Saturday, December 20, 2008

All WCHA Mid-Season

For what it's worth, INCH has done a mid-season reivew for the WCHA. They list Wisconsin as the surprise team.

It's easy to pick Wisconsin's first-half travails as the biggest surprise thus far, but it's legitimate for fans to ask just which Badgers we're talking about. Is it the team that spent October unable to win, and started 0-6-1? That team was a mess, with defensemen trying to carry too much of the offensive load, inconsistent goaltending and offense that wasn't doing enough. Or are we talking about the "since then" Badgers, who headed to the holiday break on a 9-1-1 tear and even spent a week in first place in the WCHA. These Badgers are simply better in every area, and are enjoying the comforts of home while playing with a confidence that may make them college hockey's in-season comeback story of the year.

Jamie McBain is given some recognition on the 1st half All WCHA team.

Let him do what he can do best – namely play rock-solid defense and create scoring opportunities from the blue line – and the results are magic. Rely on him to do everything and you have trouble.

I think that is a pretty good assessment of Jamie's season. To start off he tried to do everything and didn't look good. When he just did his job and let his teammates do their's, he has been wildly successful.

Earlier this week, I put together my own list of All-WCHA to this point in the season.

F - Ryan Stoa - um
F - Justin Fontaine - Duluth
F - Chad Rau - CC
D - Jamie McBain - Wisconsin
D - Josh Meyers - Duluth
G - Alex Wangas - um

Stoa, Fontaine, Rau and McBain are tied for the WCHA lead in points. Kurt Davis of Mankato is having a great season too, but Josh Meyers has 13 pts from the blue line on the PP, I'm remotely impressed. For goalie, I went on stats, and Wangas leads the WCHA. My next choice was Alex Stalock, who I actually dislike more than Wangas. How can two players ruin such a nice first name like Alexander?

The WCHA also has an impressive group of freshman this season. 1st half All-WCHA Frosh team:

F - Jordan Schroeder - um
F - Joe Colborne - Denver
F - Derek Stepan - Wisconsin
D - Patrick Wiercioch - Denver
D - Jake Gardiner - Wisconsin
G - Brad Eidsness - North Dakota

I'm a tad biased w /the Stepan pick, but based on his role at Wisconsin, I think he is derserving and will make the all rookie team when the dust settles in March. There have been some other fine performances by WCHA forwards including Jared Festler (St. Cloud), Luke Salazar (Denver) and Mike Louwerse (Mankato).