NCAA Conference Matchups
With all the conference playoffs starting this weekend, here's a rundown on who is playing who. The CCHA, the ECAC and Atlantic Hockey are all quarter round series, while Hockey East and the WCHA are in their respective opening rounds. All series are best of three. Unless otherwise noted, all games will take place Friday and Saturday, and if necessary, Sunday.
I've also included TV schedules that are nationally available via cable and/or on Direct TV and/or Dish Network)
#11 Bowling Green @ #1 Ferris State
#8 Notre Dame @ #2 Michigan
#7 Lake Superior State @ #3 Western Michigan
#5 Michigan State @ #4 Miami
#10 RPI @ #1 Union College
#9 Dartmouth @ #2 Cornell
#6 Yale @ #3 Harvard
#5 Quinnipiac @ #4 Colgate
#8 UMass @ #1 Boston College [Friday's game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network]
#7 Providence @ #2 UMass-Lowell [Series will be Thursday, Friday and if necessary, Sunday]
#6 New Hampshire @ #3 Boston University [Saturday's game will be broadcast on NESN]
#5 Merrimack @ #4 Maine [Friday's game (and if the Sunday game is necessary) will be broadcast on FOX College Sports Pacific]
#12 Alaska-Anchorage @ #1 Minnesota [All games will be broadcast on Fox Sports North]
#11 Minnesota State-Mankato @ #2 Minnesota-Duluth
#10 Wisconsin @ #3 Denver
#9 Bemidji State @ #4 North Dakota [Friday and Saturday games will be broadcast on Fox College Sports]
#8 Michigan Tech @ #5 Colorado College
#7 Nebraska-Omaha @ #6 St. Cloud State
#8 UConn @ #1 Air Force
#7 Robert Morris @ #2 Niagara
#6 Bentley @ #3 RIT
#5 Mercyhurst @ #4 Holy Cross
Thanks for this. I'm unfamiliar with the structure of the NCAA and how their championships work so this write-up was exactly what I needed.
The WCHA with have the top seeds have byes after the first week end match ups best of three. Then it is one and one time. With the 3rd seed playing 6, the winner gets #2 and 4 plays 5 with the winner getting #1. There is no re seeding. There is no 3rd place game.
Go Uconn lol.
Surprised to see New Hampshire beat BU 3-2 (ot)
Brief Friday recap:
We saw a couple of games go into extra innings on Friday, a couple of Game #1 upsets and we have one matchup (so far) that's going to a Game #3. So here's a quick rundown.
Perhaps the biggest upset of the night came courtesy of the Bowling Green Falcons. The conference's lowest seed took down top-seeded Ferris State 3-2 in overtime. Ryan Carpenter netted the game-winner at the 17:18 mark of OT. Andrew Hammond was brilliant between the pipes for BGSU, stopping 54 of the Bulldogs' 56 shots.
The other CCHA contest to go extra innings, actually two, was the Michigan-Notre Dame contest. Chris Brown became the hero when he potted the game-winner at the 3:11 mark of overtime off of a really nice feed from Mac Bennett. The two goalies in this game were excellent - Shawn Hunwick for Michigan and Steve Summerhays for Notre Dame. The two teams combined for 80 shots on goal.
The biggest blowout of the night came in the Miami-Michigan State game. The RedHawks put on a clinic, routing the Spartans 6-0. Connor Knapp was terrific in goal for Miami, stopping all 27 shots he faced for his fifth shutout on the season. The shutout was also the 13th of his career, setting a new school record. Jimmy Mullin led the RedHawks with a pair of goals and a pair of assists.
In the fourth CCHA contest, Western Michigan took down Lake Superior State at Lawson Arena 4-2. Mike Leone netted the game-winner at the 16:18 mark of the second period.
In what was perhaps one of, if not, the most thrilling finish of the night. And it came in the Cornell-Dartmouth game up at Lynah Rink. Defenseman Sean Whitney (who BTW, is the brother of NHLer Ryan Whitney) notched his first goal of the year at the 17:40 mark of the second overtime to give the Big Red a 4-3 win over the Big Green. The two netninders, especially Andy Iles for Cornell were terrific. The two teams combined for 98 shots on goal.
The other ECAC contest to go an extra session was the Yale-Harvard game. Kenny Agostino fired home the game-winner at the 3:49 mark of overtime off of a nice feed by Antoine Laganiere to give the Elis a 2-1 win.
Two of the conference's best top lines went head to head in the Colgate-Quinnipiac match at Starr Rink and they didn't disappoint. The Raiders took the first game 4-2. Chris Wagner's power play goal at the 11:32 mark of the third period, his second of the game, proved to be the game winner. The Wilson-Wagner-Smith line combined for six points for Colgate in the win. Austin Smith posted his nation-leading 35th goal of the year as well. Not to be totally outdone, the Bobcats' top line of the Jones twins and Matthew Peca combined for four points in the loss. Connor Jones netted both of Quinnipiac's goals, which came on the power play.
In the fourth ECAC matchup, Union College held on for a 3-2 win over RPI in Schnectady, NY. Defensemen Greg Coburn's power play goal at the 1:43 mark of the second period proved to be game-winner. Coburn BTW, is the brother Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn.
After being upset by lower-seeded Providence College on Thursday, UMass-Lowell bounced back to get a 3-2 overtime win on Friday to send the series to a third and deciding game on Sunday. Freshman defenseman Zach Kamrass picked a great time to net his first collegiate career goal when he put in the rebound at the 11:49 mark of the extra session to give the RiverHawks the win. This series experienced a scheduling shift due to a conflict with another event at Tsongas Arena tonight. Hence why it's a Thursday, Friday and Sunday series.
In what was probably the best game in Hockey East on Friday, took place at Agganis Arena. Host Boston University suffered a heartbreaking 2-3 double overtime loss to New Hampshire. Freshman Grayson Downing was the hero for the Wildcats, when he stripped BU's Ben Rosen off the puck and put home the game-winner at the 2:00 mark of the second overtime. The match featured a terrific goaltending duel between Kieran Millan and Casey DeSmith. Millan, the busier of the two goalies, stopped 47 of UNH's 50 shots in the losing cause. DeSmith stopped 34 of BU's 36 shots in the win.
Another terrific goaltending match up took place up in Orono, where host Maine defeated Merrimack 2-1. Despite getting sacked with the loss, Joe Cannata was excellent between the pipes for the Warriors, who were outshot 43-21. The Black Bears continue to get some good secondary scoring as Kyle Beattie netted the game-winner at the 12:04 mark of the second period. Merrimack did a great job of holding Maine's lethal top line of Spencer Abbott-Brian Flynn-Joey Diamond to just two points in the game.
Top-seeded Boston College had their hands full with a very determined UMass team, but held on for the 2-1 win, despite some very sloppy play throughout the contest. But the Eagles can thank goaltender Parker Milner for keeping them in the game, which could have easily been won by the Minutemen. Both of Boston College's goals came in a span of 39 seconds late in the second period and both were setup by Johnny Gaudreau, who was probably the Eagles' best player in the game outside of Milner. Defenseman Tommy Cross' goal at the 18:25 mark held up as the game-winner.
Of the five higher-seeded WCHA teams that played on Friday, it was the two Colorado-based teams that went down to the lower seeds.
Third-seeded Denver went down to Wisconsin 0-1 in a game that saw some terrific goaltending by Wisconsin's Joel Rumpel and Denver's Juho Olkinuora and an excellent defensive battle. Sophomore Sean Little netted the game's lone goal at the 14:10 mark with defensemen Jake McCabe and John Ramage getting the assists. This was one of the few Wisconsin games this season where both Justin Schultz and Mark Zengerle were held pointless. The Badgers held Denver's Shore brothers and Jason Zucker pointless in the contest, despite combining for 13 shots on goal in the contest.
While Denver had their hands full with Wisconsin, Colorado College didn't fare any better against Michigan Tech in the 'Springs. The Tigers fell to the Huskies 1-3 thanks in large part to goaltender Josh Robinson. Despite seeing just 17 shots, many of which were quality shots, Robinson stood tall for Michigan Tech. Sophomore Dennis Rix netted the game-winner at the 3:41 mark of the third period. The Tigers' lone goal came courtesy of the Schwartz brothers at the 39 second mark of the third period on a 5-on-3 power play. Rylan netted 23rd goal of the year, while Jaden extended his team assists lead to 26 in the losing cause.
Another team who had to fight to pull out their win was the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who had to defend off a surging Alaska-Anchorage team to hold on for the 2-1 at Mariucci Arena. Erik Haula posted both of Minnesota goals. All of the scoring in the game came in the second period. The Seawolves got some great goaltending by Chris Kamal, who stopped 32 of the Golden Gophers' 34 shots in the loss. Kent Patterson continued his steady play between Minnesota's pipes, extending his nation-leading wins total to 25.
North Dakota managed to pull out a 4-1 win over Bemidji State in their first game of the series, thanks in large part to the stellar goaltending of Aaron Dell. It wasn't one of North Dakota's best games, but they got goals at crucial times in the latter half of the game. And along with Dell's goaltending, it was enough to get by the Beavers, who actually could've won the game. The line of Mark McMillan-Carter Rowney-Michael Parks was terrific, combining for six points to lead UND.
In what was perhaps the most lopsided win of the night in the WCHA, St. Cloud took down the reeling Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 5-0. Joe Rehkamp's goal at just 2:30 into the game proved to be the game-winner. The Huskies' power play and strong performance in goal by Mike Lee were two factors that doomed UNO. Lee stopped all 27 shots that he faced for his first shutout of the season. Ben Hanowski reached the 40-point plateau with a power play goal at the 16:50 mark of the opening period. The goal was his 21st of the season.
I didn't put the Atlantic Hockey recaps, but if anyone wants them, I'll include them in the recaps of tonight's games either later this evening or tomorrow.
Thanks for the recaps, Oilers Chick. BTW, do you know of any online streams for Game 2 of the Hockey East quarterfinal matchup between Merrimack and Maine? It's on WBIN but I'm up in Canada so naturally I don't have that network. Thanks!
Great write ups Oilers Chick! I love College hockey, especially this time a year.
I'm a WMU Bronco myself (Lawson Lunatic rep)... last season we upset Michigan then lost in the CCHA final to Miami... we have some unfinished business! WMU swept Lake Superior State tonight with a 5-2 win.
A few more teams are going home and nine more match ups are headed to a third and deciding game on Sunday. Here's a rundown on who's moving on, who's going home and which match ups are headed for a Sunday showdown.
Of the four series on Saturday, only one will be headed to a third and deciding game on Sunday. That series is the Bowling Green-Ferris State series. After being upset last night, top-seeded Ferris State came roaring back in convincing fashion on Saturday to up end Bowling Green 7-4. All seven of the Bulldogs' goals came in the latter two periods, including four in the third. Matthew Kirzinger's shorty at the 8:08 mark of the third period proved to be the game-winner.
Miami moves on to the Joe after posting a 4-1 win over Michigan State to sweep the Spartans in their series. Defenseman Chris Wideman's power play tally at the 9:49 mark of the second period proved to be the game-winner for the RedHawks. Wideman was one of two Miami players to post multiple points in the contest, adding an assist. The other was leading scorer Reilly Smith, who posted a goal and two assists in the game. Top scoring CCHA defenseman Torey Krug posted the lone tally for Michigan State in the losing cause.
Michigan is also moving on to the Joe after sweeping Notre Dame with a 3-1 victory. Senior David Wohlberg posted a pair of goals for the Wolverines, while top 2012 NHL Draft-eligible forward Phil DiGiuseppe tallied the game-winner at the 5:33 mark of the second period and added an assist for Michigan. Peter Schneider tallied the lone goal for Notre Dame, who saw their season come to an end.
Up at Lawson Arena, Western Michigan dispatched Lake Superior State 5-2 thanks in part to some great offensive contributions from their defense. Senior Ian Slater netted the game-winner at the 16:07 mark of the second period. Defensemen Matt Tennyson and Dan DeKeyser each posted two points for the Broncos.
Top-seeded Union College sent RPI packing after a 4-2 victory on Saturday to sweep their series. Sophomore Kevin Sullivan netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner at the 17:37 mark of the second period to lead the Dutchmen. RPI got a great performance out of senior defenseman Mike Bergin, who notched a goal and an assist in the game, in the losing cause.
Another team sent home was Dartmouth, courtesy of Cornell's 3-1 win to sweep the series. All of the scoring in the game occurred in the first period. Last night's hero Sean Whitney tallied his second goal in as many games for Cornell. Senior Locke Jillson netted the eventual game-winner at the 5:42 mark.
Two series will be moving to a third and deciding game on Sunday.
The first is the Colgate-Quinnipiac series. After falling to the Raiders last night, the Bobcats bounced back tonight with a 4-2 win to even their series. Freshman Matthew Peca had a hand in three of Quinnipiac's goals, including Jeremy Langlois' game-winner on the power play at the 19:53 mark of the second period. After posting two goals last night, Chris Wagner posted another tonight. That came at the 11:31 mark of the first period. Wagner was taken down and was awarded a penalty shot. He wristed a shot by Bobcats net minder Eric Hartzell that hit the cross bar before dropping in for the score.
Yale and Harvard liked overtime so much last night that they decided to do it again tonight. And it was one of the best finishes of the night around college hockey. Sophomore defenseman Dan Ford proved to be the most unlikely hero when he put home a rebound at the 9:20 mark of the second overtime to give Harvard the 4-3 victory and forcing a third and deciding game on Sunday. In addition to Ford, the Crimson also got great performances out of their top defensive duo of Danny Biega and Patrick McNally. Biega potted a pair of goals, while McNally had a hand in three of Harvard's four goals. And all of the Crimson's goals except Ford's game-winner came on the power play.
Three of the four series will be headed to a third and deciding game on Sunday.
The only that isn't is the Boston College-UMass series. The Eagles' late period heroics was once again on display as junior defenseman Brian Dumoulin got the eventual game-winner at the 19:11 mark of the second period to give Boston College a 3-2 win and the series sweep. While UMass put up another valiant effort, Eagles goaltender Parker Milner simply wouldn't budge after allowing two goals. He stopped 31 of the Minutemen's 33 shots in the contest. Freshman Johnny Gaudreau continued his torrid point streak, adding an assist in the game for Boston College.
Earlier in the day, Boston University put on a dominating performance in the third period to get the 4-2 win over New Hampshire to even their series and force a third and deciding game on Sunday. The Terriers got another brilliant performance by Kieran Millan, who stopped 35 of 37 shots, including many grade "A" chances, in the win. Equally as good was New Hampshire freshman Casey DeSmith, who stopped 32 of 36 shots, including some difficult ones early in the game in the losing cause. Sophomore Matt Nieto's goal at the 4:54 mark of the third period proved to be the game-winner for Boston University.
In what was the most nastiest contest around college hockey on Saturday, Merrimack bounced back to get a 5-2 win over host Maine up in Orono to force a third and deciding game on Sunday. The game featured a whopping 184 combined penalty minutes that included the ejection of Maine's Joey Diamond - the Black Bears' top goal-scorer and pest extraordinaire, and Merrimack's towering and bruising defenseman Kyle Bigos. The Warriors' two goals in a span of 20 seconds late in the second period became the turning point of the contest. Senior Jeff Velleca's goal at the 17:55 mark of the second period proved to be the game-winner.
The other game going to a third and deciding game on Sunday takes place between Providence College and UMass-Lowell, who played on Thursday and Friday.
Five of the six series ended in sweeps.
The lone one that is going to a third and deciding game on Sunday took place at Magness Arena as host Denver bounced back for a 3-1 win over Wisconsin to even the series. Senior Luke Salazar netted the eventual game-winner at the 12:53 mark of the third period. The Pioneers played most of the game without top scorer Drew Shore, who was assessed a major and game-misconduct at the 11:27 mark of the opening period for contact to the head. His brother Nick, posted a empty-netter and an assist for Denver. Junior defenseman Justin Schultz extended his nation leading point total among defenseman to 43 after posting the Badgers' lone goal of the contest.
The most thrilling finish in the WCHA came in the Minnesota-Duluth/Minnesota State-Mankato series up in Duluth. The Mavericks gave the reigning National Champs all they could handle tonight, but junior Mike Seidel would break their hearts at the 4:07 mark of the second overtime to give Minnesota-Duluth the sweep and the 3-2 win. The two teams combined for 108 shots. Both goaltenders were terrific tonight, especially Minnesota State-Mankato's Austin Lee, who stopped 56 of 59 shots in the loss.
In what was perhaps the biggest upset of the night around college hockey, the rejuvenated Michigan Tech Huskies ended host Colorado College's season when freshman David Johnstone tipped home sophomore defenseman Daniel Sova's shot at the 3:30 mark of overtime for the game-winner. The win was actually a come-from-behind win for the Huskies, who had pulled goalie Josh Robinson for the extra attacker that led to defenseman Steven Seigo's game-tying goal.
After getting a scare last night and early on in the game tonight, the Minnesota Golden Gophers exploded for four goals in the third period to get the 7-4 win over Alaska-Anchorage to sweep the series. The Seawolves' two goals in a span of 23 seconds about midway through the second period put them in good position to potentially go on to win the game, but Minnesota had other ideas heading in the final period. After netting two goals last night, Erik Haula decided to do it again tonight. And he did sit in a span of just 18 seconds early in the third period. His first goal at the 5:05 mark proved to be the game-winner. Haula also added a pair of assists in the game to lead the Golden Gophers.
Meanwhile up at the National Hockey Center, St. Cloud State officially put Nebraska-Omaha out of their perennial misery with a 3-1 win to sweep the Mavericks. UNO ends the season on a six-game losing skid. Ben Hanowski added to his team points lead with the game-winning goal very late in the third period (19:17) and adding an assist. Sophomore defenseman Nick Jensen also had two points (both assists) in the contest. Junior Mike Lee stopped 32 of UNO's 33 shots and added an assist in another strong performance between the pipes for St. Cloud State.
Further north at Ralph Englestad Arena, North Dakota had to fight off a late surge by Bemidji State to hold on for the 4-3 win and the series sweep. The line of Mark MacMillan-Carter Rowney-Michael Parks, which was so good last night, was even better tonight. The trio accounted for seven combined points in the game to lead North Dakota. Sophomore defenseman Dillon Simpson's second goal of the season at the 5:06 mark of the third period proved to be game-winner. Senior Jamie McQueen netted a pair of goals in a span of just 19 seconds late in the third period for the Beavers, but it wasn't enough to get the win.
Three of the four series are headed to a third and deciding game on Sunday.
The only one that isn't is the Niagara-Robert Morris series. In a game that featured a great goaltending duel, the Purple Eagles held on for the 2-1 win and the series sweep. Freshman Chris Lockner extended his team-leading goal total to 12 when he netted the game-winner near the end of regulation at the 19:45 mark of the third period. Senior Chris Noonan, one of the nation's most underrated netminders, was outstanding between the pipes, stopped 26 of the Colonials' 27 shots in the victory for Niagara. Equally impressive was fellow senior Brooks Ostergard, who stopped 42 of the Purple Eagles' 44 shots, including 19 in the second period in the losing cause.
The most thrilling finish in Atlantic Hockey took place up at Ritter Arena in Rochester as host RIT needed two overtimes to even up their series with Bentley University. Senior Cameron Burt became the hero of the contest when he netted the game-winner at the 1:23 mark of the second overtime to give the Tigers a wild 5-4 win. The two teams combined for 109 shots in the contest and both goaltenders were excellent. Senior Shane Madolora stopped 42 of 46 shots in the win, while his counterpart Branden Komm stopped 58 of 63 shots in the losing cause for the Falcons.
Meanwhile, at the Mercyhurst Ice Center, red-hot sophomore Adam Schmidt continued his torrid scoring streak, netting a pair of goals to guide Holy Cross to a 3-1 win over host Merychurst to force a third and deciding game on Sunday. Senior Andrew Cox's shorty at the 15:35 mark of the second period proved to be the game-winner.
The final series heading into a third and deciding game took place at Cadet Ice Arena in Colorado Springs as lower-seeded UConn got the 3-1 victory over host Air Force to even the series. The Huskies once again got brilliant goaltending from junior Garrett Bartus, who stopped 46 of Air Force's 47 shots in the win. Nearly half of his saves (22) came in the first period alone. Sophomore Brant Harris' power play tally at the 48 second mark of the second period proved to be the game-winner.
So who is officially done for the season that was ousted this weekend?
Well, so far (heading into Sunday's games) these are the teams that are done for the season: Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Colorado College, Dartmouth, Lake Superior State, UMass, Minnesota State-Mankato, Nebraska-Omaha, Notre Dame, RPI, and Robert Morris.
Although Michigan State was swept, they still have a shot at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament according to the latest Pairwise Rankings (PWR), which determines who goes to big dance and who doesn't among at-large berths, as well as determines seedings in the tournament.
If you want to read/know more about how the PWR works, just go HERE.
Nearly all NCAA games are either pay-per-view or you have to buy a season pass to view games. But if you're interested in following the Merrimack-Maine later today, you can listen to the game by following THIS LINK. FYI, this is the Merrimack feed.
most teams I think have a radio link. That's how i listened to the first Uconn/Air force game. Btw, Game 3 tonight... Bartus has to steal another one I bet lol.
Ten series went to a third and deciding game yesterday. Here's a rundown on who has moved on and who is going home.
There was only one Game #3 in the CCHA and it was the biggest upset of the weekend as #11 seeded upset top-seeded Ferris State 4-3 in overtime. Bowling Green became the first ever lowest seeded team to advance to the conference finals. They will face #2 Michigan, the highest remaining top seed on Friday in the second semi-final match. Freshman Dan DeSalvo notched his first career hat-trick that included the game-winner at the 2:38 mark of the session and added an assist to lead the Falcons. Bowling Green's top line of Adam Berkle-Ryan Carpenter-Dan DeSalvo was terrific in this series, accounting for 13 points. Ferris State, although out of the CCHA Tournament, will likely still get an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Red hot sophomore Chris Wagner netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner at the 4:37 mark of the first period, and added an assist to guide fourth-seeded Colgate to a 4-0 win over Quinnipiac to take their series 2-1. The Raiders will face second-seeded Cornell in the second semi-final match on Friday. In the ECAC Quarterfinal series versus Quinnipiac, Wagner posted a whopping five goals and an assist for Colgate. Sophomore Eric Mihalik stopped all 31 shots he faced to post his second shutout of the season.
The other third and deciding game in the ECAC took place at the Bright Center and it was the most lopsided win of the day as host Harvard thumped Yale 8-2 to move on to the ECAC Semi-finals where they'll meet top-seeded Union College in the first matchup on Friday. Junior David Valek posted his first career hat-trick that included the game-winner at the 10:00 mark of the second period to lead the Crimson. Linemates Alex Killorn and Marshall Everson each posted four points for Harvard.
Three of the four weekend games went a third and deciding game on Sunday.
The most thrilling game of the day took place at Agganis Arena where host Boston University needed double overtime to end New Hampshire's with a 5-4 win. Senior net minder Kieran Millan was sensational between the pipes for the Terriers, stopping an astounding 68 shots in the victory. His 68 stops set a new Hockey East Tournament record and were the most stops by a BU reminder since current NY Islander Rick DiPietro's 77 in quadruple overtime in the 2000 NCAA Regionals versus St. Lawrence. Junior Alex Chiasson netted the game-winner at the 6:42 mark of the fifth period. With the loss, New Hampshire run of 10 straight NCAA Tournament appearances comes to an end.
Boston University will meet Maine in the second semi-final matchup on Friday. The Black Bears defeated Merrimack 2-1 to win their series on Sunday. Sophomore Brice O'Connor put home junior defenseman Nick Pryor's shot at the 3:43 mark of the second period for the game-winner. This game featured another stellar goaltending duel between Maine's Dan Sullivan and Merrimack's Joe Cannata. Sullivan stopped 20 of 21 shots in the victory, while Cannata 30 of 32 shots in his final game in a Warriors uniform. He leaves Merrimack as one of the school's most decorated players in the history of the program.
Friday's other semi-matchup has top-seeded Boston College facing off against seventh-seeded Providence College after the Friars up ended second-seeded UMass-Lowell 1-0 earlier in the day. Providence became the first seventh-seeded team in Hockey East Tournament history to advance to the Tournament semi-finals. Freshman Ross Mauerman deflected junior defenseman Alex Velischek's shot to net the game's lone goal. Senior Alex Beaudry was terrific in goal, stopping all 29 shots he faced. Coincidentally, the Friars' only other Hockey East shutout of the season also came against UMass-Lowell back on Jan. 24. Sophomore Doug Carr turned in another stellar performance for the RiverHawks, stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced in the losing cause. Although UMass-Lowell has been ousted from the Hockey East Tournament, they are almost certain to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Just one game went to a third and deciding game on Sunday and it was another overtime thriller. Third-seeded Denver needed an extra session to end the Wisconsin Badgers' season with a 3-2 win. Senior Luke Salazar netted the game-winner at the 1:40 mark of overtime and added an assist to send the Pioneers to the WCHA Quarterfinals on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center, where they'll meet Michigan Tech in the early game. Junior Drew Shore added three assists and reached the 50-point plateau for the first time in his collegiate career.
Three of the four quarterfinal series went to a third and deciding game on Sunday.
Up at Ritter Arena in Rochester, senior Shane Madolora set a new school single-season record with his seventh shutout, backstopping host RIT to a 3-0 win over Bentley University to advance to the conference semi-finals on Friday where they will face second-seeded Niagara in the late game. Madolora, who is currently tied with Minnesota's Kent Patterson for most shutouts in the nation , stopped all 24 shots that he faced. Sophomore Adam Mitchell's goal at the 5:35 mark of the first period proved to be the game-winner.
At the Mercyhurst Ice Center, freshman Matthew Zay netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner at the 13:27 mark of the second period to guide host Mercyhurst to a 3-1 win over Holy Cross to advance to the semi-finals on Friday. The Lakers got some another outstanding goaltending performance from senior Max Strang, who stopped 41 of the 42 shots he faced in the win.
Mercyhurst will face off against top-seeded Air Force in the early conference semi-final game on Friday after the Falcons hung on for a 4-3 win over a relentless UConn team on Sunday. Sophomore George Michalke's goal at the 3:21 mark of the third period proved to be the game-winner for Air Force. Atlantic Hockey's top sniper, sophomore Cole Schneider, netted a pair of goals for the Huskies in the losing cause. Schneider ends his sensational sophomore campaign setting new school single season D-I record for most goals (23) and points (45).
So, here is the update on who is officially done for the year from this weekend's game: Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Bentley University, Colorado College, UConn, Dartmouth, Holy Cross, Lake Superior State, UMass, Merrimack, Minnesota State-Mankato, Nebraska-Omaha, New Hampshire, Notre Dame, Quinnipiac, RPI, Robert Morris, Yale and Wisconsin.
These are the teams that have been eliminated from their respective conference tournaments but still have a shot at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, according to the latest Pairwise Rankings (PWR): Ferris State, UMass-Lowell and Michigan State.
This weekend's match ups
Here is the conference match ups for this weekend. By sometime Saturday night, each of the five conferences will crown their tournament champions, which also carries an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Below is each conference matchup. I've also included TV schedules. All times, except the WCHA are EST. The WCHA is CST.
Venue: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
TV: All games will be broadcast live on Fox Sports North
Quarterfinals - Thursday, Mar. 15
Game #1: #6 Michigan Tech vs. #3 Denver @ 2:00 pm
Game #1: #5 St. Cloud State vs. #4 North Dakota @ 7:00 pm
Semifinals - Friday, Mar. 16
Game #1: winner of Michigan Tech/Denver vs. #2 Minnesota Duluth, 2:00 pm
Game #2: winner of St. Cloud State/North Dakota vs. #1 Minnesota, 7:00 pm
Broadmoor Cup Championship - Saturday, Mar. 17
Friday's Game #2 winner vs. Game #1 winner
Venue: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
TV: Semi-final games will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Detroit Plus. Championship game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Detroit
Semifinals - Friday, Mar. 16
Game #1: #3 Miami vs. #2 Western Michigan @ 4:30 pm
Game #2: #4 Bowling Green vs. #1 Michigan @ 8:00 pm
Mason Cup Championship - Saturday, Mar. 17
Game #2 winner vs. Game #1 winner @ 7:30 pm
Venue: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ
Semifinals - Friday, Mar. 16
Game #1: #4 Colgate vs. #1 Union College @ 4:30 pm
Game #2: #3 Harvard vs. #2 Cornell @ 7:00 pm
Whitelaw Cup Championship - Saturday, Mar. 17
Game #2 winner vs. Game #1 winner @ 7:00 pm
Venue: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
TV: All games will be broadcast live on NESN
Semifinals - Friday, Mar. 16
Game #1: #7 Providence College vs. #1 Boston College @ 5:00 pm
Game #2: #4 Maine vs. #3 Boston University @ 8:00 pm
Lamoriello Cup Championship - Saturday, Mar. 17
Game #2 winner vs. Game #1 winner @ 8:00 pm
Venue: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY
Semifinals - Friday, Mar. 16
Game #1: #4 Mercyhurst vs. #1 Air Force @ 4:00 pm
Game #2: #3 RIT vs. #2 Niagara @ an hour after the completion of Game #1
Championship Game - Saturday, Mar. 17
Game #2 winner vs. Game #1 winner @ 7:00 pm
NCAA Tournament Selection Show:
The NCAA Tournament field will be announced live on ESPNU at noon EST on Sunday, Mar. 18.
God I hope BU doesn't force Millan to make 324324 saves this weekend...but as long as we have Millan in net, we'll have a shot in every game. And if there's one thing I know about these tourneys, sometimes all you need is a hot goalie.
For those of you who want to have fun with scenarios:
In general, the 5 autobids + 11 highest non-autobids in the PRW will make the tourney field.
Keep an eye on the team coming out of Atlantic Hockey...seems like they always provide some exciting first round games as well as some upsets. Obviously not every year, but a look back to 2005 shows the AH conference has made some news in past tourneys.
2005 - Mercyhurst had 2 breakaways in the 3rd that they could not convert on while down 5-4 to BC. Mike Ella makes 50+ saves in the loss
2006 - Holy cross with the upset of #1 Minnesota
2009 - Air Force Upsets #4 Michigan
2010 - RIT advances to Final 4 after wins against UNH and Denver.
This year RIT, AF, Mercyhurst, and Niagara are all very competitive with AF at #17 nationally and Niagara receiving votes this week.
Can't believe DU passed on... AND I REALLY CAN'T BELIVE MICHIGAN TECH. HOLY ****.
I had class with 3 DU students this morning and holy **** they have high accolades for MT. Apparently they are just a tough team to play against.
The two WCHA Quarterfinal games were played today to see who would advance to the WCHA Tournament semi-final tomorrow night.
The first game featured Denver and Michigan Tech. The game was actually featured few penalties and had to go to overtime to be decided.
Sophomore Jason Zucker netted the game-winner at the 2:18 mark of overtime when he cashed in on what looked to be a broken play by the Huskies. MTU dominated parts of this game and their tight-checking, defense-first style stifled the Pioneers throughout the game. Denver actually got on the board first when freshman Ty Loney opened the scoring at the 3:50 mark of the opening period. Midway through the period, Blake Pietila tied the game with a nifty shot that beat Denver goalie Juha Olkinuora. Just 18 seconds in the third period, MTU would take their first and only lead of the game when sophomore Ryan Furne put in a nice feed from Jordan Baker. MTU outworked Denver for a good part of the first half of the third period, but that all changed in the latter stages of the period. Senior Luke Salazar scored the prettiest goal of the game, when he finished off a nice tic-tac-toe play at the 15:28 mark. Junior Drew Shore and Loney would get the assists. The Huskies came out with good jump to start the overtime session, but the firepower of the Pioneers just proved to be too much as Zucker would break the hearts of the Huskies and their fans to end their magical season.
The second game, which featured St. Cloud State and North Dakota was a completely different game. It didn't take long for the nastiness to get going as both teams were physical throughout the game. SCSU had more of the momentum in the first half of the period. But North Dakota would begin to turn things around midway through the period, when junior Corban Knight would get North Dakota on the board first at the 7:40 mark of the opening period. Later in the period, with Knight in the penalty box for charging, the Huskies power play went to work. Junior Ben Hanowski would get the equalizer on the power play at the 16:14 mark off of a nice feed by Nic Dowd. North Dakota still lacked a bit of jump to open the second period, but their relentless forechecking and some key saves by junior Aaron Dell would keep SCSU off the board. But North Dakota's latter-stages-of-the-period heroics would come through again at the 15:51 mark of the middle period when sophomore Brock Nelson netted his 24th of the year on a terrific shot beating Huskies goalie Mike Lee. North Dakota came out and played their best period of the game in the third, where they stifled SCSU at nearly every turn. But SCSU wouldn't give up without a fight and came close to tying the game on several opportunities. With roughly 1:40 left in regulation time and down 2-1, the Huskies pulled Lee for the extra attacker. At the 19:00 mark, Nelson netted his second of the game off of a nice feed from junior Danny Kristo to seal the deal. Shortly after the goal, things began to get ugly when SCSU defenseman Taylor Johnson purposely crashed into Dell, which set off the late period fireworks and earned Johnson an early shower. But even with a man down, the Huskies opted to keep Lee out of the net to make it five-on-five. But at the 19:34 mark, Kristo would put the frosting on the cake for North Dakota and end SCSU's season.
In tomorrow's WCHA semi-final games, Denver will face-off against Minnesota-Duluth in the early game, while the grudge match between North Dakota and Minnesota will be renewed in the night cap.
Hell of a game at the Joe tonight. BGSU and Michigan deadlocked at 2 going into 2nd overtime. Let's go BGSU! Roll Along!!!
Great end to the Maine/BU game, gotta admit.
WMU vs UM tomorrow for the CCHA. Will be there proudly with my fellow Broncos!
Some exciting finishes highlighted the ten semi-final games that took place on Friday. Here's a brief rundown of what happened.
Senior Greg Squires netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner on the power play at the 2:07 mark of the second period to lead Western Michigan to a dominating 6-2 win over Miami in the first semi-final game. Miami senior Connor Knapp, who was one of the hottest goalies coming into the post-season, was lit up for four goals before being pulled for fellow senior Cody Reichard. This was one of Miami's worst outings of the season as the Broncos came out with the early jump and never let up in the game.
WMU will meet Michigan for the Mason Cup championship after the Wolverines pulled out a 3-2 victory over a relentless Bowling Green team in double overtime in one of the best games of the night. Sophomore Luke Moffatt became the hero of the game, netting the game-winner at the 1:04 mark of the second overtime by putting in a rebound to send the Wolverines to the championship game. Senior Andrew Hammond was brilliant between the pipes for the Falcons, stopping 55 of 58 shots in the losing cause. Two New Jersey Devils propects in senior David Wohlberg and sophomore defenseman Jon Merrill netted Michigan's other two goals.
Junior Jeremy Welsh netted a pair of goals, including a school single-season record 24th goal of the season, and added an assist to lead Union College to a 6-2 win over Colgate in the first semi-final game. The Dutchmen's excellent line of Carr-Welsh-Jooris combined for nine points in the contest. The Raiders' potent top line of Joe Wilson-Chris Wagner-Austin Smith was held to just three points. Smith, the ECAC's (and nation's) top goal-scorer was held goalless in the contest. Sophomore Josh Jooris netted the game-winner on the power play at the 13:57 mark of the second period for Union College.
The Dutchmen will meet Harvard for the Whitelaw Cup championship after thumping Cornell 6-2 in the second semi-final game. Senior Alex Killorn and line mate Marshall Everson each netted two goals to lead the Crimson. One of the best players for Harvard on the night was freshman Colin Blackwell, who had a hand in four of the Crimson's six goals. Sophomore Raphael Girard was nearly perfect in goal for Harvard, stopping 18 of the 19 shots he faced and came within one minute and six seconds of getting the shutout before freshman Joel Lowry spooled it at the 18:54 mark of the third period to net the Big Red's lone goal of the game. Harvard's win also had the biggest impact on the Pairwise Rankings (PWR) as well.
Red hot freshman Johnny Gaudreau netted the game-winner on the power play at the 3:58 mark of the second period to lead top-seeded Boston College to a 4-2 win over Providence College in the first semi-final game. Gaudreau has posted 18 points is in the last month and a half and he has been held pointless in just one during that 11-game stretch. The win also extends the Eagles' winning streak to 14 games. Junior Chris Kreider and senior Paul Carey each added two points apiece in Boston College's win. Sophomore Derek Army, the son of former Friars head coach Tim Army and one of Providence's best players this season, netted a goal and an assist in the losing cause for the Friars.
Boston College will face Maine for the Lamoriello Cup championship after the Black Bears got by Boston University 5-3 in the second semi-final game. But the victory came at a high cost to Maine when the nation's top scorer Spencer Abbott suffered a head injury late in the third period due to an elbow to the head. Prior to his injury, Abbott posted a pair of assists for the Black Bears. Senior defenseman Will O'Neill had one of his best outings of the year, netting a pair of goals and adding an assist for Maine. He broke a 23-game goal scoring drought when he tallied the first of two goals at the 11:25 mark of the second period. Maine's special teams specialist Mark Antoine tallied the eventual game-winner at the 7:43 mark of the third period in the victory. Sophomore Matt Nieto, who was one of Boston University's best players in the contest, potted a pair of goals in the losing cause.
Freshman Zac Larraza picked the best time to score his first collegiate career goal when he netted the game-winner at the 8:14 mark of the second overtime to lift Denver to a thrilling 4-3 win over defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth in the first semi-final game. Along with the Bowling Green/Michigan match, this was the best game of the day. Both goalies were terrific in the game, but sophomore Sam Brittain was the busier of the two net minders and showed why he is one of the nation's best after stopping an astounding 67 shots for Denver. That broke a new school single-game record. The previous high was 59 shots. The Pioneers' shutdown line of Nate Dewhurst-Shawn Ostrow-Dusty Jackson was excellent in the game, accounting for four points. UMD got a great performance out of the Keegan Flaherty-Jack Connolly-Mike Seidel, who wreaked havoc on the Pioneers throughout the game. The line accounted for all three of the Bulldogs' goals.
Denver will meet North Dakota in a rematch of last year's Broadmoor Cup championship game after the Sioux posted the greatest comeback of the day and one of the greatest in the history of the WCHA Final Five, handing top-seeded Minnesota a stunning 3-6 loss. After the Golden Gophers went up 3-0 midway through the second period, UND came roaring back with six unanswered goals, five of which came in the third period. Senior Mario Lamoureux led UND with two goals, including the game-winner at the 9:42 mark of the third period. UND got great production throughout their lineup, but it was the play of Aaron Dell throughout the game that helped UND get the victory. The game featured surprisingly few penalties considering the animosity between the two teams, but they were crucial in Minnesota's early lead in the game. The strong effort that Minnesota put forth early in the contest wasn't there in the latter half of the game, particularly in the third period. Freshman Kyle Rau and sophomore Erik Haula each posted two points apiece in the losing cause for Minnesota.
Senior Paul Weisgarber netted two goals and junior John Kruse wristed in the game-winner at the 3:49 mark of the second period to lead Air Force to a 5-2 win over Mercyhurst in the first semi-final game. After staking out to a 2-1 lead midway through the first period, the Falcons never relinquished the lead in the game. Mercyhurst played well throughout the game, but it was sophomore Jason Fabian's goal at the 18:13 of third period that would put the nail in the Lakers' coffin. Fabian, the brother of former UND player Erik Fabian, went top shelf on Merychurst net minder Max Strang off of a nice feed from fellow sophomore Casey Kleisinger. Strang was excellent in goal, despite the loss, stopping 37 of the Falcons' 42 shots.
Air Force will meet RIT in a rematch of last year's thrilling Atlantic Hockey championship after the Tigers squeaked out a hard-fought 2-1 win over Niagara in overtime in the second semi-final contest. Senior Taylor McReynolds was the hero of the game, netting the game-winner at the 2:57 mark of the extra session. He also added an assist. The win for RIT was especially sweet coming against Niagara, whom they hadn't beaten since 1997. Freshman Mark Garbowsky opened the scoring for the Tigers at the 3:25 mark of the third period, before fellow freshman Chris Lochner got the equalizer for the Purple Eagles at the 14:40 mark. The game featured two of Atlantic Hockey's best goalies in senior Shane Madolora for RIT and senior Chris Noonan for Niagara. The two goalies combined to stop 70 of 73 shots, including numerous grade "A" chances.
So here's the update on Saturday's games. All times, except the WCHA are EST. The WCHA is CST. The winner of each game will earn automatic berths into the NCAA Tournament.
Both the CCHA and the ECAC will have third place games. Neither will be televised. Bowling Green will face off against Miami @ 3:30pm, while Colgate will face off against Cornell @ 4:30pm.
CCHA: Western Michigan vs. Michigan @ 7:30pm [Game will be televised live on FOX Sport Detroit]
ECAC: Harvard vs. Union College @ 7:30pm [Game will not be televised]
Hockey East: Maine vs. Boston College @ 8:00pm [Game will be televised live on NESN and simulcast also on the NBC Sports Network]
WCHA: North Dakota vs. Denver @ 7:00pm [Game will be televised live on FOX Sports North]
Atlantic Hockey: RIT vs. Air Force @ 7:00pm [Game will not be televised]
Update on who is officially done for the 2011-12 season: Bowling Green, Colgate, Mercyhurst, Michigan Tech, Niagara, Providence College and St. Cloud State
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