boost with a win over SCSU on Saturday, and gave the rest of the league hope at title with that win.  MTU has been better over the last month, going 4-4-0 in their last eight games, and CC has gone 3-2-3 over their last eight contests.  The Tigers can’t move up the standings, they are stuck at 8th place and could slip to 9th if they lose twice this weekend.  CC hasn’t been too good on the road this season going 4-8-3 away from home and the Huskies are 5-7-2 at home in MacInnis Student Ice Arena.  I’m going say both black and gold teams win.  SPLIT #10 St. Could St.  @ #20 Wisconsin Last weekend the Huskies split (5-3W, 5-1L) with the MTU Huskies in St. Cloud and the Badgers swept (4-3, 6-2) the UNO Mavericks in Omaha. The other top teams will be watching the scoreboard for these games.  If the Huskies win on Friday, they will secure at least a share of the McNaughton Cup.  The Badgers have plans of their own; a win on Friday (coupled with a UNO loss or DU tie/loss) would secure them home ice.  The Badgers are 7-7-3 home this year, but they aren’t playing in the Kohl center this weekend, they are at coliseum, for a throwback weekend, and the Huskies are 7-6-1 on the road.  I’m not sure if the pressure got to SCSU last Saturday, because if they would have won, they would have already secured a share of the title.  This series should have the feel of a playoff series with the stakes high for both teams.  The Badgers need some quality wins to move up the rankings, and improve their odds of getting into the NCAA tournament.  SPLIT #25 Nebraska-Omaha @ Minnesota-Duluth Last weekend the Mavericks were swept by the Badgers (4-3, 6-2) in Omaha and the Bulldogs swept the UAH Chargers (4-2, 4-0) in Duluth. The Mavericks saw their chance at the McNaughton Cup slip away last weekend.  UNO also saw their home ice spot put in jeopardy, with suffering a pair of losses in Omaha.  They need to put last weekend in the past and move on to this series and get back on track.  UMD is looking to continue to build momentum for the playoffs and what better way to do that by dragging UNO to the bottom half with a sweep in Duluth.  However, that is a tall order given Omaha’s scoring ability and the Bulldogs porous defensive play this year.  SPLIT
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