1. Save Ferris
As in, everybody’s out, save Ferris State. The Bulldogs knocked off both MacNaughton Cup co-champions and stole the Broadmoor Trophy and the WCHA’s auto-bid from under everybody’s noses. Coach Bob Daniels said after both games that the Broadmoor, a trophy the Bulldogs had never won before, was the team’s sole focus — nothing beyond Saturday night — and his team shut down two pretty powerful offenses. Ferris State shut out Michigan Tech, which scored more than 5 ½ goals per game over its seven-game winning streak heading into the Final Five. And then it held Minnesota State to just 14 shots on goal. The Mavericks’ previous season-low was 21 shots on goal.
2. Goalies galore
Goal scoring has come at a premium all season in the WCHA, and the Final Five proved just how tough goals have been to come by. A grand total of seven goals were scored in the three games. The goalies stoles the show so much that it was determined that Ferris State freshman Darren Smith, who allowed one goal on 44 shots, would be the Most Valuable Player and Minnesota State’s Cole Huggins, who allowed three goals (one a Gerald Mayhew penalty shot) on 53 shots, would get the goalie spot on the All-Tournament Team. Tech’s Jamie Phillips (32 saves) played one of his best games in the 1-0 loss to Ferris State, coach Mel Pearson said, and Bowling Green’s Chris Nell made 21 saves in the 2-1 loss to MSU.
3. One-bid conference
Pearson lamented the WCHA getting just one team in the national tournament this season, especially with his nine-loss team out. The league’s nonconference record hurt its teams this year, just as it helped them last year when Michigan Tech and Minnesota State went and Bowling Green barely missed out. The Mavericks saw their three-year NCAA run snapped. “I think the quality of the teams you see here (at the Final Five) says a lot about the league,” Pearson said. “I’d invite any team to come play in this league. … It’s a healthy league with great coaches and outstanding players.”
One more thing
More thoughts to WCHA referee Butch Mousseaux after the awful fall Friday that hospitalized him and put him in critical condition. As Mavericks coach Mike Hastings said after his team’s loss Friday: “It hurts to lose a hockey game, but at the end of the day it’s just a game. … Butchy’s been a beacon for our guys. (Former Maverick) Matt Leitner sent out a tweet today that he loved it when Butchy worked his games. Thoughts and prayers to him and his family.”