CHA Tournament Preview


The CHA tournament enters its final year, and thankfully we are all being put out of our misery. Bemidji State is in line for a #1 seed, and they are in the same bracket with three teams who are under .500 in conference. Every team in America, especially those on the bubble, will be cheering for the Beavers to take it home.

Although they’ve gotten to beat up on some poor teams, Bemidji State has racked up quite the statistical resume. They are 6th in the country in scoring and 4th in the country in scoring defense. Beaver Junior Matt Read leads the conference with 19 goals and 40 points. In addition, Jordan George will probably be the conference’s Freshman of the year (13-20–33).

In net, Dan Bakala has been great. He leads the conference in GAA (2.13) and save percentage (.925).

So, can anyone knock off the Beavers?

Well, probably not. But a semi-interesting case can be made for all three teams. Niagara is 2nd in the league in scoring offense, and they do a great job staying out of the box, taking only 11 penalty minutes a game. The thing that shies me away from the Purps however is their poor track record in close games. In fact, Niagara didn’t win an OT game all year.

Alabama-Huntsville doesn’t have much scoring punch, but they’re pretty good defensively. Their kill is the best in the conference at just over 86%, and Cameron Talbot is no slouch in net, with the 2nd best save percentage in conference.

Robert Morris has been pretty bad all year, but they did manage to sweep a series against Miami earlier in the year so hey, miracles can happen.

However, I think teams like Maine, Nebraska-Omaha and Vermont can rest easy. Bemidji will be taking the CHA’s autobid.