SHARE
Brock Boeser (North Dakota-16) Tyson Jost (North Dakota-17) Shane Gersich (North Dakota-19) 17 Feb.25  University Nebraska Omaha and the University of North Dakota meet in a NCHC game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND (Bradley K. Olson)
Defending national champion North Dakota is in a precarious position when it comes to the 2017 NCAA tournament (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

Each week during the season, we look at the big events and big games around Division I men’s college hockey in Tuesday Morning Quarterback.

Paula: The regular season has ended for four conferences and league playoffs begin next week for Atlantic Hockey, the ECAC, Hockey East and WCHA.

While I enjoy covering the Big Ten and am always interested in the intensity of both Hockey East and the NCHC, I have to admit that watching the Atlantic Hockey, ECAC and WCHA 2016-17 seasons progress has captured much of my attention. The top four teams in the AHA are highly competitive. Robert Morris always seems to be in the mix in that league every year, but seeing Air Force and Army near the top of the standings at the same time is something new and the emergence of Canisius in the second half has been downright fun for everyone except every other team in Atlantic Hockey. I get the sense that any one of those teams can come away with the AHC playoff championship and NCAA autobid.

In the ECAC, Union’s steady improvement throughout 2016-2017 was rewarded with a share of the regular-season conference title, but Harvard is the top seed in that league’s tournament. Harvard was picked third and Union seventh in the ECAC preseason coaches’ poll with fifth-place Quinnipiac picked first in both the coaches and media preseason polls. Harvard’s offense is first nationally and its defense seventh, so the Crimson are a real threat not only to take the ECAC playoff championship, but also to advance in the NCAA tournament. They’re third in the PairWise Rankings, so they control their own seeding destiny.

Then there’s the WCHA, which has fascinated me this season with its mediocrity. I don’t mean to be so unkind, but it’s a hard truth that the league as a whole has underperformed. I follow the WCHA closely because of the many former CCHA teams in the conference, and I’m especially disappointed by the seasons that former CCHA teams produced, but there’s plenty of disappointment to go around in that league. The regular-season champion, Bemidji State has 20 overall wins, but also 13 overall losses for a overall win percentage of .597. Bemidji, Michigan Tech and Minnesota State all played well within the WCHA, but I don’t see anyone emerging from that conference that may advance in the NCAA tournament.

Is it wrong of me to look that far ahead when conference playoffs begin for four leagues next week and two leagues haven’t reached the end of the regular season?

Jim: I don’t think looking towards the NCAA tournament at this point is unjustified. Right now, I see the WCHA getting just a single team into the field. And I guess I always take the approach that you never know what can happen once you get there, but right now there isn’t a lot of be positive about.

Bemidji State clinched (ran away with) that WCHA title a while ago. So this weekend was about crowning three champions in the three eastern conferences. All three endings were crazy.

Harvard and Union were co-champs, as you mentioned. But Union, which entered the final night with a single-point lead over the Crimson, let a late 3-2 lead slip against Cornell when Mitch Vanderlaan scored with 5:01 left. The tie created the co-champion situation.

Atlantic Hockey’s title looked to be headed to Air Force. The Falcons needed a sweep of Sacred Heart for the outright title after Canisius took a three-point lead with a win over Mercyhurst on Thursday. Three points and Air Force would be co-champs. But the Falcons, after winning Friday, surrendered the tying goal against the Pioneers with 53 seconds left in regulation and then gave up the game-winner halfway through the overtime. Heart-breaking for the Falcons, but a great moment for Canisius, which wins its first league title.

And then there’s Hockey East. Boston College has been in the driver’s seat in that league for a while. But a seven-game winless streak, including a sweep at the hands of UMass Lowell on Thursday and Friday, left the Eagles and River Hawks tied for first entering the final night. Boston University, two points back, could catch the duo but its opponent, Notre Dame, needed a win to win the title outright. The Terriers, though, played a complete game and earned a 4-1 victory, thus crowning three champions for the first-time in league history.

Lowell takes the top seed in the playoffs based on tiebreakers, which is impressive given that less than a month ago, the River Hawks were 10 points out of first place (remember, Hockey East uses a two-point-for-a-win system, not three). Additionally, Lowell had to pass or tie FIVE teams in the standings and did so with a 7-0-0 record in the final month.

To say the least, there were some exciting finishes this weekend that the NCHC will have a chance to match in the coming days and the Big Ten two weekends from now.

Paula: When I was covering the CCHA, there were several coaches who fell into the same trap that I just did – looking past conference championships in favor of the NCAA picture. It was always Bob Daniels that reminded me that a conference championship, whether the regular-season title or the playoff championship, is a goal all on its own, something to be proud of and to be savored.

Those photo-finishes in the ECAC, Atlantic Hockey and Hockey East were thrilling to watch. Hockey East was crazy and kudos to the River Hawks for their incredible finish to the season and for another timely reminder: Teams in control of their own destinies, especially toward the ends of seasons, must take care of their own business if they are to succeed.

Look at how the second half of the NCHC has played out. Denver is 10-2-0 in conference play since the start of the calendar year; Minnesota-Duluth is 8-2-4-3. The Bulldogs entered the second half with two games in hand on the Pioneers but are five points behind Denver in conference standings. This weekend, Minnesota-Duluth travels to Kalamazoo to play a very strong third-place Western Michigan team while Denver visits fifth-place Omaha.

There are two weeks remaining in the Big Ten, and this past weekend there were two B1G teams that could not take advantage of the opportunities handed to them. First-place Minnesota entered and exited the weekend three points ahead of second-place Wisconsin after splitting with the Badgers in Madison, and Ohio State slipped from third to fourth with a home split against Michigan, having been shut out by the Wolverines on Saturday. Worse for the Buckeyes is that they probably played themselves out of the NCAA tournament barring a playoff championship since they’ve slipped to 15th in the PWR.

Jim: I wouldn’t write off Ohio State just yet, but they need to being playing better – or at least more consistent – hockey over the last two regular season weekends if they want to make a move up the PairWise. My calculations say that should Ohio State run the table in these four games, they will climb as high as 8th or 9th heading into tournament weekend. So it’s not a disaster, but it’s a climb certainly.

When looking at the PairWise, the team that stands out to me for their position is Boston College. Despite being co-champion in Hockey East, BC’s nosedive in the month of February dropped the Eagles to a tie for 19th (actually 20th when you use the RPI tiebreaker). Because the Eagles have a bye, the most possible wins remaining without winning the Hockey East title is three. That means it is almost imperative that BC wins the Hockey East tournament to avoid being the first regular-season Hockey East champ to miss the NCAA tournament.

The PairWise, in fact, is pretty crazy right now when you think of expectations coming into the season. Despite departures and losses to graduation, many believed that teams like BC, Quinnipiac and North Dakota would all be seeking to return to the Frozen Four again this year. All three are currently on the outside looking in.

Paula: Every week when I vote in the poll, I check how teams did over the weekend, look at their positions relative to last week’s poll and then look at the PairWise, and every single week I’m still amazed by where Boston College, Quinnipiac and North Dakota are. I think BC is that one team we get every so often that does exceptionally well in its conference but is in serious danger of not making the NCAA tournament at all. That the team is Boston College is what I find difficult to reconcile.

North Dakota and Quinnipiac may be victimized by their particularly strong conferences. That the Fighting Hawks have a losing record in the NCHC is another fact that is difficult for my hockey brain to reconcile, given all other circumstances.

I wouldn’t count the Buckeyes out yet either Jim, but they will need to take care of things on their own end and not count on anyone ahead of them in either the Big Ten or the PWR doing them any favors. They host Michigan State this weekend but finish the season against Wisconsin on the road. Sweeping the struggling Spartans would help OSU’s chances, and a single win against a team higher in the PWR would be helpful.

I like a lot of what I’m seeing in the PWR, though, in terms of providing potential interest in the NCAA tournament. Massachusetts-Lowell is the story of a team becoming a perennial threat, having appeared in the NCAA Tournament four times since 2012 and the Frozen Four once in that span. Western Michigan will be making its first appearance in the tournament since 2012 and there’s nothing Broncos fans would love more than to have their team to establish themselves as part of the upper tier of an NCHC that has been dominated by former WCHA teams.

Penn State, though – that’s a story. Fourth year of Division I play and likely to make its first NCAA tournament appearance? What the Nittany Lions have done this season gets overlooked in some ways, I think, because of their affiliation with the brand of B1G athletics.

Jim: I understand the fact that Penn State may feel overlooked, but the way the Nittany Lions have played down the stretch takes a little bit of the sizzle off for me.

If I’m looking for my favorite PairWise storylines right now, I have three:

• Harvard, after graduating last year’s Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey, currently is top 3 and has the best winning percentage in the country.
• Denver, despite playing in the tough NCHC, is beginning to look like the favorite. They find ways to win hockey games.
• Wisconsin, with a new coaching staff, is suddenly right back in the NCAA picture. If the season ended today, the Badgers are back.

There’s plenty of time and a lot of great playoff games (and a few more regular-season games) to change my mind.

And here’s hoping for a few good overtime games as playoff action begins!

You’ve Got Mail

Have the NCAA selection criteria devalued the worth of winning in college hockey? Minnesota State sits at 19-11-4, has swept SCSU, split with Minnesota, yet is way out of the NCAA tournament since conference losses decimate their ranking. SCSU, on the other hand, is 15-16-1, but sits inside the NCAA bubble. — Carl from Sartell, Minn.

Jim: I don’t think the NCAA selection criteria devalues wins. Rather it awards teams for wins they achieve when playing a more difficult schedule. Right now, whether people like it or not, every single team in the NCHC plays among the most difficult schedules in the nation. And many have had significant success outside of conference play.

When pointing to Minnesota State, you highlight some of their good wins. But miss out on some of their bad losses. Alaska-Anchorage has the fourth-worst RPI in the nation. Ferris State’s RPI is 47th out of 60. Bowling Green’s is 39th out of 60. Those are just a few of Minnesota State’s losses.

Placing that resume against St. Cloud State, to continue with the example you used, the Huskies two losses to Minnesota State in the opening weekend of the season were, based on RPI, the two of their four worst losses of their season. Additionally, St. Cloud State beat North Dakota (16th in RPI), Minnesota (4th in RPI), Western Michigan (5th in RPI).

The reality is that teams with mediocre records in extremely strong conferences – and the NCHC is an extremely strong conference – will always be ranked ahead of decent teams in poor-performing conferences.

One aside as I use this comparison: St. Cloud State, despite being 14th in the PairWise, still needs to raise their record to above .500 to qualify for an at-large bid.

Paula: In some ways, you can look at it in terms of quality of losses – as Jim points out. While not every win is equal and every win is better than any loss, losing to an opponent with a far inferior RPI can really damage a team’s PWR.

Just this past weekend, Ohio State dropped from 13th to 15th with a single loss to Michigan. The Buckeyes have had a good season with only nine losses, but two of those losses were to Michigan (40th in the RPI), one to Robert Morris (30th) and one to Miami (29th). It’s not horrible, but it’s enough to keep a team hovering on the bubble.

Again, it goes back to whether a given team can consistently beat teams with lower RPIs.

The only quirk I see with the strength of schedule logic – with which I agree – is that Penn State didn’t suffer from its relatively weak first-half schedule. The Nittany Lions did very well in the first half and so did the rest of the Big Ten, giving Penn State an opportunity to build on those wins against programs with lower RPIs when B1G conference play began.

A strong schedule is rewarded but so is winning. It’s who teams lose to that can sometimes hurt the most.

Want your question answered in next week’s TMQ? Email it to jim.connelly@uscho.com.

  • #ONWISCONSON

  • #ONWISCONSON

  • gimruis

    Great clarification on the question comparing Mankato and St Cloud. I believe that St Cloud has played the hardest schedule in the country at this point. Bemidji is in the same boat. They won their conference handily but went 0-7-1 in non-conference play.

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      Strength of schedule is the only thing propping up UND right now. Hopefully they make the tourney, but I’m not banking on it.

      • ndsoldier

        If UND doesn’t make the tournament I have 2 West Regional tickets for sale…

        • UofMGoldenChokers

          And I’d go why?

          • ndsoldier

            Just posting it out there.

        • “SELL!! SELL! SELL!!!!!!”
          -SoDak fans right now lolllll

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Why would anyone sell now? They either A) make the tourney
            B) don’t make it and then sell them to either UMD, DU or rodent fans at a premium.

          • gimruis

            Or Beaver or St Cloud fans! Lots of potential buyers out there.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            It’s a sellers market!

          • Denver_hockey

            Good luck selling at premium when the market could be flooded with tickets from UND fans. Also, people can just get tickets from their respectful schools as well.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            In a 5K seat arena with probably 2 teams minimum from within driving distance, I’m sure there will be plenty of interest. UMD will probably get placed there if UND doesn’t make it……Bemidji would probably go there. Could even have goof u there is they are a number 2 seed.

          • Denver_hockey

            Maybe. It’s also possible UND fans would still go to the games because they’re good hockey fans. Sometimes, it’s fun to go without a strong rooting interest. I’ve done it at several regionals without rooting for DU (or against CC).

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            If I had tickets, I’d still go. I just figured that if someone didn’t want to go, it’d be rather easy to dump them off.

          • Denver_hockey

            I don’t know… I think that depends more on the North Dakota fans who have already bought the tickets than whoever gets put in that regional.

          • Denver_hockey

            Also we’re assuming that North Dakota doesn’t make it. I’m pretty sure they’ll get in and you won’t have to worry about it.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I’m not going that far yet. This team hasn’t put together back to back wins since the first weekend of January….and now they have to do at least 4 out of the next 5? Extremely tough hill to climb.

          • Denver_hockey

            I’m thinking even a split with Miami, series win against Omaha or St Cloud and they are in even if they lose both games at the frozen faceoff (unless CC or Miami upsets in the first round and beats UND at the frozen faceoff). They’re 3-1 against both St Cloud and Omaha and I’d put my money on them even if they were on the road.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I’d almost prefer they play on the road. Their home record is ridiculously bad this year.

          • Denver_hockey

            Yeah, nobody wants to play them in Fargo come NCAA tournament time though, if they get a bid

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Anyone going to Fargo would probably have a better shot since it would be like a home game for UND.

          • Denver_hockey

            That team is still dangerous, and more likely to catch fire at home.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I can only hope so. Going to be a tough weekend in Miami. They always play better at home.

          • Denver_hockey

            They certainly didn’t against Denver this year lol. Usually they do though.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            No one has played DU exceptionally well this year…WMU is probably the closest.

          • Denver_hockey

            Providence outplayed DU both games they played them. However, it was a weird time of year after a long break and they didn’t have Terry or Borgstrom. I thought St Cloud played better than WMU when they beat DU. The 3-0 is misleading as 2 were empty netters and one was a power play back when DU’s penalty kill was awful.

          • Friarsgirl

            Thanks for the acknowledgement on the PC-DU games. Many at the rink thought the Friars would get a drubbing(not me of course!) since DU was #1 in the nation that week. It was that series that really coalesced the team; from then on they only lost 2 of 14 games including 9 straight against other Hockey East opponents. DU will be formidable in the playoffs.

          • rampantlion

            The Gophers are, currently, a #1 seed, being 4th in the PWR.

          • I mean sell mode in general! PANIC!!!! LOLLLLLLLLL!! #ONWISCONSON

          • rampantlion

            Who wouldn’t want to see the Fighting Jackrabbits? LOL!

        • Kramerica

          I’m interested!

          • Denver_hockey

            Whoa there sparky, who says the Gophers are going to Fargo?

          • Kramerica

            I didn’t say anything about the gophers. I just like hockey.

    • Denver_hockey

      …and they’re 2-7 against UMD and Denver. I was really not impressed with them in person this last weekend, which is the complete opposite of last year where I thought they were the best team in the country. Honestly, they looked like the worst NCHC to come to Denver this year.

      • gimruis

        Well to be fair they have also lost 3 of those games in overtime too, but point made.

        • Denver_hockey

          I do think they are probably better than Mankato NOW and deserve a spot in the NCAA tournament if they sweep CC and win the first round of the NCHC tournament.

          • HuskyNation

            The Huskies did not play well in Denver but the youngsters could make some noise in the NCAA tournament if they get in.

          • Denver_hockey

            Agreed. Just seeing the drop off from the team they had last year though is concerning. They were my national championship pick.

          • HuskyNation

            Denver looks a lot like SCSU last year. Lots of talent that might not be back next year.

          • HuskyNation

            That being said I am pulling for Denver.

          • Denver_hockey

            Denver doesn’t rebuild, they reload. They don’t even have a ton of talent on their team in terms of NHL draft picks. Nothing like BU anyway. Jaillet will be back, not sure about Gambrell, Borgstrom, or Terry. Watch out for guys like McLellan, Finlay, Luko, and Staub stepping up next year.

          • HuskyNation

            Just wait till the Poehling brothers start shaving, they could be quite special.

          • gimruis

            I agree, St Cloud has a pretty good squad considering the talent pool they lost and the quantity of underclassmen they have this season.

          • Denver_hockey

            Was nice to see them not tank after losing so much talent like Michigan did.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Mich relied on one line, which was the 3rd best line in the country.

          • Denver_hockey

            Haha behind CBS and pacific rim, right?

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Exactly. Those two lines each had their qualities, hard to say if one was better than the other. Only reason the CCM line had the most points is they played the vast majority of their games against crap in conference teams.

          • Denver_hockey

            I’d say the CBS line was slightly better than the PAC rim line. The pacific rim line got shut down in the frozen four too, never forget…

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Everyone could probably agree that the UND/DU game essentially was the title game.

          • Jmst

            DOT line will forever be the best UND line though.

          • Let’sPlayHockey

            Especially Ryan. Kid just turned 18.

          • Scott Stone

            You just named three absolute studs in Gambrell, Borgstrom and Terry. Losing those three, along with Butcher, you’ll have some growing pains. Trust me. Look at UND this year.

          • Denver_hockey

            Heard the same thing last year when they lost Moore, Heinen, and Zajac. I don’t think DU will lose all 3 of those guys either. They could even keep all 3.

          • Denver_hockey

            Also, I really hope Denvers season doesn’t end the ways St Clouds did last year. Felt really bad for the Huskies fans, but was kind of happy that DU didn’t have to play them.

          • gimruis

            That’s life in the NCAA tournament. Even a historically good season can end 17 seconds into overtime to an inferior team.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Yale over goof u in 2013………holy cross over goof u in 2006……

          • HuskyNation

            I don’t think it will, SCSU seems to have trouble in OT. They have for a few years now.

  • gimruis

    Great clarification on the question comparing Mankato and St Cloud. I believe that St Cloud has played the hardest schedule in the country at this point. Bemidji is in the same boat. They won their conference handily but went 0-7-1 in non-conference play.

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      Strength of schedule is the only thing propping up UND right now. Hopefully they make the tourney, but I’m not banking on it.

      • ndsoldier

        If UND doesn’t make the tournament I have 2 West Regional tickets for sale…

        • UofMGoldenChokers

          And I’d go why?

          • ndsoldier

            Just posting it out there.

        • “SELL!! SELL! SELL!!!!!!”
          -SoDak fans right now lolllll

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Why would anyone sell now? They either A) make the tourney
            B) don’t make it and then sell them to either UMD, DU or rodent fans at a premium.

          • gimruis

            Or Beaver or St Cloud fans! Lots of potential buyers out there.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            It’s a sellers market!

          • Denver_hockey

            Good luck selling at premium when the market could be flooded with tickets from UND fans. Also, people can just get tickets from their respectful schools as well.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            In a 5K seat arena with probably 2 teams minimum from within driving distance, I’m sure there will be plenty of interest. UMD will probably get placed there if UND doesn’t make it……Bemidji would probably go there. Could even have goof u there is they are a number 2 seed.

          • Denver_hockey

            Maybe. It’s also possible UND fans would still go to the games because they’re good hockey fans. Sometimes, it’s fun to go without a strong rooting interest. I’ve done it at several regionals without rooting for DU (or against CC).

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            If I had tickets, I’d still go. I just figured that if someone didn’t want to go, it’d be rather easy to dump them off.

          • Denver_hockey

            I don’t know… I think that depends more on the North Dakota fans who have already bought the tickets than whoever gets put in that regional.

          • Denver_hockey

            Also we’re assuming that North Dakota doesn’t make it. I’m pretty sure they’ll get in and you won’t have to worry about it.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I’m not going that far yet. This team hasn’t put together back to back wins since the first weekend of January….and now they have to do at least 4 out of the next 5? Extremely tough hill to climb.

          • Denver_hockey

            I’m thinking even a split with Miami, series win against Omaha or St Cloud and they are in even if they lose both games at the frozen faceoff (unless CC or Miami upsets in the first round and beats UND at the frozen faceoff). They’re 3-1 against both St Cloud and Omaha and I’d put my money on them even if they were on the road.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I’d almost prefer they play on the road. Their home record is ridiculously bad this year.

          • Denver_hockey

            Yeah, nobody wants to play them in Fargo come NCAA tournament time though, if they get a bid

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Anyone going to Fargo would probably have a better shot since it would be like a home game for UND.

          • Denver_hockey

            That team is still dangerous, and more likely to catch fire at home.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I can only hope so. Going to be a tough weekend in Miami. They always play better at home.

          • Denver_hockey

            They certainly didn’t against Denver this year lol. Usually they do though.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            No one has played DU exceptionally well this year…WMU is probably the closest.

          • Denver_hockey

            Providence outplayed DU both games they played them. However, it was a weird time of year after a long break and they didn’t have Terry or Borgstrom. I thought St Cloud played better than WMU when they beat DU. The 3-0 is misleading as 2 were empty netters and one was a power play back when DU’s penalty kill was awful.

          • Friarsgirl

            Thanks for the acknowledgement on the PC-DU games. Many at the rink thought the Friars would get a drubbing(not me of course!) since DU was #1 in the nation that week. It was that series that really coalesced the team; from then on they only lost 2 of 14 games including 9 straight against other Hockey East opponents. DU will be formidable in the playoffs.

          • rampantlion

            The Gophers are, currently, a #1 seed, being 4th in the PWR.

          • I mean sell mode in general! PANIC!!!! LOLLLLLLLLL!! #ONWISCONSON

          • rampantlion

            Who wouldn’t want to see the Fighting Jackrabbits? LOL!

        • Kramerica

          I’m interested!

          • Denver_hockey

            Whoa there sparky, who says the Gophers are going to Fargo?

          • Kramerica

            I didn’t say anything about the gophers. I just like hockey.

    • Denver_hockey

      …and they’re 2-7 against UMD and Denver. I was really not impressed with them in person this last weekend, which is the complete opposite of last year where I thought they were the best team in the country. Honestly, they looked like the worst NCHC to come to Denver this year.

      • gimruis

        Well to be fair they have also lost 3 of those games in overtime too, but point made.

        • Denver_hockey

          I do think they are probably better than Mankato NOW and deserve a spot in the NCAA tournament if they sweep CC and win the first round of the NCHC tournament.

          • HuskyNation

            The Huskies did not play well in Denver but the youngsters could make some noise in the NCAA tournament if they get in.

          • Denver_hockey

            Agreed. Just seeing the drop off from the team they had last year though is concerning. They were my national championship pick.

          • HuskyNation

            Denver looks a lot like SCSU last year. Lots of talent that might not be back next year.

          • HuskyNation

            That being said I am pulling for Denver.

          • Denver_hockey

            Denver doesn’t rebuild, they reload. They don’t even have a ton of talent on their team in terms of NHL draft picks. Nothing like BU anyway. Jaillet will be back, not sure about Gambrell, Borgstrom, or Terry. Watch out for guys like McLellan, Finlay, Luko, and Staub stepping up next year.

          • HuskyNation

            Just wait till the Poehling brothers start shaving, they could be quite special.

          • gimruis

            I agree, St Cloud has a pretty good squad considering the talent pool they lost and the quantity of underclassmen they have this season.

          • Denver_hockey

            Was nice to see them not tank after losing so much talent like Michigan did.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Mich relied on one line, which was the 3rd best line in the country.

          • Denver_hockey

            Haha behind CBS and pacific rim, right?

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Exactly. Those two lines each had their qualities, hard to say if one was better than the other. Only reason the CCM line had the most points is they played the vast majority of their games against crap in conference teams.

          • Denver_hockey

            I’d say the CBS line was slightly better than the PAC rim line. The pacific rim line got shut down in the frozen four too, never forget…

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Everyone could probably agree that the UND/DU game essentially was the title game.

          • Jmst

            DOT line will forever be the best UND line though.

          • Let’sPlayHockey

            Especially Ryan. Kid just turned 18.

          • Scott Stone

            You just named three absolute studs in Gambrell, Borgstrom and Terry. Losing those three, along with Butcher, you’ll have some growing pains. Trust me. Look at UND this year.

          • Denver_hockey

            Heard the same thing last year when they lost Moore, Heinen, and Zajac. I don’t think DU will lose all 3 of those guys either. They could even keep all 3.

          • Denver_hockey

            Also, I really hope Denvers season doesn’t end the ways St Clouds did last year. Felt really bad for the Huskies fans, but was kind of happy that DU didn’t have to play them.

          • gimruis

            That’s life in the NCAA tournament. Even a historically good season can end 17 seconds into overtime to an inferior team.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Yale over goof u in 2013………holy cross over goof u in 2006……

          • HuskyNation

            I don’t think it will, SCSU seems to have trouble in OT. They have for a few years now.

  • Adam Houck

    Paula: The Minn-Wisc games were played in Minneapolis last weekend.

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      This column is in dire need of a proofreader……as well as people that actually watch the games…..

  • Adam Houck

    Paula: The Minn-Wisc games were played in Minneapolis last weekend.

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      This column is in dire need of a proofreader……as well as people that actually watch the games…..

  • DU_Fan

    Jim, one minor correction to your statement “Right now, whether people like it or not, every single team in the NCHC plays among the most difficult schedules in the nation”. You can leave out the word “among”. The NCHC has teams 1-8 as far as SOS. This statistic is like arguing the PWR is not fair, though it is totally unbiased, leaving out prejudiced human voters.

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      BOOM! ROASTED!

    • gimruis

      At least he admitted that the sizzle of Penn State has gone down because of how they have played down the stretch.

      • UofMGoldenChokers

        “You don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle!”

  • DU_Fan

    Jim, one minor correction to your statement “Right now, whether people like it or not, every single team in the NCHC plays among the most difficult schedules in the nation”. You can leave out the word “among”. The NCHC has teams 1-8 as far as SOS. This statistic is like arguing the PWR is not fair, though it is totally unbiased, leaving out prejudiced human voters.

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      BOOM! ROASTED!

    • gimruis

      At least he admitted that the sizzle of Penn State has gone down because of how they have played down the stretch.

      • UofMGoldenChokers

        “You don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle!”

  • DrunkTrainPolka

    .
    while the commentary about the WCHA does not cease to be true, on top of some inter-conference hard luck, its again about the fact that the weakest schools – talent, size, and financial – were hung to dry…

    the future looks bleak… maybe splitting the conference in two regions and increasing the number of non-conference games (by reducing conference ones) can prove to be useful. now, who wants to play the WCHA? who?

    the top-half is hopeful…but the bottom-half horrible.

    yeah, yeah, yeah, blame it on the B1G… but i personally feel the hand-picked NACHO is more to blame. here is hoping the extra fake-cheese and the canned-jalapeƱos will cause some indigestion… ;)

    is re-balancing every going to happen between the WCHA and the NACHO? doubtful…

    GO TECH GOLD! …just the same!
    .

    • gimruis

      Can’t argue that. And you wonder why Mankato wanted to leave and join the NACHO last summer.

      • UofMGoldenChokers

        Nacho doesn’t want to be drug down…..

        • DrunkTrainPolka

          .
          michigan tech would not have done that… not with person already at the helm. he has shown that.

          and on top, two more-balanced conferences would have been best for college hockey.

          but yeah, i know, greed and tied together with narcissism makes you blind. ;)

          GO TECH GOLD!
          .

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            With Kato. They weren’t amazing by any means in the old WCHA.

          • gimruis

            I agree, but geographically they make a lot of sense and they have been the most successful program in the WCHA since re-alignment.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Probably. Just not sure on who would be a 10th team. AZ would definitely be dragging the conference down and they don’t even have an arena.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            tech…
            .

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            What would they do with the McNaughton cup?

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            tech is the trustee of the 1913 cup… so toss out that bland-looking penrose one.

            and then you can feel like you got two for one; let us in and the cup comes with!

            bty, the cup is from calumet, mi – where i live – home to the oldest continuously used rink in north america. its as old as the cup… and where our local high school still plays!
            .

          • Denver_hockey

            I’d rather have Mankanto than ASU. I have zero respect for the Arizona State program and hope they find a new culture, coach or leave D1 hockey. Their sportsmanship of intentionally trying to injure star players when they are getting their asses handed to them is not acceptable in D1 hockey. I won’t even get started on all the misconducts they had in one weekend either.

          • gimruis

            They’re probably just used to club hockey. No rules!

      • DrunkTrainPolka

        .
        i am bitter. at least a little.

        mel pearson was already on board when the NACHO was created. tech had made the commitment to turn, really turn, things around.
        .

        • gimruis

          Look at it this way: if the BIG didn’t have revenue from other sports, do you think hockey would thrive for them as a stand-alone sport like in the WCHA and NCHC? Ya, Penn State has thrived as a new program in terms of attendance but Wisconsin’s revenue has plummeted, and Minnesota’s attendance is down too. I don’t think the BIG would be any better off than the WCHA in terms of stability if this was the case.

        • Sparky

          You are spot on here.

      • reardensteel

        Hey, I’m no fan of B16 hockey, but at least those schools were actually in that conference beforehand in all other sports. For decades.

        In contrast, the formation of the NCHC was underhanded, arrogant, and, frankly, rude.
        The whole thing was completely high school.

        UND: “Psst… be at the shed behind the bleachers after school, and don’t tell anybody.”
        UMD: “Can I tell Mankato?”
        DU: “Nobody. You got that?”
        SCSU: “Hey guys, what you talkin’ about?”
        UND: “Nothin’; beat it.”
        SCSU: “C’mon, just tell me.”
        DU: “He’s gonna find out, anyway.”
        UND: “Fine. We’re making a new league.”
        SCSU: “Can I be in it?”
        UND: “We’ll see.”
        SCSU: “Please? Don’t leave me with those losers.”
        DU: “I think we should let him in. We need two more teams.”
        WMU: “If you need two more teams, how bout me?”
        UND: “Where’d you come from?”
        WMU: “I heard what you said. Let me in or I’ll squeal.”
        UND: “This is total crap.”
        DU: “Let it go, man. We need eight teams. I just have to tell CC before 5th period.”
        SCSU: “What? You’re letting him in?”
        DU: “We have to, he’s my little brother. Besides, he used to be really good.”
        UND: “All right, Tech is coming, everybody shut up. We’ll talk about it later. Just be at the shed after school.”

        Something like that.

        • Denver_hockey

          I mean if you had a chance to leave behind Alaska-Anchorage, Michigan Tech, BSU, and Mankato and add Miami and Western, wouldn’t you?

          • reardensteel

            IDK.
            There were some decent rivalries with Tech and Mankato, at least I thought so.

          • Denver_hockey

            Maybe Mankato, Tech was horrible in the WCHA for years and years…

          • gimruis

            Ya, what do they have like 1 NCAA appearance in 35 years?

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            i would like to think one NCAA appearance and one conference championship in five seasons… we were also -REALLY- close to making the tournament last year. we are not done with pearson’s sixth season…

            tech had hired an extremely high caliber coach -BEFORE- the NACHO was created.
            .

          • Denver_hockey

            A promising coach doesn’t make up for years and years of being the bottom dwellers.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            #Fact

          • Denver_hockey

            Have you seen the NCHC schools? That resume doesn’t even come close to any of them. They would for sure be the odd one out.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            In tech’s defense, they do have a three national titles….where Miami and WMU have zero. But yes, Tech was bottom feeding for 30+ years.

          • Denver_hockey

            True, but Miami and WMU looked a lot more promising then Tech though. Agree?

          • gimruis

            Yes very much so

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Absolutely.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            that’s where two more-balanced conferences could have come out of all of this.

            teams split up on two conferences with lots of non-conference games between the two leagues… consider geography as well for travel cost.

            could have in a way helped the little teams out. think of it as a mega 18 team conference with two regions.

            coulda have been a win-win.

            as is, its no good. again, the little teams got hung to dry.
            .

          • Denver_hockey

            Not a win-win for the big programs having an off-year like St Cloud and North Dakota this year. No way they’d be in the NCAA tourney with the same record playing the little guys. It would only be a win for the little teams for SOS so the big guys left them hung out to dry.

          • Sparky

            I agree. Tech was on a big upswing just prior to conference realignment. People forget about MTU’s CH history, they had incredible hockey teams for many years. Matter of fact, the first CH game I ever saw live was MTU at UND, they whipped the Sioux that night (this was prior to Gino’s arrival). I miss the intensity of the old WCHA, but some of this might be due to the way CH is now played.

          • reardensteel

            It’s really the way it was done that bugs me, I guess.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Blame the crap 6….

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            NOPE!

            tired of hearing about it being B1G’s fault…

            independent of them doing something right or wrong, the NACHO proceeded incorrectly.

            two balanced conferences could have come out of the CCHA and WCHA.

            two wrongs don’t make a right… ;)
            .

          • Denver_hockey

            It was a trigger effect of the Big 10 though…

          • gimruis

            That’s right. You only shoot after you’ve been shot at. Self defense.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            See Denver and grimruis responses. Everything set in motion by…..wait for it……….the dumb 10 league.

        • gimruis

          Even though I don’t agree with you opinion, that was pretty good. Made me laugh.

          • reardensteel

            That’s better than being right!

        • DrunkTrainPolka

          .
          amen… exactly how it happened. the truch finally come out!! i was a fly on the wall…

          GO TECH GOLD!
          .

          • HuskyNation

            SCSU was invited late in the game.

        • HuskyNation

          That sounds about how it went.

        • Sparky

          There was a Machiavellian aspect to the formation of the NCHC. If you want someone to blame there is just one person who created this entire situation….Don Lucia.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I thought ol Lucy Lucia said that the big joke would be bad for their program?

          • Sparky

            No, he was the mastermind behind the B10. He may have had school admins pushing him, but he was the leading force behind the formation of a B10 hockey conference.

          • Brian

            Never heard that one before. Please do tell how Lucia was the leading force behind the formation of the B1G hockey? Did he convince Terry Pegula to fund the Penn State hockey program? If there is no hockey at PSU, there is no B1G conference.

    • Denver_hockey

      Well look at it this way. If there was no big ten, there would be no NCHC. I understand you’re kinda pissed because your school got screwed, but in the end the teams wanted to build a situation like one this year; Where teams can have average years and still make the NCAA tournament. It’s also the ONLY reason to have a third place game.

      • UofMGoldenChokers

        That third place game can really come in handy. UND had to use it 3 years ago to get in. With some help from………..Wicso…….just to get in and beat em….ha ha.

        • Denver_hockey

          Yep. I remember that. Made it all the way to the frozen four. Last years third place game shouldn’t have even been played between ND and DU. Both teams were easily in the tourney and it was a pretty uninspired game. But, I guess you can’t have it both ways to where you play it if a team needs it and don’t if a team doesn’t.

        • gimruis

          Oh, the irony. Someone saves your season and in return you end theirs. Real classy

          • Denver_hockey

            Wisconsin should have known better than to help out North Dakota hahaha. Nobody to blame but themselves for that one.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            They were already in the tourney…..they really wanted that number 1 seed in the regional. ha ha

          • Denver_hockey

            …and they haven’t been back since. UND must have really broken their spirits.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            We’ll do that to a team…..except DU….that team has been rolling since the FF last year.

          • Denver_hockey

            Every time I blink I see Nick Schmaltz scoring right in front of the DU section where I was sitting. I guess they just broke my spirit. Can’t be that mad though – I was just happy they came back from down 2-0.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Was a lot of luck. Kind of a broken play as the original shot right after the faceoff was blocked and it bounced right to Boeser. Not sure if he was trying to pass to Schmaltz or was shooting a backhand. I chalked it up to luck with a little bit of skill. Schmaltz had to sneak behind the defense.

          • Denver_hockey

            DU flat out shouldn’t have iced the puck. They didn’t even need to.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I’m guessing it wasn’t intended, were they at the end of a long shift?

          • Jmst

            Seems like DU has been rolling for two decades. Easily in the top 5, most consistent programs in the last 20 years.

            Love me some Jason Zucker!

            Coming from a UND fan…..Respect.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            They did have a bit of a stretch of losing in round 1 or not making the tourney. But yes, rather consistent.

          • Jmst

            True. Some tough luck in their seeding and just bad puck luck. Have only missed the tourney a couple of times since their title run.

          • Sparky

            Last year UND had the best set of CH defensemen I have seen in many years. However, year in and out, DU has had some of CH’s very best defensemen pass through the school. Pat Wiercioch was one of my faves. They have a big stud right now in Blake Hillman.

          • gimruis

            Then why can Gwozdecky?

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Apparently his dasher dancing wasn’t good enough for DU?

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Felt a little bad….but that’s hockey.

  • DrunkTrainPolka

    .
    while the commentary about the WCHA does not cease to be true, on top of some inter-conference hard luck, its again about the fact that the weakest schools – talent, size, and financial – were hung to dry…

    the future looks bleak… maybe splitting the conference in two regions and increasing the number of non-conference games (by reducing conference ones) can prove to be useful. now, who wants to play the WCHA? who?

    the top-half is hopeful…but the bottom-half horrible.

    yeah, yeah, yeah, blame it on the B1G… but i personally feel the hand-picked NACHO is more to blame. here is hoping the extra fake-cheese and the canned-jalapeƱos will cause some indigestion… ;)

    is re-balancing every going to happen between the WCHA and the NACHO? doubtful…

    GO TECH GOLD! …just the same!
    .

    • gimruis

      Can’t argue that. And you wonder why Mankato wanted to leave and join the NACHO last summer.

      • UofMGoldenChokers

        Nacho doesn’t want to be drug down…..

        • DrunkTrainPolka

          .
          michigan tech would not have done that… not with person already at the helm. he has shown that.

          and on top, two more-balanced conferences would have been best for college hockey.

          but yeah, i know, greed and tied together with narcissism makes you blind. ;)

          GO TECH GOLD!
          .

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            With Kato. They weren’t amazing by any means in the old WCHA.

          • gimruis

            I agree, but geographically they make a lot of sense and they have been the most successful program in the WCHA since re-alignment.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Probably. Just not sure on who would be a 10th team. AZ would definitely be dragging the conference down and they don’t even have an arena.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            tech…
            .

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            What would they do with the McNaughton cup?

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            tech is the trustee of the 1913 cup… so toss out that bland-looking penrose one.

            and then you can feel like you got two for one; let us in and the cup comes with!

            bty, the cup is from calumet, mi – where i live – home to the oldest continuously used rink in north america. its as old as the cup… and where our local high school still plays!
            .

          • Denver_hockey

            I’d rather have Mankanto than ASU. I have zero respect for the Arizona State program and hope they find a new culture, coach or leave D1 hockey. Their sportsmanship of intentionally trying to injure star players when they are getting their asses handed to them is not acceptable in D1 hockey. I won’t even get started on all the misconducts they had in one weekend either.

          • gimruis

            They’re probably just used to club hockey. No rules!

      • DrunkTrainPolka

        .
        i am bitter. at least a little.

        mel pearson was already on board when the NACHO was created. tech had made the commitment to turn, really turn, things around.
        .

        • gimruis

          Look at it this way: if the BIG didn’t have revenue from other sports, do you think hockey would thrive for them as a stand-alone sport like in the WCHA and NCHC? Ya, Penn State has thrived as a new program in terms of attendance but Wisconsin’s revenue has plummeted, and Minnesota’s attendance is down too. I don’t think the BIG would be any better off than the WCHA in terms of stability if this was the case.

        • Sparky

          You are spot on here.

      • reardensteel

        Hey, I’m no fan of B16 hockey, but at least those schools were actually in that conference beforehand in all other sports. For decades.

        In contrast, the formation of the NCHC was underhanded, arrogant, and, frankly, rude.
        The whole thing was completely high school.

        UND: “Psst… be at the shed behind the bleachers after school, and don’t tell anybody.”
        UMD: “Can I tell Mankato?”
        DU: “Nobody. You got that?”
        SCSU: “Hey guys, what you talkin’ about?”
        UND: “Nothin’; beat it.”
        SCSU: “C’mon, just tell me.”
        DU: “He’s gonna find out, anyway.”
        UND: “Fine. We’re making a new league.”
        SCSU: “Can I be in it?”
        UND: “We’ll see.”
        SCSU: “Please? Don’t leave me with those losers.”
        DU: “I think we should let him in. We need two more teams.”
        WMU: “If you need two more teams, how bout me?”
        UND: “Where’d you come from?”
        WMU: “I heard what you said. Let me in or I’ll squeal.”
        UND: “This is total crap.”
        DU: “Let it go, man. We need eight teams. I just have to tell CC before 5th period.”
        SCSU: “What? You’re letting him in?”
        DU: “We have to, he’s my little brother. Besides, he used to be really good.”
        UND: “All right, Tech is coming, everybody shut up. We’ll talk about it later. Just be at the shed after school.”

        Something like that.

        • Denver_hockey

          I mean if you had a chance to leave behind Alaska-Anchorage, Michigan Tech, BSU, and Mankato and add Miami and Western, wouldn’t you?

          • reardensteel

            IDK.
            There were some decent rivalries with Tech and Mankato, at least I thought so.

          • Denver_hockey

            Maybe Mankato, Tech was horrible in the WCHA for years and years…

          • gimruis

            Ya, what do they have like 1 NCAA appearance in 35 years?

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            i would like to think one NCAA appearance and one conference championship in five seasons… we were also -REALLY- close to making the tournament last year. we are not done with pearson’s sixth season…

            tech had hired an extremely high caliber coach -BEFORE- the NACHO was created.
            .

          • Denver_hockey

            A promising coach doesn’t make up for years and years of being the bottom dwellers.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            #Fact

          • Denver_hockey

            Have you seen the NCHC schools? That resume doesn’t even come close to any of them. They would for sure be the odd one out.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            In tech’s defense, they do have a three national titles….where Miami and WMU have zero. But yes, Tech was bottom feeding for 30+ years.

          • Denver_hockey

            True, but Miami and WMU looked a lot more promising then Tech though. Agree?

          • gimruis

            Yes very much so

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Absolutely.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            that’s where two more-balanced conferences could have come out of all of this.

            teams split up on two conferences with lots of non-conference games between the two leagues… consider geography as well for travel cost.

            could have in a way helped the little teams out. think of it as a mega 18 team conference with two regions.

            coulda have been a win-win.

            as is, its no good. again, the little teams got hung to dry.
            .

          • Denver_hockey

            Not a win-win for the big programs having an off-year like St Cloud and North Dakota this year. No way they’d be in the NCAA tourney with the same record playing the little guys. It would only be a win for the little teams for SOS so the big guys left them hung out to dry.

          • Sparky

            I agree. Tech was on a big upswing just prior to conference realignment. People forget about MTU’s CH history, they had incredible hockey teams for many years. Matter of fact, the first CH game I ever saw live was MTU at UND, they whipped the Sioux that night (this was prior to Gino’s arrival). I miss the intensity of the old WCHA, but some of this might be due to the way CH is now played.

          • reardensteel

            It’s really the way it was done that bugs me, I guess.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Blame the crap 6….

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            NOPE!

            tired of hearing about it being B1G’s fault…

            independent of them doing something right or wrong, the NACHO proceeded incorrectly.

            two balanced conferences could have come out of the CCHA and WCHA.

            two wrongs don’t make a right… ;)
            .

          • Denver_hockey

            It was a trigger effect of the Big 10 though…

          • gimruis

            That’s right. You only shoot after you’ve been shot at. Self defense.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            See Denver and grimruis responses. Everything set in motion by…..wait for it……….the dumb 10 league.

        • gimruis

          Even though I don’t agree with you opinion, that was pretty good. Made me laugh.

          • reardensteel

            That’s better than being right!

        • DrunkTrainPolka

          .
          amen… exactly how it happened. the truch finally come out!! i was a fly on the wall…

          GO TECH GOLD!
          .

          • HuskyNation

            SCSU was invited late in the game.

        • HuskyNation

          That sounds about how it went.

        • Sparky

          There was a Machiavellian aspect to the formation of the NCHC. If you want someone to blame there is just one person who created this entire situation….Don Lucia.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I thought ol Lucy Lucia said that the big joke would be bad for their program?

          • Sparky

            No, he was the mastermind behind the B10. He may have had school admins pushing him, but he was the leading force behind the formation of a B10 hockey conference.

          • Brian

            Never heard that one before. Please do tell how Lucia was the leading force behind the formation of the B1G hockey? Did he convince Terry Pegula to fund the Penn State hockey program? If there is no hockey at PSU, there is no B1G conference.

    • Denver_hockey

      Well look at it this way. If there was no big ten, there would be no NCHC. I understand you’re kinda pissed because your school got screwed, but in the end the teams wanted to build a situation like one this year; Where teams can have average years and still make the NCAA tournament. It’s also the ONLY reason to have a third place game.

      • UofMGoldenChokers

        That third place game can really come in handy. UND had to use it 3 years ago to get in. With some help from………..Wicso…….just to get in and beat em….ha ha.

        • Denver_hockey

          Yep. I remember that. Made it all the way to the frozen four. Last years third place game shouldn’t have even been played between ND and DU. Both teams were easily in the tourney and it was a pretty uninspired game. But, I guess you can’t have it both ways to where you play it if a team needs it and don’t if a team doesn’t.

        • gimruis

          Oh, the irony. Someone saves your season and in return you end theirs. Real classy

          • Denver_hockey

            Wisconsin should have known better than to help out North Dakota hahaha. Nobody to blame but themselves for that one.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            They were already in the tourney…..they really wanted that number 1 seed in the regional. ha ha

          • Denver_hockey

            …and they haven’t been back since. UND must have really broken their spirits.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            We’ll do that to a team…..except DU….that team has been rolling since the FF last year.

          • Denver_hockey

            Every time I blink I see Nick Schmaltz scoring right in front of the DU section where I was sitting. I guess they just broke my spirit. Can’t be that mad though – I was just happy they came back from down 2-0.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Was a lot of luck. Kind of a broken play as the original shot right after the faceoff was blocked and it bounced right to Boeser. Not sure if he was trying to pass to Schmaltz or was shooting a backhand. I chalked it up to luck with a little bit of skill. Schmaltz had to sneak behind the defense.

          • Denver_hockey

            DU flat out shouldn’t have iced the puck. They didn’t even need to.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            I’m guessing it wasn’t intended, were they at the end of a long shift?

          • Jmst

            Seems like DU has been rolling for two decades. Easily in the top 5, most consistent programs in the last 20 years.

            Love me some Jason Zucker!

            Coming from a UND fan…..Respect.

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            They did have a bit of a stretch of losing in round 1 or not making the tourney. But yes, rather consistent.

          • Jmst

            True. Some tough luck in their seeding and just bad puck luck. Have only missed the tourney a couple of times since their title run.

          • Sparky

            Last year UND had the best set of CH defensemen I have seen in many years. However, year in and out, DU has had some of CH’s very best defensemen pass through the school. Pat Wiercioch was one of my faves. They have a big stud right now in Blake Hillman.

          • gimruis

            Then why can Gwozdecky?

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Apparently his dasher dancing wasn’t good enough for DU?

          • UofMGoldenChokers

            Felt a little bad….but that’s hockey.

  • Steely Dan

    Big 10 hockey sucks…and will always suck. Best recruiting tool EVAAAH to the East Coast schools was the creation of the Big 10.

  • Steely Dan

    Big 10 hockey sucks…and will always suck. Best recruiting tool EVAAAH to the East Coast schools was the creation of the Big 10.

  • bob

    have no doubt union will make lake placid, but worried once they get there – i think they make the ncaa tour. but clearly not as confident as years past

  • bob

    have no doubt union will make lake placid, but worried once they get there – i think they make the ncaa tour. but clearly not as confident as years past