Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Random Rabble: Election Day

Get out and vote. Seriously. You probably don't need me to remind you, but there it is, anyway.

You'll notice that I haven't spent much time dissecting the issues on this blog. I figure you're here to read about sports -- chiefly UMD hockey -- so you don't need me polluting the feed with my views on things. I do enough of that on Twitter, and if you follow me there (thanks, by the way), you can probably figure out how I'm voting on the two major amendment issues in Minnesota, as well as the presidential race. That'll be all of that.

UMD hockey returns from its off week to play at Nebraska Omaha this weekend. Games are 7pm Saturday and 2pm Sunday, due to Creighton basketball occupying the Century Link Center Omaha on Friday night.

(I've heard good things about the atmosphere in that building for hoops, so I'm going to try to go to that game and check it out for myself.)

As for UMD, this will be the first road trip in WCHA play, which means a number of healthy players will be left at home. These are never easy decisions for the coaching staff, but they're usually more troublesome this early in the season. Without having asked, I'd expect the lineup to greatly resemble what was on the ice for the Saturday night draw against Wisconsin. Yes, there was a blown lead and a lost point in that game, but I thought the team played very well and did many more good things than bad.

The UMD volleyball team plays Concordia-St. Paul Tuesday night in St. Paul. UMD has won eight straight since dropping a match to Augustana in five sets last month. Concordia has won 12 straight since UMD beat the Golden Bears in Duluth in late September. In addition, CSP hasn't lost a set at home in 13 straight matches. Incredible run.

There are tremendous implications to this match, even though it's non-conference (the match in Duluth was an NSIC match, but this one does not count in the league standings ... instead, the coaches have agreed to play each other twice this season, and I'd say it's a hell of a good move). UMD could sweep a season series from the five-time national champs, something that would only help in the all-important Central Region rankings. The Bulldogs are fifth in the rankings that came out last week, while Concordia was in first. The top eight teams make the NCAAs, and there really isn't any reason to think UMD won't make it, no matter what happens Tuesday. But the Bulldogs could do wonderful things for their seeding with a victory.

Speaking of rankings, the UMD football team is perilously close to not making the Division II playoffs. A win last Saturday over Mary -- along with a loss by Emporia State -- lifted UMD back into the top six of Super Region Three. That's huge, since six teams will make the playoffs when the field is announced Sunday. The 9-1 Bulldogs can virtually cement their spot in the tournament with a win over Northern State (6-4) Saturday. UMD hasn't missed the playoffs since 2007, and I doubt this team plans on changing that trend. Once the playoffs begin, a two-time national champion with the amount of experience the Bulldogs sport becomes dangerous no matter its seed.

No comments: