College Hockey:
Northeast Regional preview: Runners-up go for bigger prize

The Northeast Regional of the 2011 NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament features three of the last eight national runners-up.

Miami was second in 2009, Notre Dame lost the title game in 2008 and New Hampshire got the silver in 2003. Will any of those three or Merrimack get the big prize this season?

Here are the previews for the Northeast Regional. Check to the right for game times and locations.

Miami RedHawks

Schedule :: Stats :: Roster

Coach: Enrico Blasi, 12th season
Record: 23-9-6 (16-7-5-2 CCHA, third)
How they got in: Automatic qualifier, CCHA tournament champion
Regional seed: First
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2010
Best NCAA finish: Second place, 2009
Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: They’re loaded in all positions, peaking now, and have made two consecutive Frozen Four appearances.
Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: They’re so offensive-minded that they are capable of letting down defensively.

Miami players celebrate a goal in the third period during the CCHA Championship game at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan on Saturday, March 19, 2011. (Rena Laverty)

Miami goes into the NCAA tournament unbeaten in its last 13 games (photo: Rena Laverty).

When tied with Western Michigan, 2-2, early in the third period of the CCHA championship game, Miami did what every seasoned, talented team does. “The veteran team that we have showed its true colors,” said coach Enrico Blasi. “When they scored, we started to take the momentum back.”

It’s no surprise that senior and Hobey Baker finalist Andy Miele (24-47–71) scored first for Miami to break that deadlock, nor that seven different RedHawks players factored into those three goals that ensured Miami’s first league postseason championship.

“When you talk about Andy Miele,” said Blasi, “you’ve got to talk about Carter Camper, you’ve got to talk about Pat Cannone, you’ve got to talk about Reilly Smith, you’ve got to talk about Trent Vogelhuber — the entire Miami hockey team, because Andy can’t do it himself.

“Teams try to match up against Andy, and then they’ve got to worry about Carter. Teams try to match up against Carter and they’ve got to worry about Cannone. It’s been a team effort like that all year long. It’s a team effort all the way, and that’s the way we want it.”

Miele, Camper (19-37–56), Cannone (14-23–37), Smith (28-26–54) and Alden Hirschfeld (12-13–25) account for 97 of 145 overall goals and make up the core of the fourth-best offense in the nation. What makes this team even more intimidating, though, is its newly solidified team defense; the RedHawks beat Notre Dame and Western Michigan by a combined score of 11-4 in the CCHA championship tournament, and heading into Detroit, Miami had allowed five goals in its previous five games.

In fact, since giving up seven goals to Michigan State on Jan. 21, Miami has allowed 1.75 goals per game, and that includes five goals given up in a tie game to the Irish Jan. 28.

Having appeared in the Frozen Four in 2009 and 2010, the RedHawks are a known quantity heading into this year’s tournament. They’re also familiar with their first opponent. Miami and New Hampshire split a pair of 6-3 games in Oxford to start the season, Oct. 8-9, and the RedHawks beat the Wildcats in the NCAA tournament in 2007.

“It’s going to be a tough draw to play New Hampshire in Manchester,” said Blasi. “We’ve been there before. It was tough. Their fans are right behind them.”

– Paula C. Weston

Merrimack Warriors

Schedule :: Stats :: Roster

Coach: Mark Dennehy, sixth season
Record: 25-9-4 (16-8-3 Hockey East, fourth)
How they got in: At-large bid
Regional seed: Second
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 1988
Best NCAA finish: Regional finalist, 1988
Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: This team has showed great composure all season and the bigger the game, the better they’ve played. They’ll also have great support of their fans playing just an hour away.
Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: If the pressure of the NCAA tournament gets to this team, they could succumb. They also have some extremely talented teams in their region, making it even more difficult.

Karl Stollery (Merrimack - 7) - The Boston College Eagles defeated the visiting Merrimack College Warriors 3-2 on Friday, October 29, 2010, at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)

Karl Stollery and Merrimack are the toast of the North Andover, Mass., campus (photo: Melissa Wade).

Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy has walked to his office on the Merrimack campus hundreds if not thousands of times. In all those walks, though, he’s never seen the sight he did on Tuesday morning.

“I just walked past a line of people waiting for tickets on my way to my office,” Dennehy said of the demand for tickets for Merrimack’s first NCAA tournament game since 1988. “I can tell you I’ve never done that before.”

Dennehy’s Warriors will take on Notre Dame on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT in Manchester. The arena is just an hour from Merrimack’s campus in North Andover, Mass. The fact that the Warriors will play so close to home, Dennehy feels, is a testament to the support his team has received this season.

“We’re really proud of the support from our students, our alums and the people in our community,” said Dennehy. “Anybody that was at the Garden [for the Hockey East tournament] got the impression that Merrimack was very well represented and I know the NCAA takes that stuff into consideration.”

While a great following may have put Merrimack close to home, it doesn’t do anything to get a more favorable opponent. Merrimack will face a Notre Dame team with plenty of weapons, namely two freshmen having outstanding years in T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee. Both have scored 22 goals this season.

“Lee is a big, strong kid with great net presence and Tynan is a littler guy who sees the ice well. He’s really dynamic on their power play,” said Dennehy, who also went on to say that they are hardly Merrimack’s only concerns. “They’ve got good players throughout their lineup. This is not Cinderella. This is a team that’s gearing up for a pretty good run.”

If Merrimack is going to stop that run in its tracks, it’ll need to use its own group of talented players, many of whom may have been passed over by programs like Notre Dame in the recruiting process.

“We’ve prided ourselves in turning over every stone and finding guys that may end up being blue chippers,” Dennehy said. “Not necessarily coming in with all the hoopla. We’ve taken a lot of guys that other teams have passed on. We happen to think they’re good players.

Dennehy will prepare his team for each of its opponents (Merrimack would meet either Miami or New Hampshire in the regional final with a victory over Notre Dame.) But he also realizes that at this time of year, playing well one game at a time is what gets it done.

“We think we match up well with a lot of teams,” said Dennehy. “At this time of year you still have to play well. It is the trick … to get your team to play as well as it can when it matters.”

– Jim Connelly

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Schedule :: Stats :: Roster

Coach: Jeff Jackson, sixth season
Record: 23-13-5 (18-7-3-2 CCHA, second)
How they got in: At-large bid
Regional seed: Third
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2009
Best NCAA finish: Second place, 2008
Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: They’ve added impressive offense to a team that already played good overall defense.
Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: They’re young and a little tightly wound in recent weeks, and goaltending is inconsistent.

Mike Johnson (Notre Dame - 32) - The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Boston University Terriers 3-0 on Tuesday, October 20, 2009, at Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)

Goaltender Mike Johnson has a 2.62 goals-against average for Notre Dame (photo: Melissa Wade).

After surviving a best-of-three, second-round home CCHA playoff series against Lake Superior State in South Bend March 11-13 — beating the Lakers in OT, losing the following night and winning the third contest — the Irish lost two games in Detroit during the CCHA championship tournament, 6-2 to Miami and 4-2 to Michigan.

“I thought we played well on Friday night,” said coach Jeff Jackson. “I thought we played better on Saturday. That looked like the semblance of my team.”

After Friday’s loss, Jackson said that the contest was more about Miami than about Notre Dame, and he was right; the RedHawks played the entire weekend like a team that could not be beaten. Saturday, though, found both second-seed Notre Dame and top-seed Michigan in unfamiliar territory — the third-place game.

“From a coaching perspective,” said Jackson, “coaches don’t like it. They’re not playing for a championship, so they’d rather go home.”

However, after Saturday’s game Jackson said that the contest gave his players an opportunity to gain a little confidence and loosen up a bit after being dominated by Miami.

“I think our guys were tight,” said Jackson. “I think our guys were nervous. It’s difficult to read because they look like they were focused. They were focused, but they were a little nervous.”

The nerves come from being a young and relatively inexperienced team. The Irish have made the tournament two of the last three years, but last season ND finished ninth in the CCHA and bowed out early in the league playoffs. That means that 17 of Notre Dame’s current players, the sophomores and freshmen, made their first appearance at Joe Louis Arena last weekend.

With that youth, however, comes offense. The Irish are led by freshmen T.J. Tynan (22-30–52) and Anders Lee (22-19–41); Tynan was the league’s rookie of the year. Their classmate, Jeff Costello (11-6–17), sophomore Nick Larson (10-8–18) and senior Calle Ridderwall (14-9–23) are the five double-digit goal scorers for Notre Dame, a surprisingly offensive-minded team. The Irish have the 10th-best scoring offense in the country, averaging 3.46 goals per game.

Even with the losses in Detroit, Jackson said he’s encouraged heading into Manchester.

“We had 45 shots on the University of Michigan and they’re not too shabby defensively,” said Jackson. “I thought we had some good chances and I thought that Shawn Hunwick played an incredible game.”

– Paula C. Weston

New Hampshire Wildcats

Schedule :: Stats :: Roster

Coach: Dick Umile, 21st season
Record: 21-10-6 (17-6-4 Hockey East, second)
How they got in: At-large bid
Regional seed: Fourth
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2010
Best NCAA finish: Runner-up 1999, 2003
Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: If UNH’s top offensive line gets back to form and goaltender Matt DiGirolamo plays his best, the Wildcats have a shot. Playing in front of a home crowd doesn’t hurt, either.
Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: Could easily be run over by Miami’s potent offense in the opening game.

The Boston College Eagles defeated the University of New Hampshire Wildcats 8-6 on Saturday, November 15, 2008, at Kelley Rink at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)

Matt DiGirolamo and New Hampshire hope to get to the Frozen Four from a regional in their home state (photo: Melissa Wade).

The New Hampshire Wildcats may see Miami and, if they get past the RedHawks, either Notre Dame or Merrimack on the opposite bench in this week’s Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H., but the biggest opponent that UNH might face this weekend is itself.

The struggles for the Wildcats are well documented. UNH has qualified for each of the last 10 NCAA tournaments and 17 times in 21 years under coach Dick Umile. Despite the success in qualifying for the dance, rarely has UNH been left standing come the Frozen Four.

UNH has played in four Frozen Fours but none since losing in the national title game in 2003. Since then, getting out of the regional has become the problem for the Wildcats.

The school has done its part in hosting the Northeast Regional every other year since 2005. Thus, the Wildcats have played in front of their home crowd — many times as a heavy favorite — with the Frozen Four bid on the line.

If anything, though, the pressure of the home crowd has worsened things for the Wildcats, something they’ll look to change in Manchester this weekend.

When asked whether playing in Manchester and the pressure it brings is an advantage or a disadvantage, Umile was straightforward, saying it’s a little of both.

“There’s no question just the fact we’re playing in Manchester doesn’t automatically mean we’ll win,” said Umile. “It’s going to be an exciting atmosphere and it’s a great venue. But obviously, we’re going to have to play our very best.”

This year, even UNH’s best might not be good enough going up against the high-powered offense of Miami. The RedHawks possess the nation’s top scorer in Andy Miele as well as fellow Hobey Baker finalist Carter Camper. Add to that the fact that a year ago both of Miami’s goaltenders — Cody Reichard and Connor Knapp — were ranked first and third, respectively, in goals-against average (this year, they’ve slipped to sixth and eighth, with Knapp the leader), and UNH will have its hands full just to reach the regional final.

“[Miami] is a very skilled team,” said Umile. “You look at some of their players, we’re all familiar with Miele and Camper, but [Reilly] Smith has 28 goals, [Pat] Cannone’s got 37 [points], they’re just a very talented team. They’re a team that has been to the Frozen Four the past two seasons.”

If there is any silver lining to Miami being UNH’s opponent, it’s that the two clubs split a series in Oxford, Ohio, giving the Wildcats the knowledge they can beat this team. That, though, came way back in the opening weekend of play.

“They’ve got talent from the net out and they’re playing very well right now,” said Umile. “But you have to pay attention to yourself.”

Even if yourself is the toughest opponent you may face.

– Jim Connelly

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    Paula Weston CCHA: 2 informative team overviews. Discussion with the coaches and highlights the key players with stats and skills.

    Jim Connelly HE: 2 team overviews devoid of statistics and players names (except names and stats of the opposing team) and why UNH’s best might not be good enough.

    Could we ask Paula to do all future HE team previews?

    • nopaula

      Trust me… if you follow a CCHA team the last thing you’d be asking for was more Paula

  • WildShawn

    “The school has done its part in hosting the Northeast Regional every other year since 2005. Thus, the Wildcats have played in front of their home crowd — many times as a heavy favorite — with the Frozen Four bid on the line.”

    I would argue that UNH was a heavy favorite only once while hosting in Manchester (and they hosted in 2004, 07, 09, 11 not 2005) against Miami. They definitely were not when they played Michigan, North Dakota or Boston University.

    • Joe C

      I was GLAD to see BU play against UNH in Manchester in 2009 with a berth to the Frozen Four on the line. I bought my Frozen Four tickets right after the game went final. Nothing like making a loud crowd go silent….

      • After Further Review

        I was happy UNH made a good showing against BU… I thought they might have used all their energy with the .1 seconds left goal and eventual OT win against UND. Meanwhile, BU had the 8-3, or whatever the final was, cakewalk against Ohio State. The UNH/BU game was a great game.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HVM5QWREKL5ZTSPY6HF2V2UPO4 Neil

    I noticed at the CCHA championship game on Saturday that Miami seemed to be a team with a slightly slower tempo then what I came to expect.. I didn’t care for the grabbing and interference they were running..it kinda got really old after a while, I like a game with some finesse..maybe because both teams were pretty well spent after Friday..but it just seemed slow..WMU kept trying to get ahead of the defense only to be pinned in the corner, over and over. Perhaps it should have fallen to refs to call a few more…I hope to see the black and white team give us that type of game throughout the playoffs.

    • sioux me

      try watching WCHA hockey, real hockey….sometimes slow hockey but based off mucking and grinding…like men…CCHA ECAC and HE dont know how to play D, just how to skate fast and be small in stature. That type of hockey doesnt work, hence, the WCHA is the best conference in the land….and dont pull BC and BU winning a few national titles lately….its easy when all of the WCHA teams are put in the same bracket – yes i am a SIOUX fan…Sioux me

      • Kazzy53

        I’m guessing you also get excited watching paint dry too!!

      • BU-HE-Fan

        Yeh, god forbid we “pull BC and BU winning a few NCs lately”. Or how about we pull the fact that Hockey East teams have eliminated UND regularly since 2006 (4 times). We should just forget those facts too, right?? Let’s also forget that Denver and UNC are 0-4 this year against BC and Maine.

        You obviously only have seen BC kicking UND butts and assume that is how all HE teams play. WCHA WAS the best from 2002-2006, but not the last 4 years. So go back to your cave in your parents basement and spew your whiny, cry-baby blather on some other thread that will ignore the facts. WAAAAAAAA-CHA.

      • Guest

        Must have been difficult having a game slip away in .1 seconds in ’09. UND was the only team from the WCHA in the bracket, and they were bounced in the first round. How did your team’s play and having the “Chara” of the NCAA work out that year?

      • Joe C

        Far easier for you to have typed:
        “I only appreciate hockey played by teams I see frequently. All other forms of hockey are by definition inferior and far less exciting. I will now distract others with a strawman claim based on select moments from the past. Do not dare to interject facts or even your own opinions, as they are also inferior to my opinions and consequently inferior.”

      • Rhodyrules

        UND has been embarrassed by BC so often lately you must be a very, very, young Sioux fan….

        • sioux me

          Wow bc looks tough vs CC right now….a mediocre WCHA team….haha HE…joke….this shows that BC would get THROTTLED by UND….time for polos and golf tees boys…im pullin for merrimack though

          • After Further Review

            You waited 4 years for that post… nice!

      • Hockeyfan

        there are no west coast teams in this regional. and you wonder why everyone hates sioux fans

  • Anonymous

    College hockey is a game where ‘home ice’ means relatively little. BC is in St. Louis, but they could be playing on the moon and they’d still be favorite. Same here: I think we’ll see a Miami-Merrimack final in Manchester, and I honestly would flip a coin to decide that one. There will be lots of pressure on UNH to ‘outperform’ Merrimack this weekend. If Merrimack outlasts UNH, it would only turn up the heat on Umile as a coach whose team is only really built for the regular season.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RDHBFOHTSDXZX7APZY26YILWMY Brian H

    Just like when they played against North Dakota a few years ago, I have zero expectations for this team in Manchester, so if they do win i’ll be pleasantly surprised (then they will lose to another Hockey East foe, Merrimack has their number this year)

    Lots of UNH fans have been calling for Umile’s head (figuratively). I’m torn because he seems to get us there but can’t get over the hump. And as far as recruiting goes he’s had to compete with BU, BC, and to a lesser extent Maine. I feel like they consistently land higher caliber talent (NHL draft picks) so he may be doing more with less. But then you look at a guy like Dennehy and what he’s done. Although rumor has it getting eligibility for Da Costa in the NCAA was a bit shady.

    • After Further Review

      That’s always been the argument. I am a die hard UNH fan. They consistently win 20+ games, make the tourney, have great regular seasons, have a fun team to watch, but can never win it all. Many other schools (Maine being one) has their two national titles, but have done very little since ’99, including missing the NCAA’s a number of times. It’s a very difficult thing to continuosly put a wining team on the ice, but on the other hand, a National Championship would be nice someday too!

    • hockeyfan RI

      Check out the ages of the Merrimack players… yes a nice story but it wasn’t built with age appropriate students. 21 year old freshmen, 25 year old seniors….know a couple of friends whose children go to Merrimack and they love the time but say the players are OLD.

      • After Further Review

        Maine did that for many years too.

        • Slash, burn, rebuild

          Maine still does that. That’s probably one reason why their players have been so jaded the last 4 seasons. They see themselves getting old.

      • easterner

        have you seen RIT’s roster? 21 and up.

        • After Further Review

          1 Shane Madolora G So 5-10 175 1/9/87 Salinas, California Omaha Lancers

          No wonder he dominates Atlantic Hockey… a 24 year old sophomore…

      • Anonymous

        Don’t many Div-1 college hockey start their careers in their 20s? Its not that uncommon, or at least it wasn’t when I was at Merrimack back in the early 2000s. The kids that play college hockey are usually those that get recruited after playing a year or two in the Juniors in Canada and US. Plus, theres the well known technique of athlete parents to (believe it or not) actually delay their kid from starting kindergarten a year or two so that they can have the year advantage on their peers in school sports.

    • RENCEB

      You were doing okay until your last comment. Coming from a fan of a team on 2 years probation from the NCAA, that was weak.

  • Where Eagles Dare

    The question is, when is UNH officially going to change their mascot to the PRETENDERS. What a joke, hosting yet another regional, when there are 7 other HE schools no more than 15 – 30 minutes away from Manchester. The NCAA hands UNH a gift every other year, and the end result is the same old thing.

    I’m praying BC can play UNH again this year, but that would mean playing hockey in April, which is something the Wildcats don’t seem to enjoy!

    • Kazzy53

      The fact is no one else in HE, with the exception of BU hosting every other year in Worcester, puts in a bid to host. There are plenty of NE venues with the capability and schools close by but no one wants to guarantee the attendance or put up with the hassles of hosting a regional. So to everyone out there from other schools complaining about UNH hosting, I say put up or shut up.

      • After Further Review

        Exactly right, Kazzy.
        Also, when did HE add more teams? Seven other HE schools within 15-30 minutes of Manchester. First of all, Durham is not even that close. Secondly, Vermont, Maine, Providence and Amherst are not all that close, so the number is definitely not 7.
        It’s funny, all I read from you WED is downing other teams, why don’t you just enjoy your own teams success? You sound a lot like a UND/WCHA fan.

        • Where Eagles Dare

          I meant to say “no more than 15 -20 minutes further away than UNH is to Manchester”. Boston is about 22 miles further way, so there’s 4 schools right there. In fact, Lowell is closer to Manchester than UNH, Andover (Merrimack) is all of 7 miles further from Manchester than UNH; and Dartmouth might be 25 miles further. Providence is about 45 miles further away; so only UMass, VT and Maine are significantly further…

          You want to tell me that UNH is the only school that puts a bid in for Manchester…

          Give me one good reason why HE can’t host the region, just like some of the other conferences who host out West.

          actually, why am I bothering to direct my post to a school that won’t be playing past this Saturday…

          • After Further Review

            That is exactly what I am telling you, UNH is the only school that puts a bid in for the NE Regional now, most years. Hockey East as a conference doesn’t want the headaches either, they certainly could, but have enough problems already. There isn’t a good reason, other than they don’t want it.
            So, if there are 3 that are farther, then that makes 6 (not 7) other HE schools than UNH that are close, unless we just added an 11th team. And, I wouldn’t really consider the extra 45 miles from Providence to be that close. Why are we even mentioning Manchester, they would host at the lovely Dunkin’ Donuts Center, or whatever the new name is this year. UMass hosted, in Amherst, in the mid 2000′s and that was a very well organized regional.
            Again, another shot at a school besides yours. Does that make you feel better? As much of a UNH fan as I am, I root for Hockey East every year (unless it’s Maine) at the regionals and when I attend the Frozen Four, so I will still cheer for your Eagles if they make it there… even if more of their fans are starting to act like you because they have been winning lately.

          • Gophers4Life

            it doesn’t matter because noone attends the regionals in the tiny eastern rinks anyways. All regionals should be held in the much larger midwest venues

          • Joe C

            Like Grand Rapids, MI? Green Bay, WI? Yes, let us sing the tales of old regaling the long history of these huge NHL-caliber arenas. Let us sing their praises once again. St Louis is an NHL-caliber arena, but they do not have an NBA team playing there, therefore they can open up a weekend.

            Regionals have less attendance than the Frozen Four and most conference championship weekends. This has to do with less time to know who will be playing compared to travel (conference tournaments) and more to do with the fact that conference tournaments are usually played in the same venue and the Frozen Fours are destination events.

            Many hockey fans plan their hockey viewing around conference tournaments and the Frozen Four. Even so, AHL-caliber arenas work just fine for the four regionals. If there was more demand, then Hockey East would sponsor Northeast at TD Garden, ECAC would sponsor East at Madison Square Garden, CCHA/Big Ten would sponsor at Joe Louis/United Center and WCHA would sponsor at Excel/Pepsi Center. But until the demand is truly there across the board, forget about regionals at a shared NHL/NBA arena.

          • Joe C

            Jerry York needs to have a cold one with Jack Parker and convince each other to get Hockey East to work on the bid as a conference. Holy Cross in Worcester could set up the same probem, just like BU in the old days could cause problems being the host in Worcester. We should not be having the best Hockey East qualifier flying and the worst Hockey East qualifier playing an hour away from campus. Even so, the BC team will play wherever the NCAA tells them to play and not makes excuses.

            As long as there is one Hockey East team in Manchester (or any other Northeast host city in New England minus Connecticut), attendance would not be an issue. But the NCAA hosting in Men’s basketball PROHIBITS host team from playing in their arenas. That is why Duke/UNC played in Charlotte, which is enough miles away to exceed the limit and why Georgetown did not play at the Verizon Center.

            Have fun at the Frozen Four. I also cheer for all the Hockey East schools except for Boston College. I have plenty of respect for the Eagles, but I will not root for them.

          • After Further Review

            I definitely agree with you, Joe. I would have no problem with BC or BU or whomever being placed in Worcester (for an example), as long as they were “awarded” it. Same with UNH in Manchester, but as the #4 seed, they shouldn’t stay there. Unfortunately, the rules the way they are and with hockey caring so much about attendance everywhere, Hockey East not stepping up and being willing to host, I see this happening again. Maybe they will change, but since the NCAA is so much about $$$, I am afraid it might not happen.
            Thanks, the Frozen Four is always a good time, no matter who wins. Believe me, I’m having a harder time each year cheering for them, but so far, I still do. I guess probably the reason is because of the post right under this one by the Gopher fan… I hate the HE vs. WCHA argument, but have to cheer for HE, so I don’t have to listen to all the Minnesota, Wisconsin, and UND fans in person.

          • newyawk eagle

            Jeez Joe C you disappoint me. I always enjoyed your posts-fair minded, inciteful and knowledgeable. Then you go and say you can’t root for BC in the playoffs, even as a fellow HE team.

            As a BC grad, I can’t root for BU during the regular season but I do wish the HE teams, UNH and Merrimack the best in this regional. I would do the same if BU was in it (as long as they weren’t playing the Eagles).

            As Jerry York told Jack Parker let’s keep the trophy on Comm Ave.

            Let’s hope for a HE final. Good luck to UNH and Merrimack!

          • Joe C

            I actually cheered watching the BC women when they tied Wisconsin in the national semi-final. Then I realized I was being selfish, hoping BU would not have to face the juggernaut. Or maybe a very small crack developed in my anti-BC cold heart.

            It is one of my few vices. I have worked with BC alum for a long time and it is very fun to have the constant give and take. Just like I do with my Yankees’ fan neighbor and the Jets fans that sometimes show up at our Patriots bar. I respect all of those teams, but really, I cannot cheer for them.

      • Spidermomkey86

        BU no longer hosts the Worcester Regional. Holy Cross from the AHA does

        • After Further Review

          True, but BU did for many, many years…

    • Wildshawn

      Great another crybaby d.b. bc fan, just what the world needs.

      • Where Eagles Dare

        Yeh, I’m crying about our 10 HE Championships, being in 9 out of the last 13 Frozen Fours, and 3 National Championships in the past 10 years.

        Listen up Wildcat wannabees…If it makes you feel any better, we’ll give you back the HE regular season champ trophy, since you covet it so much.

        sorry, but I’m an American first, forget my allegiance to my Alma Mater. In the country I grew up in, you earn your way. the UNH hockey team hasn’t earned the right to play down the road from campus; but, I suppose, if you considered having a few administrators organize a hockey weekend in Manchester, NH, then, go ahead, keep reaching…

        • guestt

          Yes, you’re whining.

        • Walzyz

          I wonder if you hold every other HE team in such low regard. You talk about supporting your alma mater. How about supporting your league?

          • After Further Review

            Good posts Chris and Walzyz. Too bad it didn’t work out for BC, I would have been perfectly happy seeing them go back to back. Not sure what happened after that early goal, but I have never seen them outplayed the way they were for most of the first two periods. Howe played great too and the 3 posts didn’t help either. I guess the consolation is that you are only losing 3 players, assuming all underclassmen come back.
            Good luck to UNH and Merrimack!

        • http://profiles.google.com/chrisward.cw Chris Ward

          Please, WED. Do all BC fans a favor and just let their play do the talking.

  • Gophers4Life

    no but for real, watch WCHA hockey sometime, its much more fun to watch. Very physical and skillfull with speed. Not just speed and skill with undersized players who can’t use their body and never make it to the NHL. How many HE players make it to the NHL? Minnesota has sent 19 players the last 3 years (thats why we suck now, we lost everyone lol)

    • After Further Review

      Great argument if we were talking about the NHL, but we aren’t. And, for real, I have seen plenty of WCHA hockey, both on TV and in person. I was in Columbus for the ALL-WCHA FF and it really didn’t impress me. That is not meant as a shot at the conference either, I just find the amount of after the whistle stuff, the clutching, grabbing, interference that is part of the WCHA game to be boring, I prefer the open ice, skating game. The College vs. NHL argument is just like the WCHA/HE argument, the styles are very different.

    • Wildcatalum

      I live out in Oregon now and WCHA and CCHA hockey is about all I get to watch these days. This year Minnesota was actually a bore to watch although in past years their play has been much better. North Dakota was much more interesting in my opinion. I would describe the play in WCHA as physical with some skill and not so much speed. The problem with the WCHA is that most teams play the same physical style so that, as often as not, there are matching minor penalties. If the HE teams play their style and just skate (without retaliation) they will win via power-play advantage, by having an extra man on the ice a good portion of the game.

    • Can’t wait for #8

      Watching the gophers and anybody else on olympic ice is terrible. But especially the gophers

    • Joe C

      There are plenty of Hockey East veterans playing in the NHL. The captain of my NHL team went to “GASP” Boston College. Brian Gionta is a smurf, but no serious hockey fan thinks he has no talent. His team mates and coaches thought enough of him to make him the first American captain of that team. There are tons more, but funnily enough, the number of NHL players from Hockey East is not why I watch Hockey East. And starting today, the ESPN suite of channels will be showing NCAA hockey, and I will like every game and appreciate every team, even if the conference is small or is far away from where I live.

  • CNbaseball15

    To be honest with you this Frozen Four is anybodys chance to win it all. Theres alot of good teams out there and you just can’t say that the higher seed will beat out the lower seed at all. Each team has a open window of opportunities to get to the Frozen Four and of course theres the window shutting down on them from getting there as well.

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