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NMU Hockey Series Snapshot: CCHA initiates “The Final Countdown”
March 1, 2013 - Matt Wellens
MARQUETTE — “The Final Countdown.”
Anyone who has ever been to a sporting event has heard at least the beginning of that song, either played by a pep band or blasted over the stadium speakers.
It’s a staple at sporting events, especially late in a game when things are tight ... as tight as the pants on the pink lipstick-wearing band Europe in the awful, awful video aboce.
I don’t blame you for never thinking so highly of that riff again at a game.
I play that song — and entice you to cringe at the music video — today because it’s the final weekend of regular season play in the history of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
Almost a week ago now, CCHA.com initiated the league’s self-destruct sequence and began counting down the final 30 days leading up to the final CCHA Championship weekend in Detroit. The 1980 Wildcats are featured at No. 29.
USCHO.com’s Paula Weston is even beginning to say her good-byes to the league she covers weekly, giving NMU the Ferris State Memorial Defenders-of-the-Realm Award in her once annual, now final “Girl Reporter Awards.” The ’Cats picked up the honor for going 6-2 in non-league play.
Despite that non-conference record, the 2012-13 Wildcats, the last to ever play in the CCHA, are not on track to duplicate the success of the 1980 ’Cats. Northern currently sits No. 10 out of 11 teams in the league, and depending on how things shake out this weekend, can finish as high as seventh if things go awesome and as low as last if things go not so awesome.
Northern hosts eighth-place Lake Superior State at 7:35 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the Berry Events Center and despite only being three points back of the Lakers, need a sweep to have any shot at passing them, plus help from either Ferris State against Michigan or Notre Dame against Bowling Green to nab a CCHA first-round home-ice playoff series.
The full list of scenarios for NMU to get home-ice can be found here.
As I wrote in the second half of Thursday’s story, the Wildcats are a much different team than the one that got swept by LSSU Dec. 14-15 in Sault Ste. Marie.
Turns out, so are the Lakers, who have won only three of their last 12 games after being swept by the apparent final league regular season champion, Miami, last weekend at Taffey Abel Arena.
Game notes for NMU can be found here.
The NMU hockey program is also holding its annual silent auction fundraiser tonight, which begins at 7 p.m. The list of items up for bid can be found here.
LSSU does not post it’s game notes online. That needs to change in the WCHA. You can read the official LSSULakers.com preview here as a consolation prize.
If you can’t be at the Berry this weekend, NMU offers a live video stream that costs $7 per game.
The Point 100.3 FM offers a free audio stream on its website as well with Dave Danis on the call.
Give me a follow on Twitter for updates and analysis before, during and after the games this weekend. Should I land in Twitter jail due to too much tweeting, switch over to my Facebook page for updates.
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