Games to Watch Around College Hockey
This week in NCAA men’s hockey is looks to be really exciting as we inch closer and closer to the end of the regular season. Top teams need to keep in form and lower teams need to pick up the pace if they want to make the top 16 and the bracket.
No.7 Notre Dame vs. No.5 Providence
(2/19/16 at 7 p.m. 0ET and 2/20/16 at 7 p.m. ET in Schneider Arena, Providence, R.I)
As the highest ranking series of the week, Notre Dame-Providence is just as important as it will be exciting. Both teams have shown themselves to be highly skilled on the ice and are both in the running for one of the top five teams in the bracket. Notre Dame has to push hard for the next few weeks if they are going to move up much more, and a win against Providence would be huge for them. Notre Dame are on a four game win streak, giving up only one goal in each while scoring one more goal than the last in each. Providence are also on a four-game win streak. Both teams are really hot at the moment and need to keep it up as the season draws to a close, especially against ranked opponents.
No.3 St. Cloud State vs. No.12 Nebraska-Omaha
(2/19/16 at 7 p.m. CT and 2/20/16 at 7 p.m. CT in Baxter Arena, Omaha, Neb.)
Sitting in third place after moving up from fourth over the last week, St. Cloud will take on Nebraska-Omaha who are in the somewhat safe position of 12th place. For the Mavericks, 12th place certainly isn’t bad, with a four-team cushion behind them, and taking down the third-ranked team would be a great way to move up. The Mavericks have a three game win streak while St. Cloud have a one game losing streak after their 2-3 loss to Miami of Ohio which snapped a five game win streak. St. Cloud hasn’t played since that loss on Feb 6, the practice they have had since then should all but remove any shakiness after the loss.
No.1 Quinnipiac University vs. No. 17 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
(2/19/16 at 7 p.m. ET in Houston Field House, Troy, N.Y.)
This game could be a great David vs. Goliath match up with the top team taking on the team that is just out of reach of the offseason bracket. With only a few games left and the bracket so close but so far, a win for RPI could be the kick they need to make it, as well as a huge confidence booster that could propel them through the rest of the season and into the playoffs. Quinnipiac have been unusually inconsistent over the last ten games going 5-1-4. RPI haven’t played all that well of late either, going 2-5-3 over the last ten. Quinnipiac’s struggles mean that RPI has one of the best opportunities of any team so far this year to take them down. More than likely it will be another big win by the big team, but hockey, like all sports are not played on paper.
Tommy Butler is a freshman majoring in communications. To contact him, email email@example.com.