Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



TRL reporters' question: With teams losing members to the Olympics, which team will win the conference?

The Rink Live beat reporters answer the question about the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, University of North Dakota, Bemidji State, Minnesota State University-Mankato and St. Cloud State.


Our question this week for The Rink Live beat reporters is: With teams dealing with star players and coaches going to the Olympics, which team should be considered the favorite in the conference you cover to win the regular season title?

Those reporters are Mick Hatten, Jess Myers, Christian Babcock, Shane Frederick, Brad Schlossman, and Matt Wellens. Hatten covers St. Cloud State, Myers covers the University of Minnesota, Babcock covers Bemidji State, Frederick covers Minnesota State University-Mankato, Schlossman covers the University of North Dakota and Wellens covers Minnesota Duluth.

If you have a question for the group, follow us on Twitter and use #asktherinklive.

Mick Hatten (Huskies): In the NCHC, I think it will come down to Denver or Western Michigan, neither of whom have players going to the Olympics. I'd give a slight edge to the Broncos because they are hot (10-1 last 11 games) and have been the better road team (9-2; Denver is 5-5 on the road). The Pioneers have 7 of their last 12 games on the road; the Broncos play 8 of their last 12 on the road.

Christian Babcock (Beavers): I don't think it'll affect the CCHA too much, as Minnesota State was the odds-on favorite before and will continue to be. The Mavericks are simply a cut (or two, or three) above the rest of the league.


Dubas, 37, will oversee all aspects of the hockey operations department.

Matt Wellens (Bulldogs): I like the position Denver is in right now in the NCHC, leading the field by three points with a favorable schedule. The Pioneers play three of their final six series against the bottom three teams in the league (Omaha, Colorado College, Miami), who they are 6-0 against. DU also gets St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth at home while both are missing key players to the Olympics. The biggest challenge will be at Western Michigan, though Denver swept the Broncos in Denver already this year.

Jess Myers (Gophers): The Big Ten has become a three-team race with Michigan, Minnesota and surprising Ohio State all in contention. Since the Buckeyes get to play both the Gophers and Wolverines while players are at the Olympics, I’ll give the nod to Steve Rohlik and company to win their second conference title in the past four years.

Brad Schlossman (Fighting Hawks): Denver was my preseason pick to win the league and I'm sticking with it. The Pioneers are in first place and rolling right now. Their biggest question mark, goalie Magnus Chrona, has three-straight shutouts and has stopped 68 shots in a row.

Shane Frederick (Mavericks): No Mike Hastings ... no Nathan Smith ... no problem. It's still Minnesota State in the CCHA.

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
What to read next
Many of the comic antics in a popular hockey movie were based on real-life incidents that happened in the now-defunct World Hockey Association, as recorded in "A Slap Shot In Time," by Dan Whenesota.
Murphy grew up in an Illinois family with two brothers who have played college sports, a mother who played college softball and a dad who was a Marine. She won gold last month with Team USA
Get Local