It was a very busy weekend for BSU sports, with most of the results very good.
The BSU men’s hockey team swept Michigan Tech, earning their first 4 points in the WCHA this year. They are now 2-2 in conference play, 3-3 overall. Friday was a wild game, with 7 goals being scored in the first period alone. BSU scored first (for the 1st time this year) but then saw 3 goals scored on just 4 shots by Tech. That led to a goaltending change and the first regular season apperance by Andrew Walsh who was listed as the 3rd goalie. He looked good as the team went on to score 5 unanswered and then helped them win on Saturday with a very sound game.
It was another loss to U-Mary for the Football team, which could come back to haunt them come playoff invite time. For whatever reason, U-Mary has the Beavers number. They’ve played BSU very tough every year they’ve met, including the season before they were official NSIC members when BSU won the conference title. Sounds like way too many turnovers and lack of 2nd half offense was their demise. It’s unfortunate, they were a sure bet for the playoffs if they could win out or maybe just lose 1 more. I assumed their toughest test would be St. Cloud in a couple of weeks but that’s why you don’t assume and why they play the games. No one can be overlooked…..and for BSU, U-Mary will make them more nervous than most given the short history the two schools have. It’s not over, they could still make the playoffs for the first time in program history, but it was made more difficult that’s for sure.
Finally, sad and unfortunate news out of Huntsville today that they will discontinue their hockey program at the end of the year. As a long time rival of BSU’s in Division 2 and the CHA, it is very disappointing. You can expect a lot of finger pointing but the outcome won’t change. It’s just too difficult to survive as an independent and it was clear they were not finding a conference to join. I don’t blame Penn State for starting a division 1 hockey program, which in turn I can’t blame the Big 10. They have their rules and they weren’t made up just to form a Big 10 hockey conference. That said, you can’t argue that was the first domino to fall in what has been a rather long chain. The end result is the revamped WCHA in two years, the end of the CCHA, and the start of the NCHC. Now this, the most recent, most disappointing news of all in my opinion. BSU fans chanted “Who hates Huntsville” but it was a sign of respect. We don’t actually hate Huntsville, nor did we want to see their hockey program go away. I think it would only be appropriate if for years to come we here the chant “We miss Huntsville” every so often at the Sanford Center. I hope they receive a warm welcome throughout their final trip to Bemidji in December. This is a sad day for college hockey, but especially for Charger fans. Make no mistake, BSU’s program was headed in the same direction until the Sanford Center and WCHA admittance was a reality.
This weekend Schultzie and I are headed to the Amsoil Arena in Duluth for the very first time as the Beavers take on the defending national champ UMD Bulldogs. There were many memorable BSU games at the DECC, so let’s hope that follows them to Amsoil!