Back In The Fold, Just In Time For Playoffs

I’m alive, and I’m returning to the fold.

Let’s just forget that I’ve been neglecting to update the blog for… um, about three months…. shall we?

OK, good.

The Beaver men take on Minnesota State Mankato in their regular season finale.

For BSU, it’s academic: They’ve already clinched the MacNaughton Cup and the No. 1 overall seed, so all they really need this weekend is to turn in two good games (regardless of the actual result on the scoreboard). A win would, however, put them at the 20-victory plateau for the first time since 2009-10 — no small feat and something the Beavers most certainly want to achieve. Here’s my story from today’s paper where they talk about just that.

Minnesota State still has a chance at the No. 2 seed in the playoffs — they’d love an extra home playoff series, if it should come to that. They just need three points to catch Michigan Tech, over whom they hold the tiebreaker.

As for BSU’s potential playoff opponents, it’s complicated: I’m pretty bad at math, and Predict WCHA Playoffs blog hasn’t run its initial simulations as I type this, but I believe that any of the bottom five teams in the league standings (Alaska, Lake Superior, Northern Michigan, Alabama Huntsville and Alaska Anchorage) could still, in theory, make the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. At the moment Northern Michigan is in that spot, but I could realistically see any of the top four teams making it as No. 8 seed. (Alaska Anchorage needs to sweep and needs help from the teams ahead of it to even have a chance, but they’re still in it now, barely.)

As for the BSU women, they have a tough task ahead of them as they take on defending national champs Minnesota in the first round of the WCHA playoffs in Minneapolis. The No. 7 seed as never beaten a No. 2 seed in the WCHA playoffs, but the Beavers hope to change that this weekend.

The BSU women do have one of the hottest scorers in the WCHA right now in sophomore Emily Bergland. The Thief River Falls native has 16 goals on  the season and has scored at least a goal in 8 of BSU’s last 10 games. She is the reigning WCHA offensive player of the week.

That’s all for me for now. Follow on Twitter (@Jackhitts) later for updates on the game. Should be a fun one with the Mavs in town and the MacNaughton Cup in the building.