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TMQ: The Tampa four, and how they came to be the last standing

Todd: Well, Jim, we’re down to the last four teams standing, and the Frozen Four field has a ton of interesting elements. Two stand out to me. One is that we have the regular season champions from the so-called “Big Four” conferences heading to Tampa. The other is the disparity in experience — Boston College and Minnesota have nine NCAA titles and 43 Frozen Four appearances on one side of the bracket, while Union and Ferris State are each making their first Frozen Four trip and have seven NCAA tournament games combined. What are your first thoughts on the field?

Jim: I think the one thing that struck me about the entire field is how stingy the defenses of the four finalists were last weekend. Minnesota gave up the most goals in the regional — four. Union gave up three, Ferris State allowed two and Boston College pitched the shutout. I know goal scoring is down from past years but this seems a little ridiculous to me.

2012ff 250 white TMQ: The Tampa four, and how they came to be the last standing

For complete Frozen Four coverage, visit USCHO's Frozen Four Central.

As you pointed out, the semifinals will be two completely different games in terms of experience. It’s very impressive to know that the national title game will have a Frozen Four first-timer.

We also have four different leagues represented for just the third time in 10 years. The interesting story lines abound in Tampa!

Todd: I think we’ll be hearing a lot about people looking a little deeper into Union and Ferris State — I’ve already been asked multiple times where those schools are (it’s Schenectady, N.Y., and Big Rapids, Mich., respectively, if you’re wondering) — and that’s great for both those schools and those hockey programs.

Union also carries the flag for ECAC Hockey, which hasn’t had a team in the Frozen Four since 2003 and hasn’t had a team win the title since Harvard in 1989. How big would you say that is for the league?

Jim: Well, being down in Bridgeport, I can say that Union advancing was huge for the ECAC. You could see the celebration in the fans (who chanted “E-C-A-C” after the closing whistle), the media who cover the league and the administrators from Union and the league. This is a league that feels beat up when it comes to the national picture.

Remember, before this year, Atlantic Hockey and even the defunct CHA had made more recent appearances than did the ECAC. So there is a lot of league pride right now.

Whether this will have any sort of lasting impact on the league, that’s hard to say. There are a few programs that are decent year after year. Adding Union to that mix definitely is a good thing.

Todd: On the Ferris State side of things, this is a group that has heard all about the 2002-03 Bulldogs team that won 31 games and made the regional final, and from hearing them talk last weekend in Green Bay, I’d say they’re ready to put comparisons behind them. Other Ferris State teams now are going to have to be compared to this one, and it seems like that’s a source of pride.

But they were also quick to say that their job isn’t done, which is a huge challenge at this point for any Frozen Four first-timer. It’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in the hype, isn’t it?

Jim: It certainly is. And going back to Union, its businesslike approach is one that really impressed me. Coach Rick Bennett was stern when calling the regional and now the Frozen Four a business trip. And his players have bought into that. There was a small celebration on Saturday, but for the most part it was a team that looked like it had taken care of business. Bennett went as far to talk about that he bans playoffs beards. He said facial hair isn’t part of business. There certainly is nothing hokey about this Union team, and that could stand as a major benefit.

Todd: I thought playoff beards were as essential to hockey as sticks, but I guess when you conduct yourselves in a businesslike fashion throughout the season it’s good practice to keep it going for the playoffs. Ferris State struck me as businesslike, too, in that they just do what they have to do to win and don’t care about style points.

But I don’t know if anyone is going about business right now quite as well as Boston College. The Eagles are just making it look easy at times lately and take a 17-game winning streak and a two-game shutout streak into Tampa. How has that defense become so dominant in the second half of the season?

Jim: Well, certainly BC’s defensive success started with goaltender Parker Milner. As Dave Hendrickson outlined in his story after Sunday’s win, Milner’s turnaround after a midseason slump was the product of hard work and dedication. And it certainly paid off. Another benefit for BC is that it seemingly possesses the puck for so much of the game. When your opponent doesn’t have the puck, they can’t score. In both regional games, BC’s forecheck was simply dominant. Both Air Force and Minnesota-Duluth turned the puck over constantly. Because of that, Milner saw few shots in both games and the handful of quality shots he was able to stop.

I do believe that BC will be hard to stop in Tampa. The last team that I can remember reaching the Frozen Four with this significant of a winning streak might have been Maine’s 1992-93 title team.

Todd: I think everyone looks to the goaltenders at this time of the season, but you make a great point: If the goaltender doesn’t have to face a lot of quality shots, chances are he’s going to look pretty good. That’s taking nothing away from Milner, but I’d guess the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts with BC.

Minnesota, meanwhile, had an interesting road to Tampa, with a great start and an average midseason. But I think you’ve got to give the Gophers credit for pulling out of that slight tailspin and getting through a tough North Dakota team in the regional final.

Jim: Particularly given the fact that Minnesota had to go through North Dakota — a team that had demoralized the Gophers a week earlier when it erased a 3-0 deficit in a 6-3 win — and did so decisively. Minnesota really looked impressive on Sunday, dominating just about every aspect of the game against North Dakota.

I will say that having watched all four regional finals — two in person, two on TV — I think that the Gophers may be the only team that can stop BC. No disrespect to Union or Ferris State, but neither offense has the power to score three or four goals on this BC defense, something I think is necessary.

Todd: That’s true, but the Frozen Four has given us its share of surprises over the last few years, and I wonder whether the weekend off between the regionals and the semifinals helps even teams out. With the way it has been playing, BC probably would be fine playing again this weekend. Some extra time might give the other teams more of a chance to plan for what the Eagles bring — not that it has helped anyone else recently, I guess.

Jim: I think that it is possible to devise that game plan with nearly two weeks off. Minnesota has that challenge. If it can’t accomplish it, Union or Ferris State will have that challenge. I think either could devise a game plan to make things difficult on the defensive end. But, similar to Air Force, I do wonder if that defensive focus can allow for any offensive presence.

We will find out, though, in Tampa. Until then …


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  • GRBSPR

    I’m reminded of another year not too long ago where the common refrain was, “Can anyone stop BC?” That was (I think) in 2007 when Michigan State knocked the Eagles off in the Championship game. Leading into the game the question wasn’t whether BC would win, but by how much. None of the players today were part of that event, but Jerry York sure was.

    • 94eagle

      Would you like some cheese with that whine?  Tough weekend for the spartans and Chelios’s boy after he almost killed another player.
      2007 is a lifetime ago in college hockey and BC has won a couple NCAA trophies since then. Jerry runs the BEST collegiate program in the country where the players actually go to class.

      • Darb0114

        He brings up a good point. I have BC winning the whole thing, but on that note, single elimination games can go either way. No one saw MSU winning that year, and they did.

        As far as the Chelios hit, not as bad as it looked. The player was already starting to fall forward, Chelios got him at the wrong time. Again, with that being said, still a good call by the referees.

        Good luck in Tampa to all teams, as I will be making the trip!

      • Billmartingreise

        Didn’t seem like whining to me. A little sensitive are we?

    • Marine3045

      Two words, Ryan Miller.  He stole that game.  MN has played some great games, but they do not have a Ryan Miller in the net.

      • Darb0114

        Wrong….Jeff Lerg

      • Jason

        not comparing Patterson to Miller (patterson has had some off nights this year) but when Patterson is on, good luck winning the game.

      • Chickeng

        that was not Ryan Miller, he was way way way before that. The goalie your thinking of is Jeff Lerg

      • Chickeng

        And for that matter there isn’t a single goalie in the frozen four right now at the same level as Miller, or even Lerg for that matter

  • Minnesota All The Way

    My vote is for Minnesota if they bring the same ref crew they had in their backyard last week…

    • patrickolson

      Like any game, there were poor calls on both sides of the whistle

    • Bartneally

      Is Petrowski back on the ice?

    • Jason

      It ceases to amaze me how people always say the Gophers have the refs in their side pocket. Those games were done by CCHA referees so I don’t understand how you can even suggest they were biased and how it’s relevant to where they played. 

      • Sara

        Because we were there and saw the biased officiating all weekend. Minnesota is a bit weak on their skates…

        • Fire17

          Another Sioux I MEAN NORTH DAKOTA ( they have no nickname ) fan trying to make excuses…  You got beat by a better team!!! 

          Those WCHA Refs must have been pro North Dakota the week before huh?

          • WCHA HOCKEY

            They are the Fighting Sioux, they just can’t show it in NCAA play. If you had a WCHA team you watched you would know

          • Leggs2

            Sioux—eeeeeeeeee!!!

          • Mike

            Are you feeding pigs on a farm?

          • Fire17

            They did not have a nickname in the NCAA tournament.  You are corrected!

        • collegehockeyfan

          The BU-Minn game got a bit out of hand and the refs virtually took over the game.  The UNodak- Minn game I thought was very well officiated, Minus one call for each team, BUT ITS HOCKEY, it will never be officiated perfect. I am a sioux fan btw.  We lost, not like it has ever happened before.  ENJOY THE GAME!  P.S. will be watching the frozen four because I love the game.

          • Joe C

            BU had good energy and fire, then started acting dumb, just like Cornell did in the Midwest regional. If you do something that can be penalized in the NCAA Hockey tournament, you probably will be sitting in the box. If you go for the head or blatantly hit from behind into the boards, you will get tossed. Just because you kill off a penalty does not mean the ref will ignore the next penalty.

            Just because BU and BC can thrash each other at the Garden in the Beanpot, or the four semifinalists can thrash each other at the Garden in the Hockey East playoffs does not mean they can do so in the NCAA.

      • After Further Review

         They were actually ECAC officials.

  • Mike

    Gophs.

    • Leggs2

      Rodents

  • Nyquist77

    Union banned playoff beards??

    • Uhockey

      I wouldn’t say banned but they aren’t having them like last year there rule all season was to shave on monday and that rule still applies for playoffs 

    • Leggs2

      No beards for the Dutchmen, but I hear they are all dying their hair garnet. ;-)

  • Jdhockeyboyz

    It’s good for college to have some new teams on the barely visible national stage, and even better that one will play for a national title.  I think goals will be tough to come by.

    • Scott Reed

      How is it better that one will play for a national title? The truth is that there are 4 or 5 better teams than Ferris that deserve to be in the FF more than they do but, thats the way it goes.  I wouldn’t say the things are are unfortunate for better teams with better fan bases are better for college hockey though. 

      Yes I am a UND fan, they were over rated as a number 1 seed in the tournament, but anybody in the west bracket would have walked through Ferris’ bracket. 

      • Ferris_Student

        Yawn, another person who believes that every other team besides their own had it easy. The truth of the matter is that Ferris has a great team and great fans too. I believe that every team in the FF deserve to be there. This is especially true for Ferris who doesn’t have a flashy team but play great hockey. Also, the fact that Taylor Nelson is between the pipes is a great help too. 

        • Scott Reed

          you honestly don’t think Ferris had the easiest route to the FF?

          • collegehockeyfan

            Denver wasn’t a pushover, and Cornell had just beaten a legitimate number one seed.  Not sure how they didn’t earn it?

          • Leggs2

            I thought everyone thinks Union had the easiest path to Tampa, not Ferris.  Now which is it?  Shows how most people here are being homers and subjective. Gotta play the games.

          • After Further Review

             Ferris… but you still have to play all the games!

          • WhyTampa

            I think you are obsessed with the “Frozen Four”.  Does it really matter if a team, whoever it is, loses in the quarterfinals or the semifinals?  I know people love to say, “My team was in the Frozen Four” but seriously, does it matter?  They can’t all win the title.

        • Fire17

          Ferris State plays boring hockey and gets away with alot of obstruction and trapping. 

          Its not good hockey, its very hard and pathetic to watch.

      • Craigandkara1

        Scott my man, you have to give credit to the four teams that are here,  Ferris State earned the right to be here and started building a good program in early 2000.  To me, it’s all about how your working together on the ice.  david got here by beating Goliaths.  Who knows come next week a Union or Ferris State could be holding that trophy.    

      • GladYourTeamLost

        How do they “deserve” to be in the Frozen Four?  And how do you know UND would have walked right through the Midwest?  I hate to bring it up but I’m sure you thought UND was going to walk right through Yale in 2010.  That’s why they play the games.

        This is why nobody likes Sioux fans.  

        • Scott Reed

          The whole idea of a champion is to be the best… nobody likes the way the NCAA picks the field of 16 and puts the brackets together. With people subjectivly picking these things just by the nature of it, some teams will get screwed over, some will get it easy and some will get a very hard route.  I’m not even saying the Sioux got screwed over, they had the hardest bracket in my opinion…. but so did the other three teams in the bracket!

          Look at the whole thing and not just arguing against my team

          • Leggs2

            “people subjectivly picking these things”?  You mean Hal, the PWR computer?
            It’s all about the numbers and where one ends up in the PWR; no subjectivity.
            UND got hurt by ending up 4th and a one seed.  By your analysis, UND would have been better off finishing 15th in the PWR and playing Union. Teams mostly have no say where OTHER teams end up in the rankings, so they can’t themselves determine who and where they will play. Luck or bad luck of the draw, that’s all it is. YOU would like to seed the teams and determine who they play, based on YOUR notions of “the best”. THAT’s subjective.  That’s why Hal does it.
            The Sioux got creamed—get over it. 

          • WCHA HOCKEY

            Im not a fan of North Dakota but the west bracket had the best games I watched so far in the NCAA tournament because of the strength of the teams, It was probably the hardest bracket, but in my views i would probably see ND beating FS, with the strength of North Dakotas coaching and amazing play of late but what happened is over and lets hope the WCHA takes it with a Gopher Championship

          • After Further Review

             Either West or NE… both strong…

          • GladYourTeamLost

            No ranking system is perfect and any tournament is going to have upsets so it’s not rational to assume the four “best” teams are going to reach the semifinals – assuming we can agree on who the best four are – of any tournament.  The best you can hope for is that the ultimate champion comes from one of the top teams.  

          • Markmachan

            Scott Reed….I’m a little confused in regards to your logic. You say that the committee picks teams subjectively, which isn’t true. It’s actually the most objective process the NCAA has compared to football or basketball. The championship team is the team that plays the best in the tournament not necessarily the best team, but there is nothing you can do about that. The best team doesn’t always win even in professional sports. I’m a Union alum for my undergraduate and BC alum for graduate school and agree with you that the better game is the BC vs. Minnesota game, but that is how it goes.

        • Coalminer

          I’m a Sioux fan AND very likeable.

          • mahogma

            Says who?;-)

      • Puckman

        If you get to assume North Dakota wins the Midwest then I get to assume they would just lose to BC or Minnesota in the Frozen Four.  What difference does it make when they lose?  

        • Scott Reed

          take UND out of your equation, what if MN and BC are the two best teams and only one of them gets to play for the championship.  their frozen four game should be the national championship game. 

          • Puckman

            All four teams are getting a chance to “play for the championship”.  You just don’t like the order of the games.  Minnesota still has to beat BC or vice versa to win the title.

          • Union Tampa

            “Union blows the doors off BC – Story at 11″

          • Hahahaha

            Hysterical

          • mahogma

            “In order to BE the best,you have to BEAT the best.” That’s why they play the games. I suppose they could go with some kind of seeding system like the MSHSL has adopted,but personally,I find that system kind of bogus.

          • J_ott

            They should def. re seed once all 4 teams are in the Frozen 4!  They re-seed after every series for the NHL and it seems to work ok.. And if they did re-seed like they do in the NHL it would look exactly like it looks now!   But for future frozen 4′s there should be a system set in place so a BC would play the worst seeded team in the frozen four… Agree???

      • Guest

        Not to mention Union bracket.  There was 2 loaded regionals and the other 2 were a joke.

        The NCAA want’s no repeat of having a one conference Frozen Four like 2005 from the WCHA.

        • Leggs2

          Hal loads the regionals. Maybe next time your team should just lose it’s final game(s) and jockey for the best PWR lineup match. 

          • Union Tampa

            Union Rampages BC in National Title Game – The Miracle on Ice Story at 11…

          • FT

            Worry about ferris first

          • JustSayin

            Don’t feed the troll.

        • Slambammy

          I will agree that the NCAA desperately does not want another WCHA or CCHA or whomever FF.  Personally, I think that is silly.  Place the teams how they should be placed and now how you (the NCAA) wants it to be played out.  Saying that…I give full credit to each team that makes the FF no matter who they played to get there.  If Ferris or Union lose to the U or to BC then so be it. Who will speak up in the case one of them beat the U or BC?  I want the Gophs but against a Ferris who has seen the comments all year long…no thanks.  Give me Union.

          • BetOnIt

            If Ferris or Union win the title I guarantee there will be people saying the BC/Minnesota was worn out from the semifinal.

          • After Further Review

             Ummmmm, nope!  BC really had a cake walk.  If they don’t win, there are no excuses… but that is taking NOTHING away from FSU, Union, or MN… ALL very talented teams.  I just believe it’s BC’s to lose and if they do… no excuses.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Kappel/1145040077 John Kappel

            BC had to go through the defending National Champions, with one of the best players in college hockey. Cake walk? No. And Minnesota even though I hate them is a really good team as they showed when the spanked my Sioux on Sunday. Cake walk? Dream on. 

          • BetOnIt

            Did you miss the part where I said worn out from the SEMIFINAL. Two weeks will have past since the regional.  That would not be an excuse for being tired.

        • RightWinger14

          What do some people not understand? The playoff bracket is determined by the PWR.

          This is not an NCAA conspiracy. Get over it.

          • PWR

            No, the seeds are determined by the Pairwise.  Then the committee tweaks the brackets using the “host rule” and the “no intraconference first round games” rule.  And then possibly tweaks for travel and attendance.

          • After Further Review

             And???  It’s kept as close as possible to the “real” bracket.  Hockey doesn’t have the hoop following (at least not yet), so they need to make sure of attendance and not spending excessive travel miles if it’s not necessary.

          • PWR

            And?  And you’re first assertion was wrong.  

      • collegehockeyfan

        That’s just how the cards play out.  If they go through Union, then go through the winner BC-UMinn, then great!  they deserved it!  If they don’t, well then its another one of those almost seasons.  Welcome to college hockey my friend.

  • Eagles10

    Minnesota has two weeks to prepare for BC, but BC has the same two weeks to prepare for Minnesota. To me, that sounds like a wash. Also, if this were any kind of “best of ___” series, I would say BC has 100% chance of bringing home another national championship banner…but it’s not series. Single game elimination. Anything can happen (as cited in the Mich State example). I was at the 2007 Mich State/BC final and it was just devastating. That being said, I think Jerry can use the memory of that loss to keep the fire burning, just as he seemed to really use last year’s Colorado College debacle as motivation this year. Granted, most of the kids on that team are also on this one, but I think the point can remain the same.

    • Mike

      BU would have 100% chance of winning in a best-of series? I think your love for BU has skewed your sense of hyperbole. I hope your team underestimates the Gophs as much as you do…

      • Rod

         College Hockey 101: Learning the difference between BC and BU.

        • Mike

          More like BM, heheh

          • beefheart

            Thanks for the chuckle, Mike. Go Gophers.

          • Mike

            I hadda save face after that BU gaffe, lol!

      • Joe C

        You already beat BU. I know, I watched in on ESPN3!

        BU played Minnesota the way they played the second half of the seaon, up-and-down. Close and hard-fought, then dumb penalties followed by opening the floodgates.

        BC can be beaten, but Minnesota (or Union/Ferris State) better play sharp, because BC thrives on little lapses. I still have Beanpot flashbacks. #coldsweat

    • Irish Spectre

      Ah, yes, the game tied with about a minute remaining, and Brain Boyle pinching down low from his point position, only to have the play rush by him going the other way, and MSU score at the other end.  Yup, I remember it well.  Boyle took an unnecessary gamble, and they lost because of it; that was a tough one.  

  • Union Hockey 80

    playoff beards are not what wins games…any team can win on any given day and Union has depth and a hobey finalist goalie..dont underestimate them

    • Union Tampa

      I’d like to see Union run roughshod over BC in the final.  Nice season BC – enjoy the golf in the off season.  It would be the final icing on the cake required for Hockey Elite fans to take us seriously.

      • Trcudmore

        You’re starting to sound like a Sioux fan

        • ThereIsADifference

          He said he would like to see it happen. If he were a Sioux fan he would have said it was a sure thing.

      • Guest

        One Frozen Four and you want talk smack like you have been here before?????

        You play in a crap conference and had the easiest Regional to get to the Frozen Four….  Talk when you actually win something

  • Kroger

    As a UND fan, I have seen BC and Minnesota in person in Grand Forks. Minnesota is an electric team, don’t get me wrong, but BC was the best team I saw all year. Minnesota capitalizes on mistakes and looks for a bounce to go their way, which I could see being a difference maker in this game. However, BC worked UND (with Grimaldi at the time) and the game never really seemed like a fair match. While anything can happen, I don’t think BC will underestimate Minnesota, but definitely could Union or FSU. I’ll say UMN takes a 1-0 lead early, then BC takes it to them to pull off a 3-1 victory. I am amazed with Grosenick, the guy is playing phenomenal. With no offense intended, Ferris State got a pretty easy path to the Frozen Four, taking out a banged up Denver team and a Cornell team that isn’t phenomenal. Union takes it 2-0. In the championship, I’m going to say BC underestimates Union. Grosenick is the kind of guy that could be a difference maker. I think Union will take a 1-0 lead, BC will snap back into it making it 1-1, then Union will pull off a late 3rd period thriller taking it 2-1 with Grosenick taking home the tourney MVP award.

    • Craigandkara1

      Patterson stoned umd three times up close,  everyone underestimates Kent Patterson and BC will too.  Gophers 3-2

      • Trcudmore

        how can you say that bc will underestimate him….are you in the know?

    • collegehockeyfan

      I’ll agree, I have had BC winning it all year, also in my bracket.  I also had the gophs in the top 4 as well.  I think this will be the most electrifying game of the FF.  Also as history tells us, who knows what will happen.

  • Nyquist77

     The article above uses the word “bans”

    That must be a college hockey first

  • Rod

    “Big” Rapids, Michigan?

    • Ferris_Student

      Yup, Big Rapids. It’s about an hour north of Grand Rapids. 

      • Leggs2

        Sounds like a town with an inferiority complex to “Grand” Rapids.  I would have chosen “Great”, but there is probably one of those in Mich too.

    • Mike

      College Hockey 101: Yes, Ferris State is in Big Rapids, Michigan.

  • Irish Spectre

    “I thought playoff beards were as essential as hockey sticks…”

    Jerry York sure doesn’t think so; his guys NEVER have facial hair, not during the playoffs, and not during the regular season, just another thing to admire about his disciplined, classy, professional way of getting it done.

    • MN Fan

       ”Jerry York sure doesn’t think so……”

      Congrats to BC’s success under York, but what does no facial hair have to do with whether he runs a good program…..so what.  Quite being a suck-up and think for yourself. 

  • Mr Hockey

    @ Michael Flynn if you’re out there… Give me a breakdown of BC and who and what to watch for from your Eagles, when I head down to Tampa for the Frozen Four. Here’s my take on the Gophers. 1st in formost our team starts with our Goalie, Senior Kent Patterson. He’s started every game this year and was the best Goalie in the WCHA. Our forward depth is pretty solid. Everybody talks about Nick Bjugstad, Kyle Rau, Zach Budish and Erik Haula. The guys I’ll tell you to watch are Nate Condon, Jake Hansen and Captain Taylor Matson. Our Defensemen our always considered or weak spot, lead by Nate Schmidt and Mark Alt. Schmidt quarterbacks our Power Play, he’s a good skater, passer and shooter. Alt, Seth Helgeson, are the bruisers. Justin Holl an Ben Marshall are both good skaters and do solid job. Holl shows his youth from time to time. Jake Parenteau is the unsung hero, he does a great job moving the puck and playing his position. The Gophers are a skilled, fast, physically strong team. I’d say our biggest weakness is our inexpirience in the playoffs but, we are getting it now.

    • Michael Flynn

       Basically the team is balanced. They have three lines that can score (Johnny Gaudreau & Mullane both scored vs. Duluth and are “third” line, Kreider is on second line), and then a decent checking line. D is good, especially dumoulin, and has some size. Bill Arnold is a key too, he has some of that snarl that you need in big games and is great on the PK (think Gerbe & Gionta & Atkinson from past teams). The team really comes in waves at you, and you can’t key on any player or line. This MN BC game is going to be great. I want to say it is the defacto national title, but I know better now after BC beat a UND team with Toews and Oshie then lost to MSU. Painful.

      The one thing that concerns me is the break. The team was on such a roll, especially Milner. Hope the break doesn’t disrupt that.

      • Irish Spectre

        Not to try to stir things up, by it says here that Kreider is overrated.  Yes, I know he has the stats and the size, the NHL likes him, and he potted a couple vs. AF in the regionals, but it just seems to me that frequently he sort of just disappears for long stretches.  Give me Barry Almeida over him any day.

        Also, it’s worthwhile noting that BC’s fourth line sees very decent minutes most games, and very deservedly so.  I think that that’s definitely an important contributor to their success which gets very little notice; it allows the higher lines to go about as hard in the third period as in the first.  Playing the Eagles from behind is just brutal.

        • Michael Flynn

           As a college hockey player maybe, but with that kind of speed and size… Also look at his WJC numbers and playoff numbers in general.

      • beefheart

        To Mr. Hockey and Michael Flynn : thank you thank you for talking about hockey ( specifically, teams involved in the upcoming tournement ) How refreshing. Reading some of these other comments- ugh. It is like a train wreck that I can’t turn away from,all the time hoping to find some rapport and integrity as demonstrated by you two. A little trash talking in fun is fine but enough with the constant childish bickering. I can’t wait for Thursday night! PS I know little of BC so I will just take your word for it Michael, and as for Mr. Hockey other than you giving Patterson a ten ( I might say 8.5 ) you are spot on.Cheers!!

        • Mike

          Agreed on all counts!

      • Trcudmore

        bc fan here. i maybe wrong but it seems like the teams energy level needs to pick up…..?

  • Miked

    Hopefully BC can avenge the other Hockey East losses. They avenged Maine’s loss and now they can avenge BU’s (although it kinda sickens me to say that) and Lowell’s 

    • Joe C

      BC will only make BU fans happy if they lose and lose in spectacular fashion. We certainly will not take ANY joy if they win another NCAA title.

      Know that respect is not the same as rooting. I respect BC, truly respect Jerry York and think they are a model program. You will not see me rooting for them, but that is all part of the fun.

  • Mrs. York

    I get nearly everyone loves to hate BC, with the possible of exception of North Dakota, which everyone hates, period. But they are rolling now and their offense isn’t quite hitting on all of its cylinders yet. It looks like its going to be Detroit all over again.

    • Trcudmore

      hi mrs. york….i remember watching your husband  :)   play at bc when i was a kid. it does seem like alot of anti-bc comments. bc looked kind of asleep against air force. they looked better against mnd( still a little sleepy looking). they will have to play alot better to beat a good mn team. ferris st and union are both very good teams. i am hoping bc and union win,,,,i am bc class 1974…my daughter union class 2011

      • collegehockeyrocks

        It’s UMD, and they looked asleep. I think their next one will be tougher.

  • Mshnd06

    Anything can happen in a one-off tourney.  Sure BC and Minny (my team) have the history but its by no means settled.  Everyone seems to overrated their own conference (at least in my experience of the WCHA and HE) and assume that everyone else has the easier road to the FF.  At least with pairwise it’s objective and the seeding isn’t so heavily weighted by reputation.  I’d rather they base it on results fed into a computer than just assuming the WCHA and HE teams are the best every year.  It certainly wouldn’t hurt the sport if Ferris or Union won (of course I’d like to see the gophers do it, but even after watching us dismantle BU and UND, BC has to be the heavy favorite)

  • UnionFan

    I spent the weekend in Bridgeport.  Michigan State and their fans were real class!  On Saturday, UML fans turned up with little signs like Everyone Scores Points agaiNst Union (in an attempt to get on tv with ESPNU hi-lighted), but the sign they kept flashing around and chanting said easy-ac – referring to their lack of respect for the ECAC.  Our chant at the end of the game was not E-C-A-C, but EASY-AC, to remind them that we ARE a real conference.  Best of luck to all in the FF!

    • After Further Review

       You need to remember MSU has been there before and UML hasn’t.  I realize Union hasn’t either, but it makes a huge difference in fans and how they act.
      It’s easy pickings for a HE team and fans to pick on ECAC, just because of the history.  I am a HE fan and am very happy they had a great year, but Union was definitely the better team.
      Good luck to Union and all FF teams!

      • Union Tampa

        As a jersey-wearing Union fan, I walked through the nearest exit which forced me by the Umass-Lowell kids and started getting heckled… 

        I just stared at them and pointed to the scoreboard…  idiots..

      • UnionFan

        a LOT of class, thank you!

    • Union Tampa

      The best was when the UML kids when up to heckle Melrose at the end of a period with a poster and an old Union alum stood up and told them to shove it and get out of his face… the kids walked away down the stairs looking like even bigger idiots.

      • UnionFan

        As a fan of Union College and of the hockey program, learn something from the kids please.  These posts are NOT what our school is about.  Be humble, play hard, and play with class.

        • RestOfTheECAC

          Please tell your fans in your rink to act with class. Union is one of my least favorite road trips.

  • Greendm4

    I don’t understand why Ferris is considered unworthy. Not only do they have 0 NHL draft picks, they were ranked #1 in the nation for 2 consecutive weeks and were the outright champions of the strongest d1 division the CCHA. They have composed a very strong team of supposed “no names” with limited resources and little national fanfare. To make it to the national spotlight deserves some recognition. I do think BC looks the part, but I can’t imagine anyone being happy to draw a game against FSU. I lool forward to an exciting frozen four.

  • NumberOneGopherFan

    Jim you are a knucklehead. You said “Minnesota gave up the most goals in the regional — four.” But, some how forgot that they scored 12 goals (yes I said 12). Maybe you just forgot that fact.

    • DanNewell

      Hey Goofer fan,

      2 of the goals were EN. Further, they got fortunate goals in the UND game. They scored the goals so they move on, but get a reality check.

      • NumberOneGopherFan

         DumbNewell – That still leaves 10 “fortunate goals.” 

        • DanNewell

          And your point is what? What are you, 6? Do your parents know you are up this late?

          • Mike

            It’s fair to ask the same of you at this point.

      • mahogma

        In Minnesota,a goal is a goal is a goal. How do they count them where you live?

        • JustSayin

          Where I live we don’t count Empty Net Goals when we are trying to assert we thrashed a team when in reality we just squeaked by.

      • Jdhockeyboyz

        Empty Net goals are a gift from the hockey gods, bestowed only upon teams that have already out-played their opponent.

  • Jimmiller41

    When you talk about experience, it is slightly misleading. This is Minesota’s first trip to the NCAA’s, yes, the first trip to the NCAA’s in four years. There is not one player on the Minnesota team who has even played in the NCAA’s. The team even missed the Final Five the previous two years. None of the players have any experience. Minnesota has become much more of an above average, but not top tier, hockey team over the last 5 plus years.

    The Gophers are all about their goalie. Gophers D take too many chances and their offense is good but not great. Their stats are deceptive. For example, 15 of their goals came against Sacred Heart. BC is in a class by itself.

    • NumberOneGopherFan

       Ridiculous.

      • Leggs2

        Rodents

    • Slaughter

      Isn’t that what good teams are supposed to do – beat up on the patsies?  Do the BC games against Vermont and Providence count amongst their stat totals?  Do we focus upon two 1-goal wins over the powerhouse NE, losing by 4 to those world-beaters UMASS, or losing to BU and needing OT in a W?

      BC is very good, but any moron can nitpick any stat they want to try and prove a point.

      • Jimmiller41

        My point is slaughter is that the gophers scored 20 goals in three games to two very bad teams in Sacred Heart and Niagra. These are NC games that the gophers scheduled. The 20 goals change the stats significantly. You can not pick, but you can’t change these either. Keep that in mind when looking at the stats.

        Check out BC non conference teams they play. By the way, when BUBeat BC, the still had Coyle and their other players–they were a different team. By the way, UMass beat NE, who beat the gophers, and they also beat BU. UMass also beat Vermont, who also beat the gophers. Your point?

        • Slaughter

          The point?  BC lost to a bad UMASS team twice including once by 4, needed 1 goal (including OT) to beat a terrible NE team twice, feasted on a terrible teams such as Providence for stats, etc. etc.  That they were conference games doesn’t change the point – good teams are supposed to handle bad teams (with both UM and BC did), and sometimes they stumble (both again).  Again you seem willing to pick stats that make your point and ignore the rest.  Have at it.  

          • Jimmiller

            And gophers play AA, Mankato, etc. . . There’s nothing they can do about those games. However, they always schedule extreme patsies to pad their stats. UMass beat teams that eat the Gophers. Just relax and admit BC is a stronger team this year. Gophers rely on their goalie and goalie alone. They cannot win a game unless he plays really well. BC could weather the storm if their goalie wasn’t playing well.

          • Ryanpk237

            Well in two years they’ll stop scheduling the patsy Whioux you obviously support.  Nice juvenile butthurt argument coming from a grown adule.

          • NCAAHockey#1

            Spelling errors aside, I suspect you’re correct.  The point he clearly missed by the 1st guy is they both have winning records, depth, feasted on cupcakes while have a few stinkers.  Not sure why he continues to insist the rules only apply to one team and not both, but if he’s a Sioux fan it’s not surprising.

          • Jj Vanny

            gopher fan speaking .theres no denying the fact jerry york has turned bc intoa monster bc is going for number 4 in what last 12 years, that s big time.i think they played in a few frozens they didnt win in that span too..Big Time..

          • farnoogler

            I think you know little to nothing of the gophers this year and their strengths and weaknesses…

          • Jj Vanny

            best team doesnt always win.bc is best team but we’ll see who stands at end..

          • Guest

            Minnesota beat UMD at thier rink scoring 10 goals…  BC beat UMD scoring 4 goals in a home game…..YOUR POINT? 

            And yes I know you will say it wasn’t a home game…..  

        • harve143

          The Gophers lost to NE during the World Juniors.  They didn’t have a lot of their top players.  If you’re saying BU without Coyle isn’t the same team, than MN wasn’t the same team that weekend either.

    • farnoogler

      Hey Jim,

      The goalie has been over hyped.  He had a great start to the year, fabulous in fact, but has been pretty normal since.  I a think BC is probably better than we are, but this gopher team has given the least odd man rushes and breaks than I remember seeing in a long time.  They are a responsible defensive team that can score.

  • DanNewell

    I am new to hockey and I don’t know much about the sport. I live in Minnesota and I don’t know why we call our selves the state of hockey. We only had about 5,000 gopher fans at our home game to get to the frozen four. This is embarrassing and shame on you Minnesota. The Sipux fans travel well and have a premier program. They always have good teams and have been very successful. I wish our program was more like theirs. That kills me to say that, but it’s been four years since we have even made the tournament. I we model our program like UND’s we will be more successful. I am learning more and more about the sport every day.

    • NumberOneGopherFan

       You truly are new to hockey. Maybe ping pong is your game. Check the gophers history then move back to North Dakota.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Kappel/1145040077 John Kappel

        Hating on UND because we have more banners hanging? Your jealousy shows. 

        • mahogma

          How many fans attended the ND boy’s HS hockey tournament?

          • Goofers

            Man Mahogma, with that scorching comeback, you must be a Cupcake U fan. Hey Mahogma, how many fans showed up for the boys mite jamboree? Man, now that’s one a sharp mind like you should appreciate

        • Guest

          You don’t even have a nickname !!!!  Keep crying about that

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Kappel/1145040077 John Kappel

            You can call us the bitches. We still have 7 National Championships. I don’t care what we are called so long as we win. Winning is everything and nothing else matters. We get that, do you?

    • NumberOneGopherFan

       Your math skills are even worse than your hockey knowledge – Attendance: 10,974

      • DanNewell

        Of which t least half were Sioux fans. And that was paid attendance, not actual attendance. When you get done with your homework, try looking over your fourth grade math book again.

        • Mike

          Yeah thanks for bringing all that commerce to the metro. Now back to the windy flatlands!

        • Guest

          I was at both games at the Xcel.  There was less ND fans on Sunday then there was on Saturday. 

          It was not 50/50 for fans…  70/30 pro Gophers. 

    • mahogma

      When you factor in the overall interest in the sport,from high school to college to NHL,Minnesota is very well deserving of the moniker. The state high school boy’s hockey tournament has the highest attendance of any high school sporting event in any state(although the MSHSL is doing their damnedest to screw it up.) 

  • DanNewell

    I’m not from North Dakota. I love he Gophers. I despise the Sioux. When I do check the history, I see that UND has 7 championships to our 5. Wikipedia also shows UND has won more WCHA titles than us. I read an article last week that named Michigan the top program, with UND number 2 historically.

    What is it that I’m not getting gopher fan?

    • NumberOneGopherFan

       There is a limit to the length of the posts here so I don’t have the space or the inclination to list what you are not getting.

      • DanNewell

        Great response from someone who has nothing say. Now you get my point.

        • NumberOneGopherFan

          You have no point – only misinformed opinions from someone who admits to being new to hockey.

          • DanNewell

            If you can’t answer what “point” is misinformed, then you have little to say. Don’t the Sioux have 7 NCAA championships to our 5? Haven’t they won more WCHA championships than us? Wasn’t it UND being listed as the number 2 hockey program by a national writer, second only to Michigan? What is it that you would like to say is wrong? You won’t ave a response other than to say I don’t get it. Your lack of an answer speaks for itself.

          • farnoogler

            I am starting to question if Michigan should be number 1.  Look at the titles and 6 of their 9 were in the 40s and 50s, they don’t have that many when most of us have been alive.

          • Guest

            One national writer, so he must be the KING of college hockey….right?

            Not one fan or member of the University of Minnesota hockey family is happy about the past 3 years!!!!  No team is happy about not playing in the NCAA tournament in any sport.

            You have no point other then one writer’s thoughts.  I’m sure their are other writers and people who have different thoughts.

          • Mike

            Let them look past us, at their own risk.

          • GoAway

            How does the comment section of almost every blog on USCHO end up with WCHA fans screaming about how many titles their team has won?

          • Mike

            Because we have the most fans and titles, I’d assume.

          • GoAway

            Whooosh!

    • CrockOGrimaldi

      Dan it goes like this.  The Chicago Cubs have more World Series wins than do the Texas Rangers.  Lies with statistics.  No one feels that North Dakota has been relevant for more than 10 years now.  For a lot of kids on the UND team now, the last time UND won, they were in first grade for the second time.  Meanwhile the Gophers have won a couple.  And if you look at all the NHL draft choices who played for the Sue, they had an incredible talent pool, all except Genoway, who was ranked in the same article as the most overrated player in college hockey history

      • DanNewell

        Not relevant? Is this what hockey fans are all about? If you want to ignore other teams successes, then you are ok with being a mediocre hockey team. Having no NCAA appearances in 4 years is not ok with me. Not one kid on this team even played in a NCAA tourney until this year, including the seniors. First frozen four appearance since 2005 is not ok with me. Having 5,000 fans show up for a home game playing for a chance to go to the frozen four is not ok with me. Imaging national writers proclaim Michigan and North Dakota are the top two college hockey programs is not ok with me. So you can choose to degrade other teams, but until you hold the gophers more accountable, we will be what we have become, a slightly above average hockey program.

        Based on your ridiculous comment, UMD is more relevant than the gophers. Obviously you are unable to process information like most others.

    • UMGophers

       The Gophers have 7 championships too. 2 of them came before the NCAA days.

  • EagleinExile

    17 game win streaks do not just happen every year. Even great teams sometimes have tie in their good streaks. That’s not to say BC can’t lose. They could lose to Minn, a lot of things could happen. I thought BU played Minn tough and fizzled down the stretch. BC has a goalie that is standing on his head right now, again, back to back shutouts in the tournament are rare. If BC plays the same way it has been playing, they will be tough to beat, even for the Gophers. But that is what makes single elimination tournaments so exciting to watch. It will be a great Frozen Four, and I hope my Eagles pull it out, but it will be hard fought for all to win.

    • MN Fan

      I agree the single elimination is what makes it exciting and why it would be foolish to underestimate any of these four teams.  It will take 2 good games to win it all.  The extra week off may be a factor for these teams – it helps with
      preparation, but the game may not start off with same high compete level
      that BC and MN showed this weekend.

      All good win streaks have one thing in common……….they’re ended by an unexpected loss.

  • Jimmylittleman

    Now THIS is more like it.  the usual USCHO forum stuff – my dog’s tougher than your dog, blah blah blah – I guess we will see who the best team is next week – BTW, those of you thinking that the “real” championship game is late Thursday night better beware…………..

    Sunny and high 80s in Tampa – for a rain and wind soaked fan from the Pacific NW who has only the WHL to watch, I am looking forward to it all – go Union!

  • hockey21

    Am I the only one that’s starting to get the sense that maybe DenNewell IS NOT from Minnesota?  “The Sipux fans travel well and have a premier program. They always have
    good teams and have been very successful. I wish our program was more
    like theirs.” That comment alone makes me think you’re a Sioux fan.  You’re a real dummy, and if you truly are from Minnesota you would know why it’s called the State of Hockey. Also, if you’re  “new to the game”, and “learning more every day” why don’t you just wait until you have something to say that’s worth hearing before you make us all dumber with your idiotic posts.