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03-17-2012, 11:52 PM
  #29
Oilers Chick
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Saturday recap:

The automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament have now been claimed. The seven games on Saturday featured a little bit of everything. Here's a rundown of what happened.

CCHA:

In the CCHA third place game earlier in the day, the Miami RedHawks solidified an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament after defeating Bowling Green 4-1. Junior defenseman Joe Hartman's first goal of the year proved to be the game-winner at the 19:59 mark of the first period. Both teams got solid goaltending from Andrew Hammond (BGSU) and Cody Reichard (MIA). Top scorer Reilly Smith, who was named to the All-Tournament team, posted his 30th goal of the year and added two assists for the RedHawks.

In what was the biggest upset of the day and perhaps the most thrilling finish, the Western Michigan Broncos claimed their first Mason Cup championship in 22 years after defeating Michigan 3-2. The Broncos' outstanding line of Dane Walters-Chase Balisy-Shnae Bertschbach accounted for two of the team's three goals. The methodical style of first year head coach Andy Murray was played to near perfection in the contest as WMU outplayed Michigan for much of the contest. The Wolverines played their best in the third period, netting two special teams goals - one on the power play and the other shorthanded. Broncos freshman net minder Frank Slubowski was terrific throughout the contest, stopping several grade "A" Michigan chances, particularly in the third period en route to being named the Tournament MVP. Despite the loss, Michigan has earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

All-Tournament Team

G Frank Slubowski, Western Michigan (MVP)
D Dan DeKeyser, Western Michigan
D Lee Moffie, Michigan
F Reilly Smith, MIA
F Greg Squires, Western Michigan
F Luke Moffatt, Michigan


ECAC:

After being humbled by Harvard a day earlier, the Cornell Big Red took care of business to solidify their NCAA at-large bid after defeating Colgate 3-0 in the third place game earlier in the day. Senior Sean Collins netted the game-winner at the 19:35 mark of the first period to lead Cornell. Freshman Andy Illes stopped all 25 shots that he faced for his sixth shutout of the season. The Big Red did an excellent job of keeping the Raiders' lethal top line of Joe Wilson-Chris Wagner-Austin Smith in check. With the loss, Colgate's season comes to an end. Austin Smith, who currently leads the nation in goal-scoring, finishes the year with 36 goals.

The Union College Dutchmen claimed their first ever Whitelaw Trophy as the ECAC Tournament champions after defeating Harvard 3-1. All of the scoring in the game came in the third period. Union College's excellent line of Daniel Carr-Jeremy Welsh-Josh Jooris had a hand in all three goals. After Harvard senior Alex Killorn opened the scoring at the 4:52 mark, the Dutchmen came back with three unanswered goals, including Carr's game-winner at the 9:34 mark. Sophomore Raphael Girard turned in another stellar performance between the Crimson's pipes, stopping 31 of the 33 shots that he faced in the losing cause.

All-Tournament Team

G Troy Grosenick, Union College
D Danny Biega, Harvard
D Shayne Gotisbehere, Union College
F Jeremy Welsh, Union College (MVP)
F Alex Killorn, Harvard
F Daniel Carr, Union College


Hockey East:

Freshman sensation Johnny Gaudreau continued his torrid scoring pace netting a pair of goals, including the game-winner on the power play at the 7:31 mark of the first period to lead Boston College to a hard-fought 4-1 over Maine to claim their third consecutive Hockey East Tournament championship. With the win, the Eagles also solidify the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Boston College came out flying in the opening stanza and peppered Maine net minder Dan Sullivan. Gaudreau, who was named the Tournament MVP, netted both of his goals in a span of 2:07 in the first half of the opening period. But the Black Bears, playing without top scorer Spencer Abbott, wouldn't go quietly. Maine came out with good jump in the second and their hard work would pay off at the 7:37 mark when senior Brian Flynn wrester a shot by Boston College net minder Parker Milner for the score. But the Eagles would stay the course in the third period, keeping Maine in check, despite allowing 17 shots on goal. Junior Pat Mullane restored the Eagles' two goal lead at the 18:39 mark of the third and senior Barry Almeida would put the frosting on the cake with an empty-netter at the 18:59 mark. Despite the loss, Maine has likely earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

All-Tournament Team

G Parker Milner, Boston College
D Brian Dumoulin, Boston College
D Will O'Neill, Maine
F Johnny Gaudreau, Boston College (MVP)
F Joey Diamond, Maine
F Alex Chiasson, Boston University


WCHA:

After pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in WCHA Final Five history, North Dakota turned in another dominating performance, shutting out the surging Denver Pioneers 4-0 to become the first team in the history of the WCHA Final Five to win three consecutive tournament titles and the Broadmoor Trophy. The Pioneers, who had played six games in ten days, clearly looked tired to open the game, but managed to get their legs under them relatively quickly. But it wasn't fatigue that would do in Denver, but special teams play. Three of North Dakota's four goals came on special teams - two on the power play and one shorthanded. The flood gates began to open for North Dakota when Pioneers freshman Matt Tabrum would be called for a hook at the 16:25 mark of the opening period. At the 17:43, North Dakota would make Denver pay when sophomore Brock Nelson netted his 27th of the season that would hold up as the game-winner. Less than a minute later at the 18:29 mark, junior Carter Rowney would extend North Dakota's lead to 2-0. North Dakota would strike again on the power play in the second period after sophomore Jason Zucker was called interference at the 9:45 mark. But Michael Parks would extend North Dakota's lead to 3-0 off of a nice feed from Rowney. One of Denver's best opportunities to get back into the game came at the near the midway point of the third period when Rowney was called for a cross-check. But it was North Dakota's Mark MacMillan who was Johnny-on-the-spot to pry the puck away for a breakaway chance that beat Denver freshman goalie Juha Olkinuora to extend North Dakota's lead to 4-0. Olkinuora was pulled after that in favor of junior Adam Murray, who has not played since the regular season. But it didn't seem to matter. Whatever the Pioneers would throw North Dakota's way, Aaron Dell was there to make sure it didn't get by him. The shutout was Dell's second on the season. Despite loss, Denver will in all likelihood receive an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

All-Tournament Team

G Aaron Dell, North Dakota (MVP)
D Derek Forbort, North Dakota
D Andrew MacWilliam, North Dakota
F Brock Nelson, North Dakota
F Mario Lamoureux, North Dakota
F Jason Zucker, Denver


Atlantic Hockey:

The first team to punch in their ticket to the NCAA tournament as an automatic bid was Air Force, who will be making their second consecutive trip and fifth in the last six seasons to the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore Jason Torf was brilliant between the pipes for the Falcons, stopping all 34 shots that he faced to backstop Air Force to a decisive 3-0 win over RIT en route to earning the tournament MVP honor. Freshman Cole Gunner and junior John Kruse scored in a span of 70 seconds in the latter half of the first period to stake Air Force to a 2-0 lead and from there the Falcons never looked back. Gunner's tally at the 15:15 mark on the power play would be the eventual game-winner. Torf's shutout was his fifth on the season.

All-Tournament Team

G Jason Torf, Air Force
D Tim Kirby, Air Force
D Scott Mathis, Air Force
F Cole Gunner, Air Force
F Paul Weisgarber, Air Force
F Taylor MacReynolds, RIT


Teams whose seasons officially ended today: Harvard and RIT


The 11 at-large bids, seedings and regional brackets will be announced tomorrow (Sunday) on the NCAA Tournament Selection Show at Noon EST on ESPNU. The NCAA Tournament begins on Friday, March 23.

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