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Well, we have our Final Five. Nos 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 (or UND, DU, UMD, CC, UAA, BSU).

(In some respects, it’s almost too bad Tech didn’t pull the upset – we would have had seeds 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12!)

Anyway, I’m preemptively apologizing for not going to go too in depth with everything that happened this weekend; three games in three nights (plus the time change) melted my brain … and I need to keep that fresh for the Final Five. And pack. And get ready to head to Minnesota. So, let’s get through this quickly, shall we?

Colorado College beat Wisconsin in three
– Well, the pre-series comments from the coaches regarding the series essentially being a best-of-five? Yeah, well, it definitely was. It also makes sense that the 6/7 series was the only one that went three games, too.
– UW won the first night, 3-1 before CC came back in the third in two straight games, winning 4-3 (in OT) and 2-1.
– Fun fact: On Saturday, CC’s freshman class broke the 100-point barrier  for the season thanks to two assists by Dakota Eveland and Jeff Collett, getting points 100 and 101. Unsurprisingly, Jaden Schwartz contributed a third of those points.
– Fun fact: (maybe …?) On Sunday, I heard it floating around that coming into the series, the Badgers hadn’t lost a third period lead (I believe in the playoffs) in 53 games … before doing it twice this weekend. However, I can’t seem to find the stat right now to double-check the accuracy.

Denver beat Minnesota State in two
– Despite the Mavericks putting up one heck of a fight.
– DU scored four goals in the third period to win 4-2 on Friday and then came back once again to win 3-2 Saturday in overtime.
– I felt bad for the Mavericks watching them on Saturday. They deserved a better fate than what they did. Still, Troy Jutting’s quote after the game was apt.
“Tonight’s game probably summarized our whole season,” he said. “Played extremely well against an exceptional hockey team, but left some goals on the table that you can’t leave if you’re going to win.”

Minnesota-Duluth beat St. Cloud State in two
– … or my failed upset pick.
– The Bulldogs, from the sounds of things, played the more complete game on Friday, winning 4-2 before edging the Huskies in triple-overtime on Saturday, 3-2.
– Fun fact from Friday’s USCHO recap: Kyle Schmidt cracked his helmet when he blocked a shot with his facemask. That’s thing you need to do in the playoffs.

Alaska-Anchorage beat Minnesota in two
– Well, I told the Seawolves to prove me wrong in my picks and they did.
– On Friday, UAA survived a Minnesota rally (up 3-0; Gophers tied it) to win 4-3 before scoring two third period goals on Saturday to win 2-0.
– Fun fact: Saturday’s eventual game-winner was the first goal - and point - of the season for Mickey Spencer.
– Fun fact: The Seawolves blocked a total of 50 shots on the weekend.
– Fun fact: Chris Kamal’s shutout on Saturday was the first ever for a Seawolf netminder in a WCHA playoff game.

North Dakota beat Michigan Tech in two
– Not that the Huskies didn’t make it interesting on Saturday.
– Friday, however, was more of the same as last weekend – UND crushed MTU, 8-0. On Saturday, the Huskies held an early 1-0 lead, before the Sioux added two quick goals in the second and an empty-netter for insurance to win 3-1.
– Friday was weird for the Sioux in that their scoring wasn’t as balanced as it had been: Matt Frattin had four points (3g, 1a), Jason Gregoire had a hat trick and Chay Genoway had four assists.
– Fun fact: the Sioux players did not touch the MacNaughton Cup when it was presented on Saturday.
“Our eyes are on the big picture,” defenseman Derrick LaPoint explained to USCHO’s Patrick C. Miller. “This is a great accomplishment for our team, but we’ve got more important things to accomplish.”

Bemidji State beat Nebraska-Omaha in two
– Law of averages? What law of averages? BSU continued their dominance over the Mavericks, going 5-0-1 this year against them.
– BSU took advantage of their opportunites on Friday, winning 4-2. They then overcame an early 1-0 deficit and survived a late onslaught to win, 3-2 on Saturday.
– Fun fact: BSU scored two goals on three shots in the third period on Friday and won, despite being outshot 48-17.

WCHA teams in the PairWise Rankings:
UND – 2nd
DU – t-6th
UMD – t-6th
UNO – t-13th
CC – t-13th
UM – 19th
UAA – 20th
SCSU – 21st
UW – 24th
BSU – t-25th

  • Rkm41

    The GLI WAS a fun tourney to cover this year, Paula. And, yes, seeing all the Michigan regulars in one spot for two straight days IS cool…even if Mackinder is too busy to join us for both! :)

  • Streaker

    I take no issues with your many opinions here..glad to hear you approve of the GLI and other musings of a female hockey reporter. But the one that rankled me was your dismissal of the outdoor classic. Yes, the NHL now hosts them yearly which takes the novelty from them. But I do not recall anyone hyping the Big Chill as a “savior” for college hockey. It was promoted as a special event to honor the roots that each hockey player comes from- playing ice hockey outside. Was it a plug for Michigan? Of course. Was it a unique experience? Yes- considering I wasn’t sitting in a cozy suite enjoying it. Was it as shallow and bland as you make it sound? No. And- it may be the only unique experience for some of these nondescript hockey players at Michigan and MSU. It may return, it may not- but you’re free to skip it if you’d like next time. It was beautifully executed and opened the gates to thousands of casual hockey fans who may never witness such a crowd gathering for a hockey game. I don’t see any harm in that or the goodwill and commerce it brought to Ann Arbor.

  • JJfP

    What is the point of mentioning that she’s a “…female hockey reporter…”? I think the name Paula gives that away. If she were African-American, would you have said, “…musings of a black hockey reporter…”?!

    • Streaker

      Because she says that herself. I was mocking her.

      • JJfP

        Huh. She does do that, doesn’t she?! Maybe I should ask her, “If you were African-American…” ;-)

  • HEhockey

    Predicting Merrimack to win the HE tournament and shake up the NCAA tourny.

  • Lindyg

    Host schools playing at home, essentially, is ridiculous. Locations should be hosted by each of the four big conferences – ECAC, Hockey East, WCHA and CCHA

    • The host schools in the East aren’t playing at “home” technically– UNH plays in Durham, not Manchester, and Yale is in New Haven, not Bridgeport. The league offices themselves aren’t usually that big or have the staff to manage an event. In Hockey East, for many years the league’s office rotated through various member athletic departments.

  • Papagiorgio_nick

    I think the NCAA would and should avoid sending a team out west because they would have to play UNH in round 1.

    This exposes a grotesque problem with the current format. If you’re going to let the dumbest part of the current system stay (teams hosting), then don’t screw a team for being grabbing the 1 seed because they would have to play UNH.

    What a stupid set of circumstances. Part of me wants to see it to see what the NCAA committee would do.

    • BCEagle2004

      Those are some fair points, and I think we agree that having both selection rules — the host team at the host site, and the “no first round conference match-ups” — put too many limits on the brackets, so something should have to give here. I like the host team at the host site because it guarantees a better crowd for the regional.

      Look at the basketball tournament — how many sites during the first weekend are actually full for a game? And if a team does host a site (e.g., BC is hosting a basketball regional in 2012), that team can’t play at that site, which really frustrates the local fan bases who would turn out to see a local team in a big game, might not be interested in the other teams playing, and probably won’t travel as well to another part of the country. That said, the basketball tournament is without a doubt more nationally popular than the hockey tournament, and has a huge TV deal, which is why attendance is more important for hockey than hoops.

      With UNH in Manchester, I would hope that the regional sells out, or comes really darn close (and no excuses if another HEA team is there, too). If you don’t guarantee UNH at “home,” the attendance takes a huge hit. Same with Wisconsin in Green Bay (even though they’re not the hosts). It’s dumb to send them east just to avoid NoDak/Duluth/Denver in the first round. I’m fine with a possible conference title rematch if it means an exciting atmosphere for the regional.

  • Anonymous

    I like the whole UND not touching the MacNaughton Cup. I wonder if they will do the same thing with the Broadmoor if they win it.

    • Jason

      Definitley a statement made on their part. Hope it works out

    • AC

      The Gophers also didn’t touch the McNaughton the year that they went 0-2 in the Final Five and lost to Holy Cross in the NCAA first round in Grand Forks…..how soon Sioux fans forget

      • Anonymous

        And Toews’ Blackhawks didn’t touch the Campbell Bowl last season en route to their first Stanley Cup victory in 40 years, your point? Hockey is a superstitious game by nature. They’re doing what they feel that they need to do to put themselves in a good mindset going forward. Lighten up.

      • sooyeayea

        Trust me…….Sioux fans have not forgotten the MN loss to Holy Cross. One of the best games in the history of the Ralph.

  • Inthespiritof

    The Sioux are too busy congratulating themselves on that debacle in the state legislature. In Alabama they made resolutions against integrating schools and arguing about the legitimacy of segregation on the basis of it being better for both sides. Incredible. Again no sign of human decency by any of the seniors in making a stand. Frattin knows the system saved him. Genoway has no reason given all of his injuries

    • Cam

      Making a stand? They made a stand by being able to play outstanding hockey while the nickname mess surrounded the university and the state. As student-athletes and representatives of the school the hockey team probably did the right thing by keeping their mouths shut (whether you’re pro-nickname or not you know this is true). Also, Frattin wasn’t saved by any “system”. If anything the “system” was set up for him to stay out of school, sign a pro contract, and make some big bucks. Instead, he worked his butt off so he could go back to school, get an education, and prove to the world that he changed. Hobey Frattin. Sioux Forever

      • B.D.

        And his classmates stuck by him like any elite force.
        It is a well known story in North Dakota that this senior class is amazingly tight knit.

        WHat a shame our sock puppet friend will never have such relationships.

    • B.D.

      Or they realize that, like you, the hatred of the name is hugely trumped up politically correct nonsense.

      By the way, how is the old sock puppet tonight?
      You do not let us know much about you or your myriad of guises.
      Did you fail to make the varsity in high school and thus are striking back?

    • Hockey God

      Get a life

    • hockeyjockey

      your really comparing integration of black students into public schools to the nickname debate? you have some issues inthespiritof.

  • Gerry

    The “BEST” part of the Holy Cross loss was watching Woog try to be civil as he was surrounded by people yelling “Gopher Chokers” during the post game analysis.