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This past weekend was a bit surprising. I’m not tallying the picks until Friday, but I have a feeling they were pretty bad. Still, such is life in the WCHA …

Wisconsin/Denver
– See above comment. I really wasn’t expecting the Pioneers to take three points from this series.
– That being said, this weekend will end up being a good stepping stone for both teams. Saturday’s game may have been one of the first times I’ve ever heard both coaches happy with the tie. Typically with ties, one coach is happy and the other is not. This? A tad weird.
– George Gwozdecky said that Saturday’s game may have been the best the Pioneers have played so far in this young season: “When you consider all of those frustrating emotional factors that could have put us down and out it was probably the best overall performance we’ve had this year so far.”

Colorado College/Minnesota State
– Should have seen this result. Still, sometimes you’ve got to go with the trends that had been occurring with teams, as shaky as said trends might be.
That being said, good to see the Mavericks get their first win of the season.

Alaska-Anchorage/Minnesota-Duluth
– The Bulldogs sweeping was no big surprise here.
– Saturday’s game was the first one that the Seawolves really didn’t have a chance in all season.
– I know that the Sioux were the preseason unanimous number one pick, but the Bulldogs are making a strong case early on about why they should be up there instead.
– There were a couple good quotes from the weekend that I thought summed things up well:
Last week we played a skill game, tonight we had to play a  gritty game. We showed we can do both … We showed we can battle through anything.” – UMD forward J.T. Brown (regarding Friday)
“The biggest difference between Friday and tonight is that their skill players made skill plays … We had chances, but we just weren’t sharp around the net. They have upper-echelon players who are difference-makers.” – UAA coach Dave Shyiak

St. Cloud State/Minnesota
– Minnesota’s win tonight was important for the Gophers. Things haven’t looked so bright (some Gopher fans have already dramatically declared on Facebook that the season’s already over) so getting those league points was crucial.
– Friday was a glimpse of what the Huskies can and, by all accounts, should do this season.
– Related: good to see Garrett Roe finally get his first goal of the season.
– Unrelated: the Gophers will be without Nick Bjugstad for a little while as he’s been diagnosed with mono.

North Dakota/Maine
– Here’s the series where we really dropped the ball. I know Maine’s supposed to be pretty good this year, but I don’t think many of us expected that total beatdown.
– The Sioux were humbled. It will be very interesting to see how they respond next weekend against Denver … when they finally get some home ice again.
– While the weekend was pretty much a disaster as far as Sioux fans are concerned, it’s still too early to read much into the results. This is a long season and supposedly the Sioux only play well in the second half anyway, right? (i kid, i kid)
– Still … if teams end up having problems with the Sioux later this year, they might want to track down a copy of the film from this weekend to see if they can glean anything from it.

Nebraska-Omaha/Michigan
– I don’t know if I got the nights right, but I know I called a split here, so woo, success.
– Saturday’s loss marked the first this season for the Mavericks.
– This is the best start UNO has had in program history and definitely was not expected by most of us. Still, I think many may have had a tiny thought nagging them that the Mavericks may do better than predicted this year. We can play the “it’s still early” broken record, but good starts can’t hurt.

  • Breezymn

    North Dak always starts slow and always finishes strong.. Expect It
    Too early to tell if the Gophers are done. They can show brilliance at times. Especially since Lucia’s bench fire is back
    Neb/Omaha coaching explains a lot about that programs success.
    Wisconsin will finish in the top ten again

  • Sloe Gin

    don’t tell Hak about the 2nd half surge…he doesn’t know anything about it. ;-)

  • Eboren

    WCHA gets shafted again. Best two teams have to play each other again if all goes well. Then New Hampshire gets swithced with Nebraska Omaha based on pair wise. SHAFTED.

    • Matto

      WCHA did not get shafted. This one was right down the middle. Moy got it correct last night. UNH did not get flipped with UNO, they are exactly where they are supposed to be.

    • Khryx

      Miami and Michigan got shafted like this last year, btw they are in the CCHA not the WCHA. Just saying this happens to all of the conferences. Stand back and look at it from a different team/conference’s perspective…

      • Matto

        Miami and Michigan did NOT get shafted last year. They both got to play CHA opponents. Michigan actually got shifted in to the region, to help attendance. By rankings, they should have been playing North Dakota in Worcester.

        If you’re a Michigan fan, do you want North Dakota in Worcester, followed by Boston College, or do you want Benidji State in Fort Wayne (2.5 hours from campus, driving), followed by Miami? Easy, easy choice.

        But, yes, this does happen to other conferences, and that’s a good example.

    • Kuhn&Friends

      Hmm I think WMU got shafted. If they beat #2 from the WCHA they then might have to go on and beat #1 from the WCHA, even though they finished #2 in the CCHA? Why not just send Miami to Green Bay too and have an all out free-for-all and mini Frozen Four?
      In any case, LETS GO BRONCOS!!!

  • Fredct

    In case you didn’t notice, the same is true of the ECAC… does that mean everyone got shafted? or is it just the way the cookie crumbled?

  • farce poobah

    Once again, a tip of the hat to the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey leadership for putting in place and objective process to select teams for the tournament. After hearing all the whining, and seeing the apparent political moves in basketball, this is a meritocracy at its finest.

  • Hey Guys & Gals…..ease-up! This is a GAME. It sounds like politicians in the House & Senate. Enjoy the games.

  • Dbznd

    So, it is by-the-book that 4 of the 5 WCHA teams are in the West/MidWest Regionals? LOL Can’t have anything to do with a few years ago when all 4 teams in the Finals were from the WCHA, can it? What a joke. As the selection committee knows that the PairWise can & does accomplish this goal, why would they ever listen to the KRACH Poll? Placing Denver with UND in Green Bay proves their intent of an easier road for some of the schedule-deficient eastern teams…

    Be carefull HE fans, one day things will shift, and it will be you left looking at this joke! BTW: As a measure of the joke caled NCAA Selsction Committee, the 3 HE teams in the field have SOS rankings of 26 (DC), 34 (MERR) & 23 (NH), while the 5 WCHA teams have rankings of 7 (UND), 6 (DU), 11 (UMD), 7 (UNO) & 8 (CC).

    Guess we will know where the regular season strength was at. It will be interesting to see how it all goes in the NCAA’s. Just too bad conferences aren’t seperated better, but what the hell, lets go play hockey!@

    Good Luck to all of the teams/players. Personally, I think that ND’s season-long schedule (& the other 4 WCHA teams) will give them the on-ice experience to finally win Coach Hak a National title. If not, we will always be damned proud of the Fighting Sioux!

    • Matto

      Yes, it is by the book. That’s why I, Jason and many others had it correctly pegged last night. There were no surprises.

      There is no rule preventing a repeat of 2005. In fact, we have had two occasions since 2005 to repeat an all-conference final — the WCHA in 2008, and the CCHA is 2009. You don’t remember 2008, only because the WCHA was 1-4 against non-WCHA teams that year, including two losses that were embarrassingly lopsided, and one to an ECAC team (the one win was also over an ECAC team).

      Placing Denver with UND is nothing more than the simple fact that UND is #2 and Denver is #7 by pairwise, which means they SHOULD be in the same regional. There’s no conspiratorial intent, beyond that.

      • Anonymous

        Funny how you defend the PairWise, when even the NCAA has admitted that it has major flaws, as anyone knows by looking at what has transpired again, this year. The KRACH does have it right, and it’s parameters track the reality of schedule strength. No biggie! The proof will come out in a week. Enjoy your rankings and brackets. I stand by my prediction that the WCHA & CCHA will prove that their tougher conferences, as well as their non-confefrence scheduling, puts them in a stronger position that HE. Before you bring it up, yes, Cornell did have a great weekend in Grand Forks! Take care and stay close to your heart doctoer!

        • Matto

          Lay off the caffeine, brother.

          ParWise, whether you like it or not, is the selection system for who makes t he tournament, and the default system for who they play. This year’s bracket was obvious last night, which is how I and many others called it. Your “solution” would be to place Denver in Manchester, which makes no sense at all: it would displace a higher seeded team (Merrimack) that is also closer to home. All for the sake of soothing your WCHA bias. That was a non-starter, all along.

          As for who proves what, sure. It could happen. But it’s been 5 years since the WCHA had a winning record in the tournament, and that includes WCHA teams losing to Yale, Clarkson and RIT. So color me unconvinced that Denver is so regal by their WCHA runner-up status that they somehow merit being shifted.

          Krach is interesting, but… they have it right? Krach routinely has the 4/1 gap much, much wider. Their rating system wouldn’t have come remotely close to predicting any of the Atlantic or CHA upsets of the past few years, let alone a pair of ECAC teams taking out WCHA teams. I suppose it’s nice if you want to claim that Minnesota deserves a spot (me, I don’t think UNO deserves a spot). It’s moot, anyway: Krach isn’t the selection system, Pairwise is. And this year’s brackets are about as simple as can be.

          • Anonymous

            LOL You keep repeating that “PairWise is the selection system”!!! DUH!!! What I, and others, say is that PairWise does not take Strength of Schedule into consideration at a high enough level. That works to the favor of HE teams that do not play the same, high-concentration of top level competition year-in & year-out. This is just one year, but over the past decades, Western teams traditionally play more top-level teams. Its a fact! Taking an average of PWR, RPI, KRACH, USCHO & USA TODAY, here are the rankings:
            TEAM AVG Rank
            1 UND 1.4
            2 BC 2.2
            3 YAL 2.6
            4 MI 4.8
            5 MIA 5.0
            6 DU 5.4
            7 MER 7.2
            8 UNI 8.4
            9 UMD 9.4
            10 ND 9.4
            11 UNH 11.0
            12 WMI 12.2
            13 UNO 12.6
            14 CC 13.8
            15 RPI 19.0
            16 AF 26.3

            And here are the brackets after eliminating 1st round inter-conference matchups & UNH host:
            East Regional:
            1 YALE
            4 CC
            2 DU
            3 UNH

            MidEast Regional
            1 MI
            4 UNO
            2 MIA
            3 UMD

            West Regional
            1 BC
            4 RPI
            2 MER
            3 ND

            MidWest Regional
            1 UND
            4 AF
            2 UNION
            3 WMI

            looks a lot more representative of what the actual team strem/league strengths were this season! Oh, well, enough effing-off & back to working for myself! Have fun and looking forward to some great HOCKEY!!!

          • Matto

            Yikes. Really. Lay off the caffeine. Enjoy the games.

  • guest

    I tried to listen to the program but I came in 15 minutes after it started. Unfortunately it would not let me connect.