Northeast Regional

I’ll be covering the Northeast Regional in Manchester and love the games I’ll be watching.  If I had my druthers, I’d have preferred Merrimack in Bridgeport so there’d be the potential of three Hockey East teams in the Frozen Four (hello, 1999!).  The Warriors’ path to the Frozen Four would also probably have been easiest there. 

But Miami vs. UNH and Merrimack vs. Notre Dame sounds like some great hockey to me.  I’m already pumped and jacked.

I think Merrimack will beat Notre Dame and not just because the Irish are stumbling into the tournament. I think the Warriors are that good. 

I also think UNH has a great shot against Miami. The RedHawks are playing terrific hockey right now and are a clear favorite, but there’s a big reason you go through all the aggravation of hosting a regional — so you get, in effect, home ice advantage even when you’re a number four seed against a number one.

West Regional

Boston College fans can’t be happy about the Eagles getting sent out West to avoid a first-round match-up with number four seed UNH. This also looks like a pretty tough bracket. 

I liked Jerry York’s suggestion after the Hockey East championship game that leagues host regionals instead of individual teams.  The CCHA is doing this in St. Louis.  It would avoid the inequity of a number one seed being moved at the expense of a number four. 

That said, my guess is that most leagues will think they’ve got more than enough headaches as it is. And they’ll point to the schools that took it on the chin and say that there’s nothing stopping those schools from hosting themselves.

Midwest Regional

Some WCHA fans are the best.  I really mean that.  But good grief, others make me think that the “W” in WCHA stands for whiners. The wailing over North Dakota and Denver getting placed in the same bracket begins to sound, after a while, like fingernails on a chalkboard. 

North Dakota was the number two overall seed.  Denver was the number seven overall seed.  Number two seeds are supposed to be in the same bracket with number seven seeds.

And if you think Denver should have been rated higher in the Pairwise, well, perhaps the Pioneers shouldn’t have lost four of their last seven games heading into the WCHA playoffs. Here are those losses: 7-3 to Minnesota; 3-2 to a Michigan Tech team that finished 2-24-2 in the league and 4-30-4 overall; 5-2 to Nebraska-Omaha; and 3-2 to St. Cloud State.  Only one of those losses was to an NCAA tournament-bound team. 

If you stink down the stretch, you get what you deserve.

East Regional

Can we agree that the East Regional in Bridgeport is the “put up or shut up” bracket? The over-the-top WCHA partisans I just referred to had better hope that Minnesota-Duluth gets out of this “easy” bracket. 

But the real onus in on the ECAC.  If the ECAC can’t get a team into the Frozen Four out of this bracket, it will have lived down to the assessment of the most denigrating of fans elsewhere.  If you get your top two teams in a bracket along with an auto-qualifier from Atlantic Hockey, then it’s time to deliver. 

(Yes, I’m aware of Atlantic Hockey’s propensity for tournament upsets, but which four seed would you want to face: UNH, Colorado College, Rensselaer, or Air Force?  Okay, maybe the answer is even Rensselaer coming off their extended layoff, but I think you get my point.) 

Put up or shut up.

* * *

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  • Css228

    Hey Brian, what do you think about the first Collins goal being disallowed because just a second or two before the goal light accidentally came on? Was Cornell screwed last night or what?

  • Guest

    Bye bye Yale.

  • Bob

    Miami defeated Michigan 3-0 on Saturday.

    • IrishHockeyFan

      I believe she puts errors in her columns intentionally. They are always simple matters of fact, easy to verify, and happen regularly. The optimist in me wants to believe that no one can be that lazy at doing simple things. But seriously, every week, there is at least one error like an incorrect score, referring to a shut-out as something like “Miami shut out Michigan 3-1”, or where a particular series took place.

  • Will McClellan

    The pair wise system is horribly flawed if Miami after sweeping Michigan this weekend would not get into the tournament and Michigan would—-I know we have a lot of hockey yet to play but I’ve never been comfortable with this rating system.

    • streaker

      By your logic, the rest of the season’s results don’t matter. PWR isn’t perfect, but neither is KRACH. One weekend doesn’t make a season until you get to the NCAA’s.

  • Squarebanks

    Props to Ferris State, but talk about a terrible weekend for UAF. It’s become painfully obvious we don’t have the same team we got accustomed to over the last 2 years.

  • RollTide

    Very true. A few years ago, Alaska beat lower ranked Ohio State in the second round of playoffs at home in 3 games in 2 shutouts to go to the Joe. 3 weeks later, Ohio State went to the national tournament, and Alaska didn’t. The Buckeyes were ceremoniously destroyed 8-1 the following weekend.

    There are several cases just like this throughout College Hockey.

    • Reddawg1077

      ohio state lost 8-3 to BU it was 6-3 before 2 empty goals for BU.

  • Time to see if the Broncos can make it through the stretch and continue to be undefeated. Saturday is how they should have won on Friday, little concern, but Bowling Green had nothing lose… I love this time of the season….

  • redcloud

    Seriously…for someone who has been so called “reporting” for years…how do you mess up the easiest things week in and week out. A simple thing as getting the score right, Miami 3 Michigan 0, isn’t hard to verify. Also if the “season ended today”, which is the dumbest cliche in sports, Miami would get into the tournament as well because they are leading the conference. After all that is how that whole scenerio works isn’t it….who am I kidding asking you to verify something….

  • collegehockeyfan

    BC legitimately got the short end of the draw for having to head out west. I would say, also BC may have the toughest road to the frozen four. all 4 teams in the West regional play quick paced hockey, should be a blast to watch!

    If i had to rank the 4 regional from toughest to the easiest. it would go like this:

    1. West – BC has to travel, which automatically puts them at a disadvantage, also CC In my opinion is probably the toughest 4 seed in the tournament. either way, a michigan- UNO will also be extremely difficult in the region finals.

    2. Midwest – I would say this is the most unbalanced region, putting the two WCHA powers for this season along with a not so spectacular but could surprise WMU and well, maybe RPI can pull a RIT of last year, most likely not.

    3. Northeast – classic HE-CCHA matchups. I would HOPE UNH can pull off at least one win at home, as they were handed an easier opponent than BC as they should have played there. UNH should be thanking the committee for not presenting them with a first round out season. Also, we will see if Merrimack is what they say they are, Notre Dame will not go easily.

    4. East – Well ECAC, here you go!!! this is a chance for them to walk into the frozen four, if both Yale and Union don’t make it, ECAC = new atlantic hockey 1 team bid conference. We will see if UMD’s first line can vault them to St. Paul, and Air Force will not go without a fight either (remember Yale lost to AF early in the year – redemption?)

    • #1siouxfan

      i completely agree with you. even tho i am a sioux fan i will definitely enjoy watching the west regional along with the midwest. maybe u should start writing the hockey east blogs in stead of Dave haha

    • Wildcatalum

      BC’s opponent (Colorado College): 13th in pairwise rankings
      UNH’s opponent (Miami): 4th in pairwise rankings and 13 game win streak

      Wise up…

      • BobW

        WildCat, I think you misunderstood his point. He wasn’t saying that UNH had an easier opponent than BC’s opponent. He was simply saying that UNH has an easier opponent than if UNH would have to play BC as would be the case if BC were playing in Manchester.

    • H/E Fan

      Miami-Ohion got the worst #1 seed and deserved a better draw then what the received!! They have to travel to New Hampshire to play a very good UNH team in their home state, 45 minutes from UNH’s campus. If the NCAA wasn’t too concerned about travel arrangements they could have produced a better bracket this year.

      My Revisions which would have made the brackett better and given a #1 seed a better Draw. It fulfills the no conference match-up in the regional opening round and no more than 2 schools from same conference in the same regional.

      Mid-West: Leave As Is

      West: !) Miami 2) Michigan 3) Neb. – Omaha 4) Col. College

      East: 1) Yale 2) Merrimack 3) Minn – Duluth 4) Air Force

      Northeast: 1) BC 2) Union 3) UNH 4) ND

      • Stevo

        I agree with your revisions. As a Miami U fan I wonder why we are constantly sent to New England no matter what our seed is. I’d love to play UNH anywhere but their home ice.

        • Mowers10

          Miami won’t be playing UNH on their home ice.

      • Where Eagles Dare

        BC and ND in the same bracket….ummm, I don’t think so….FAIL !

        • H/E Fan

          Why? BC won Hockey East in both the regular season and the championship, are 3rd in the pairwise. ND got spanked by Miami in the CCHA semi-finals (6-2), ended up in 2nd in the CCHA and are 11th in the pairwise.

          I sense a little-brother syndrome from the BC “superfan” of the possibillity of having to face the golden-domed Fightin’ Irish.

          I would rather see a fair and equitable bracket for the final 16; especially for the #1 seeds, rather than the NCAA committee worry about travel arrangements and making the braket work that way.

          To be fair, I also believe that BC should not have had to travel out to St. Louis.

          I was simply pointing out the faults of the committee with worry about travel arrangements rather than making the bracket how it should be. You don’t see the NCAA worry about travel for basketball and the top teams are thus rewarded.

  • #1siouxfan

    i am “whining” about the selection process because the WCHA has 5 teams in the tournament and 4 of them are on one side of the bracket, NOT becuase DU is in the same regional as the sioux. I would like to at least see a wcha team in the NE regional. how would you feel if HE had to go through the same thing almost every year with not having one of your teams in each of the regionals. OOPS I FORGOT HOCKEY EAST ISNT GOOD ENOUGH TO HAVE 5 TEAMS MAKE THE TOURNY ALMOST EVERY YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dave Hendrickson

      None of the leagues is perfectly spread out. The WCHA, with five teams, could be spread across four brackets but is in three. The CCHA could also be spread across four brackets, but is also spread across three. Hockey East could be spread across three brackets but is in two. The ECAC could be spread across three brackets but is in two with its best two teams in the same bracket. There is NOTHING special about the WCHA in this respect.

      • Flyund

        Dave, do you remember the year the WCHA had four teams in the Frozen Four? The NCAA selection committee vowed this would NEVER happen again?

      • #1siouxfan

        hey dave if there is “nothing special” about the wcha how come they already have 2 teams for sure in the frozen four and HE only has one team that is even in there regional final? JW

    • Righty

      Right. Only good enough to win the whole thing every year……

    • Wildcatalum


      • Anonymous

        They didn’t just lose – they were SPANKED. Go Blue…

        • Brett

          True enough. Two games early in the season that were decided primarily by the ref’s (I’m not going to argue for or against the calls, but when one team is in the box for most of both nights, it DOES make a difference in the outcome – almost any team can win when they play 5 on 4 or 5 on 3 the majority of the game). How’s your team doing now by the way? I must have missed the Maine celebrations when watching the committee choices…hmmmm. Good luck in the tourney! oh wait…

    • Paulyd

      Take it easy, the last 3 National champs have been from HE. Not to mention BU should be in the tourney instead of the number 5 team from the WCHA

      • Joe C

        BU should NOT be in the tournament. Too many ties early in the season, losing to Harvard in the Beanpot consolation game, losing 3 of the final 5 games of the season to Northeastern, not advancing to TD Garden.

        I wish BU earned their way in, but they did not, just like Maine did not.

        Some years Hockey East deserves four or five bids, this year it is only three.

        • Mark

          I agree. I am a BU fan, but they had their chance and blew it. BU has no sense of urgency anymore and doesn’t seem to care. Maine at least made a run at the end. I think NU deserved to be in before either Maine or BU although I believe Hockey East put its best teams in the tournament anyway and I would love to see Merrimack or UNH get to the final (althought the University of No Hardware will probably choke as usual).

          • After Further Review

            Can’t argue with that, Hockey! Been a UNH fan forever and hopefully, before I die, they will win one! I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Merrimack make it.

        • Anonymous

          That right – BU and Maine were not quite there this year. Tough year for both teams and certainly not deserving of an NCAA bid. Both teams destroyed some top teams – Maine 2 dominant wins over both Merrimack and North Dakota, for example – so certainly capable of winning. But both teams lost/tied games against some really terrible oponents and thus don’t deserve an NCAA bid.

          • WhinyCHA

            You didn’t get the memo from North Dakota fans: those games against Maine don’t count. It was unfair. North Dakota had to travel. And Yale started their season later.

          • Guest

            No maybe UMO and BU didn’t earn it this year but does RPI deserve it with the cupcake schedule they have or Airforce? Maine in!

      • Guest

        Yea even as a BU student and fan I can’t put them in the tourney they were way too inconsistent this year. When we were playing our best hockey we could’ve skated with any team in this tournament but we really stumbled down the stretch. Next year we’ll be back in when all our sick freshmen come back with awesome sophomore seasons.

        • Irish Spectre

          Guest, just FYI, BC, with only 3 seniors, is virtually as young as BU; the Eagles hockey program has come to epitomize the concept of reloading, not rebuilding.

          • Guest

            True, BC does only have 3 seniors, but they also only have 4 freshmen. They’re stacked at junior and sophomore. BU has only 2 seniors and a whopping 8 freshmen. I think BU’s freshmen could come back next year and do what BC’s sophomores did this year. As much as it kills me to give BC props, Chris Kreider is the real deal he’s gonna make one hell of an NHL player. But yes, as much as it kills me to say it, somehow with as much talent as BC loses each year they always seem to come back just as strong the next year.

    • Dave Lewis

      I have no dog in this fight. I think the challenge with stating that a given league is “wronged” because its teams are in the same region, or on the same side of the bracket, misses the point that this tournament is not about determining the best “league”, it’s about determining the best “team”. So if the seeds shake out such that multiple teams from one league are placed in the same region, or if all teams from a given league are on the same side of the draw, then so be it. In short, the “this league was wronged” discussion is not only tired, but irrelevant.

      Again, I have no bone to pick, just pointing out what feels obvious to me.

      • nutmeg

        I agree with you but the seeds did not shake out equally. In this instance Sioux has a point. BC and Merrimack should have met the same fate as UND and Denver, if they win their first games they should play each other in the same regional. I, too, have no dog in this fight.

    • Hockey

      You’re right. Hockey East only had 5 teams in the tournament in 2007 with no teams in the west regional. They had 4 team in 2009 with no teams in the west. In ’06 Hockey East had four teams in 2 regions. In ’05 they had four teams in 3 regions. And with respect to your comment about having 5 teams in the tournament every year. The WCHA has more teams to begin with and Hockey East doesn’t have 5 teams sitting at the bottom of their conference every year for the sole purpose of boosting the record of the top 5. You’re just mad that Hockey East has been the better conference the past few years. Calm down North Dakota is going to win this year (no longer the Sioux hahaha) and you can go right back to claiming that the WCHA is so awesome when they do.

      • GS

        Sorry, we are will always be the Fighting Sioux!

      • Sucky Chucky the chicken eater

        Follow the money trail. We can’t have an all WCHA Frozen Four. It’s all about sponsorship and ratings. Yes, the WCHA is terrific and scary. That’s why they have to play each other out on one side of the bracket

    • bantam75

      Yeh, but good enough to win last 3 titles and last I checked, BC, BU, UNH and Maine have kicked sioux butts the past 4-5 years. So quit your “whining” and win a game that counts. At least you have Barry Melrose singing your praises. He’s the kiss of death since he hates Eastern hockey and keeps picking the loser each year.

    • Anonymous

      No, just good enough to win three straight and have a team in the championship game 14 of last 15 years. But we don’t need to whine or brag because our conference’s dominance speaks for itself.

      • Ilas

        Maine still sucks tho

  • evertoexcel

    BC is going to win their bracket and the travel will not affect them at all unless their plane breaks down. See you whiners in St.Paul
    Go EAGLES!

    • HockeyGenuis

      BC better hope they don’t end up playing UNO in their regional. UNO is a highly under rated team. Thier downfall this season is they play to their opponents ability which as a coincedence will also be BC’s downfall.

      Write it down. BC is not getting out of St. Louis!

      • Anonymous

        I saw BC outplay first a very good Northeastern team and then an excellent, excellent Merrimack team, on consecutive nights at the HEA championship. Even though I am a Maine alum and fan, I have to say this team is the real deal.

        The best game of the NCAA will be North Dakota and BC in the Semifinal. I would say that UNO is not really in the discussion this year. Sorry…

      • Where Eagles Dare

        why, because BC has no history of beating good teams in the past ? ha, ha.

        I love watching BC’s speedsters skate circles around the pretenders this time of year…

        • #1siouxfan

          no offense intended, but i think you might have jinxed yr team.

  • Lefty

    righty, WCHA teams have won it 6 of 10 in the last 10 years……Not a good comment!

    • Duane Glass

      Ya got a math error there, Lefty. It’s 6 in 11, not 10.

      The WCHA had a great five-year run from 2002-2006. Five for five. BUT, since then your league has gone zip for four and only gotten a team into the championship game once — last year.

      Before the great five-year run, there wasn’t any dominance. The nineties were almost all Hockey East and the CCHA. The WCHA won in 1997 and 1990 and other than the vacated runner up in 1992 only got to the championship game in 1996.

      So we’ll give the WCHA a great five-year run. But not so much before and certainly not since.

      Compare that to Hockey East getting a team to the championship game all but once in the last 14 years and all but twice in the last 18. Now that’s sustained excellence.

      • whocares

        UND also won the title in 2000 in addition to the 1997 title you mentioned

      • guest

        HAHA, and boom goes the dynamite…well played sir, well played

      • guest

        No collegiate conference – in any sport – can top the impressive list of national scale accomplishments of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and its member teams. Since 1951, teams representing the men’s WCHA have earned a record 36 NCAA Frozen Four (national) championships, finished as the runner-up another 27 times, and qualified for at least one berth in the Men’s Frozen Four in 54 of 58 seasons overall. NOW THAT IS SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE

        • BobW

          WCHA dominance is in the past. Not only has Hockey East won the last three championships, but BC has clearly dominated the hockey scene for the last 10 years with 3 national championships, having played in the championship game 4 out of the last 5 years.

          • nutmeg

            3 titles in 10 years?? I think to need to research that a little. Did you take math at one of those fine Boston schools? Still no dog in this fight.

          • James

            2001, 2008, 2010. That equals 3 titles. 2001 to 2011 equals 10 years. I am not too sure what you are questioning here. Also, I am not sure who would argue that Boston schools aren’t among the best in the country. Although BC isn’t necessarily known for math, I find no flaws here. If you are saying that 3 titles in 10 years isn’t impressive, I would say you are wrong. Although a number of teams have done it before, each team that has done it has been dominant in that time.

          • Where Eagles Dare

            what’s more impressive is that BC has been in 9 out of the last 13 Frozen Fours, with 7 appearances in the Finals. DOMINANCE!

            quite simply, York knows how to get the most out of the talent, unlike UNH, etc.

          • Charles

            What’s really amazing is that they’ve managed to do it without cheating (probably). I’m talking to you Maine and Northeastern. In the past 20 years, either BU or BC has been the national champion or runner up 12 times. BU hadthe 90’s (6 frozen four appearances although they only had 1 championship to show for it and 3 time runners up) and BC dominated 2000-2010 (7 frozen four appearances with 3 titles and 3 time runners up).

        • Rl0529

          hmmm, yes. with their abundance of 24 yr old freshman every year

          • Anonymous

            Ha ha tru dat

          • collegehockeyfan

            the age difference is not a basis, most WCHA teams pull right out of high school or in some cases, earlier than that! Schroeder and Ness from Minnesota, and Dillon Simpson from UND are just the ones off the top of my head as of late. I can imagine a good portion of teams are all within 1 year of average age. If i had the spare time to get some figures i would, but im sure someone here does, food for thought.

          • collegehockeyfan

            in fact i looked a little bit, and just looking at players born in 1986, which would be seniors, BC had none, but they are young and talented this year, UND had 3, DU had 3, Yale had 2, Merrimack had 4, UNO had 4, UNH has 2, BU has 0, but has several 1987’s, Maine has 3, UMD has 2, Michigan has 1, Notre Dame has 1, and Miami has 1.

            Please tell me where your getting these o so great facts that age has any indication in your comment.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, um, they were like the only conference for most of that period. Sort of like the Yankees and Canadiens who won all their titles in a 6-team league….

      • DUed

        Actually, Duane, you are kinda sorta right about the 90’s but entirely off base with the “not so much before or since” comment. If we look at each decade starting in 1950 (50-59,60-69,etc), WCHA teams have never won fewer than 5 of the 10 nat. titles (except the 90s when WCHA teams only took 3).

        In the 50s and 60s, WCHA teams took 17 of the 20 titles, in the 70s they took 6 of the 10. Obviously, it was a different hockey world then, yet from 1980-2009 the WCHA has taken almost half of the titles – 14. In the most recent decade (00-09), WCHA has 6 of the 10. And as for the 90s, CCHA took 4, HE and WCHA took 3 each (N Mich was WCHA at the time) so pretty even between the three conferences and not really accurate to say the 90s “were almost all HE and the CCHA”.

        While I don’t like some of the comments made by a few of the WCHA fans here, it isn’t for nothing that they have some tude. It also isn’t for nothing that HE fans have some attitude. HE teams have done phenomenally well since the mid 90s, and in the 14 year period you mentioned they have won the big game 5 times…ahem, while the WCHA has won it 7 times :) (To be fair, in your 18 year period HE has as many wins as WCHA.)

        As for me, I’m a Denver fan and I don’t care one little bit that they ended up in NoDak’s region. If DU is going to win it all they are going to have to play four tough games; might as well start with WMU and ND. I also feel the same about BC’s and Miami’s placement; it doesn’t matter at all that they got sent the “wrong” direction, that is just the luck of the draw and if it makes it “harder” on them then they will just have to step it up or go home. The brackets this year are pretty compelling and, for sure, there aren’t going to be any “easy” paths to the title. Should be a great tourney!

  • Lefty

    Your right, 11 years….8 times WCHA was in Championship game. Just a response to righty about H.E. winning every year.

  • Frattin

    Just curious how Yale got the number one overall seed when they didn’t even win there conference.

    • Duh!

      Conference records are not what is looked at. Overall record is what’s important. Yale had a better overall record than Union.

  • VermontfaninNY

    Keep in mind this year the ECAC tied Hockey East in head to head and had a better record against the Western Conferences. To me that means they were the better conference this year, although this is the exception not the rule.

  • Where Eagles Dare

    I know, let’s let Yale host in Bridgeport the next 10 years, and of course, UNH will host in Manchester every other year. I mean, it’s the only fair thing to do….

    • After Further Review

      How about BC putting in a bid to host? The NCAA gives everybody that option. How come you didn’t complain that BU hosted in Worcester throughout the entire 90’s?
      I am a UNH fan and a Hockey East fan, been at all of their Frozen Fours and cheered for them to win and am assuming I will be doing that again this year. It just seems like the more you win, the more you whine, you’re acting like (most, not all) UND/WCHA fans now. I guess you can never be happy… you are winning, the rest really doesn’t matter, but you need something to bitch about, I guess. Relax and enjoy your championships!

  • Guest

    My problem is with the crappy PWR methodology. If you take KRACH, which I find much more realistic of the actually strength of teams, here are the top 4 teams (which also corresponds more closely with the national polls as well).

    1) UND
    2) BC
    3) Yale
    4) Denver

    So despite being the #1 team in KRACH, and the #1 team in the national polls for several weeks; barring any upsets, UND will likely have to beat in order:

    #4 Denver
    #2 BC
    #3 Yale

    That’s pretty crazy.

    • Where Eagles Dare

      and BC would have to beat CC, #5 Michigan, #1 UND, and #3 Yale.

      Yale gets the cakewalk this year, and Miami lucks out, except for having to play in UNH’s backyard….however, UNH is beatable this time of year, as usual

      • #1siouxfan

        i agree with you about yale completely they are definitely in the easiest regional and they will probably still lose in it haha

  • AHA fan

    Ease up on atlantic hockey, lets recap…
    06 – Holy Cross over Minnesota
    07 – a late comeback (3 third period goals) lifted Minnesota to a one-goal win over Air Force
    08 – it took Miami overtime to beat Air Force
    09 – Air Force finally broke through with a win against Michigan and was an OT goal away from the Frozen Four, losing to Vermont.
    10 – though I despise RIT, I do like their body of work, and don’t try to point to the shelling they took from Wisco in the frozen four – Miami lost by the same margin to BC in the second semi-final, and then BC went on to skunt Wisco for the title. will anyone argue that Miami didn’t belong, or Wisco?

    Compare Atlantic Hockey’s number of tourney wins in the last 5 years with those of ECAC. Getting one team in, AH has won 4 tourney games in the past 5 years and made a trip to the frozen four. ECAC has won 4 tourney games in the past 5 years – having had 11 teams in the tourney – with no frozen four appearances. Over twice as many teams in the tourney and the same number of wins. All I ask is come tourney time, give a little credit to the team good enough to win Atlantic Hockey. They are an unfamiliar beast to many tournament teams. All of that being said, what Yale does have going for it is that the Elis have played the Falcons already and lost. Yale is too good to lose to the same team twice – in fact that have not done that all season (they learn from their mistakes – must be pretty smart kids). Though I believe Yale will win this game, I won’t be surprised if they don’t… and the winner will add one to their league’s tournament wins column.

    • Anonymous

      Good enough to win AHA is not even good enough to finish in the top 20 in the PWR. I believe Air Force is the only team there and they are sitting at 22. You’re telling us that Air Force is better/more qualified for an NCAA spot than say Dartmouth, BU, Minny or Maine. Really? Those teams certainly struggled but look at their conference competition.

      Your argument about performance in the tourney holds no water, because AHA shouldn’t even be in the tourney based on the league’s regular season performance of, you know, winning, rather than “we almost won but lost in overtime”, etc. Good grief.

      • gofalcons

        how does the tourney performance argument hold no water? they shouldn’t be in the tournament so if they win it shouldn’t matter? that makes no sense? AH has won as much as ECAC period. saying that they shouldn’t be in the tourney makes no sense. reality is, they are in the tourney, so look at the body of work.
        who was Yale’s first loss of the season to? not CC (a tourney team) not Dartmouth (they lost twice to Yale). Good Grief? come on. your arrogance and ignorance shows with how quickly you dismiss the AHA champ, which is why AHA teams have a chance in the tourney. Go inside the locker room of the top seed, they don’t write off an AH first-round matchup. Year after year, AH teams are the underdog, and year after year they pull upsets. Should they be ranked higher, no. But they’re not the push-over 4 seed that everyone makes them out to be.

        • Anonymous

          The argument is not performance in the tournament. It is what teams deserve to get into the tournament. A number 22 team is not more deserving than a higher-ranked team, period. Just because their conference won a game or has more wins than another conference means nothing. That is a completely ridiculous argument.

          And I’m sure Yale, North Dakota, BC and Miami are really sweating the opportunity to play Air Force. Good Grief get real…

          • go falcons

            stop being bitter that maine is not in the tourney and AF is. Is the 22 seed more deserving of a tourney bid, technically no. you are correct on that point. But is there much of a difference between a 22 seed and a 16 seed, no. it’s an arbitrary difference. So i think a 22 seed that wins its coference it more deserving than a 16 seed that does not. a 40 seed that wins its league tourney is a different story – less deserving, but that is not the case here.

            to your second “good grief” point, again, your ignorance and fan perspective shows through. do you have any idea what goes on in a locker room? how a team prepares, how a coach prepares a team? as a fan, you may look past a team, but as a player or coach, there is no relief with who you play in the tourney. It is all about how you match up against a team. You think Yale wants to play a team that beat them already? Obviously AF knew something. I think Yale is a good enough team that they will not lose to AF a second time – they have not lost to the same team twice all season. But do you really think NoDak would rather play AF than RPI? players don’t think like that, fans do.

          • AHA fan

            Dear BBrear94,
            Yale 2, Air Force 1, OT. Go ahead and tell me that Air Force didn’t belong in the tourney and Union (2-0 to UMD) did. Your ignorance and arrogance undermines your credibility. Accept the fact that you are wrong; tops in Atlantic Hockey belongs. Embrace the underdog, I have.

            Crusader ’06

    • collegehockeyfan

      I will definitely say that Atlantic hockey shows up at tournament time, It’s fun to watch the underdog win the title, but if you look at their non conference records of all the Atlantic hockey teams, it’s the worst in college hockey. Not to take away from the conference, I like how they make their presence at the tournament, just as the CHA did when it existed, but just like the CHA, its not deep enough for more than 1 bid to the tournament.

      P.S. I would love nothing more than AF upsetting Yale!

      • AHA fan

        very good point. While I am an Atlantic Hockey advocate, I am not so zealous or ignorant to say that the league deserves more than one team in. It is not a deep league, that much is true. as far as the falcons puling the upset, I would think it more likely had the two teams not already played this season and had air force not won the game. that works against them. in this scenario, i think the upset is unlikely, but not beyond the realm of possibility.

  • The Lowe’s CLASS award has a hockey bracket challenge. Check it out.

  • Anonymous

    The entire NCAA selection process needs to be looked at. Seems like the PWR does not really identify which teams are truly deserving. UNH finished 2nd in HEA and they are ranked t13th in the PWR to Merrimack’s t5th. Really?? Yale is 1st even though they play in the ECAC – cleary an inferior league to HEA/CCHA/WCHA. Not to mention that Union won that conference regular season, not Yale, and they’re just 8th in the PWR. Perhaps more weight needs to be given to regular season conference records rather than this ridiculous TUC component that nobody seems to like or really understand.

    The whole idea that a team that sponsors an NCAA site must play in that location is also ridiculous. This has BC heading West – clearly a better team than UNH and should be playing at home. Yet UHN is essentially at home, which is a huge advantage for them. Why can’t the big 4 conferences host the NCAA sites every year. Then the conference champions get to “stay home”, and the remaining entries are seeded and assigned to a region accordingly.

    And Atlantic Hockey continuing to get an autobid, how is that going to work once the Big10 starts play in three years? Look at the teams that are going to play there – Minny, Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State – these teams are perennial powerhouses (Minny’s current Maine-like demise/coaching issues not withstanding) and this conference is going to deserve an autobid. This is going to take another spot away from deserving teams in other conferences. Unless Atlantic Hockey’s autobid is stripped, perhaps the field is going to have to be expanded otherwise some really good, deserving teams are going to miss the NCAA’s, or we’re going to have a NCAA basketball situation (i.e., mess) where some really suspect teams get into the tourney, thus cheapening the regular season. Not an easy situation for the NCAA – hope they get this right.

    • pairwise is not complicated

      Conference records are not what is looked at. Overall record is what’s important. For example, Yale had a better overall record than Union.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly, and that seems a little off to me. Some conferences have more out of conference opponents, and that has to be considered. But in conference games are usually very tough, even when you have #1 versus #8.

  • Oracle

    Rensselaer ended the season 2-6-1 against suspect competition, talk about “stinking down the stretch”. ND playing DU is absurd because although ND is #2 in Pairwise (another NCAA abortion) they are #1 in computer and USCHO and USA Today polls and RPI. DU is 5th or 6th in everything except Pairwise. #1 should not play #5 or #6, let alone the same team they just played 8 days before.

  • Where Eagles Dare

    I love the jokesters on here (mostly from the Midwest) who think that their teams are the only ones who have improved since last autumn…we know, BC beating up Denver in CO was only a fluke…hmmm, you might want to ask UNH if BC is better now than 5 months ago…

  • Putzigle

    East Regional will stink – top to bottom. Selection committee put a garbage bracket in Bridgeport for the second straight time. One Atlantic and two from ECAC.
    C’mon, give me a break and put REAL quality teams in here. Staying awake for this bracket will be a challenge!

  • Where Eagles Dare
  • Where Eagles Dare

    Tell me if I’m wrong…Since Jerry York got BC back to prominence in the late 90’s, Hockey East has also flourished. In the 13 Frozen Fours since 1998 (that would be a possibility of 52 teams total in those FF’s), HE has sent 21 teams, WCHA 16, CCHA 12, ECAC 2, and Atlantic 1.

    na, na, na, nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnuff said !!!

  • Where Eagles Dare

    wait a minute…a HE team has been in the Final 13 out of the past 14 years…the only big down year was 2005, when no HE team made the Frozen Four. Otherwise, it’s a great streak !!!

  • Dave Hendrickson

    I just want to address one claim that has been made multiple times and is utterly false. The NCAA does NOTHING to prevent any conference from getting teams in all four brackets. The criteria is very transparent and the committee follows it.

    If the criteria (Pairwise + avoid 1st round, same-conference matchups, adjust for attendance) dictates that a conference should get teams in all four brackets, then the conference will get teams in all four brackets.

    But when the criteria is specified ahead of time and the results follow the criteria, to contend that the results are because of anything else is foolishness.