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College Hockey:
TMQ: How teams got to Frozen Four may be more of a surprise than which teams did

RachelLewis USCHO NCAAMidwestRegionalFinal FerrisState NorthDakota 12 TMQ: How teams got to Frozen Four may be more of a surprise than which teams did

Goaltender Zane Gothberg and North Dakota advanced to the Frozen Four as a No. 4 seed (photo: Rachel Lewis).

Tuesday Morning Quarterback addresses the big issues and big events in Division I men’s college hockey.

Jim: This week in TMQ, let me welcome one of our Atlantic Hockey columnists, Dan Rubin, who is filling in for Todd this week as Todd helps prepare us for the Frozen Four.

With that in mind, Dan, the Frozen Four field is set with a lot of experienced teams. Boston College, North Dakota and Minnesota have all been to the national semifinals multiple times and the fourth team, Union, was there for the first time two seasons ago. Looking back at the regionals first, what was the biggest surprise to you?

Dan: I think any time you get a No. 4 seed into the Frozen Four, that’s a surprise, but when you look at the last few years that’s becoming more and more a trend. North Dakota also was borderline a three seed as the “highest-seeded fourth seed,” so take it from where you will there.

For me, a bigger surprise was the way Boston College hustled through the Northeast Regional. The Eagles absolutely dismantled Denver in the first game, and while their game against Massachusetts-Lowell was a one-goal game, I didn’t feel like they were ever really outplayed. Given the way the regular season ended for them, they look so much stronger heading into the Frozen Four.

I don’t know about you, though, but the biggest surprise to me has to be Union’s dominance in Bridgeport. They pretty much owned two Hockey East teams and right now have to be a favorite to hoist the trophy, even though they have to get through BC to get there. Anyone who was watching those games watched a team that has a major drive for some unfinished business.

Jim: I agree about Union. I hadn’t seen the Dutchmen all season either in person or on TV. I was able to watch their 5-2 win over Vermont on Friday and have to say I was thoroughly impressed. Union is one of the better skating teams I have seen this year. They are very responsible defensively, transition to offense quickly and get the pucks to the right areas to score.

Additionally, they have a lot of players who can finish both at forward and on the blue line. I think they will present a significant challenge to Boston College a week from Thursday.

Speaking of BC, I think if there was any doubt that forward Johnny Gaudreau would win the Hobey, it was quickly erased this weekend when he factored in eight of BC’s 10 goals in the Northeast Regional. Gaudreau now has 77 points in 39 games, a full 20 points ahead of any player not playing for the Eagles (linemate Kevin Hayes has 63 points).

It has been quite some time since I can remember a Hobey vote that I don’t feel is even close heading into the voting deadline, which is Tuesday. How far back do you need to go to remember such a dominant player?

Dan: I think one of the only names that comes to mind is Paul Kariya when he had his 100-point season in 1992-93. He had 75 assists, but every time he was on the ice you thought Maine could score.

Every time you see Gaudreau get the puck, he makes that move or that pass that just opens things up. You know what’s coming, and you can’t stop it. I’ve never seen anyone with his skill set, and while the translation to the NHL is yet to be seen, it’s OK. I’d rather sit back and enjoy the majesty every time he’s on the ice. It’s something really special.

Jim: I agree that Kariya comes to my mind as well, as does Kariya’s line (including Jim Montgomery and Cal Ingraham) that almost single-handedly won the 1993 national title game with three late goals against Lake Superior State.

As I watched Gaudreau dangle around the ice last Saturday afternoon against Denver, I wondered if Montgomery, now the Pioneers coach, was thinking of his line’s dominance as well.

Looking further back on this weekend’s regionals, one thing that was on display was the ability for neutral-site regionals to still work. All four regions had decent attendances, with St. Paul leading the way.

I maybe expected a better turnout at Sunday’s Northeast Regional final given that Lowell and BC are less than 60 minutes away from Worcester. But other than that, I thought all eight regional gates were solid enough for the NCAA to make a case to stick with holding regionals at neutral sites. Your thoughts?

Dan: I have never been a fan of the regionals at neutral sites, but I understand the positives behind it. It’s a lot easier for the NCAA to plan ahead and plan a decent scale of the NCAA tournament. Being able to plan a year in advance gives fans easier accessibility to the games, and while I think it sometimes robs teams of wild atmosphere, I think the case is there to keep pushing forward. That’s enough for the NCAA, which is unlikely to revert back to campus sites with empty arenas.

If I had one major criticism of the whole structure, it’s a lack of cost standardization. BC and Lowell played each other, but it’s an expensive ticket in Worcester, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone shell out the money to go to see the tournament for the same money it might cost to go to a Boston Bruins game.

I think with the accessibility of games thanks to the Internet and ESPN, you’ll see the discussion come up more and more about attendance. I also think there will be a substantial amount of discussion as to which schools are awarded host status because a school like Minnesota can do so well at home, and a place like Union ends up as the No. 1 seed with almost half the people in Bridgeport.

Personally, I’d love to see a happy medium where teams have the option of hosting on campus or moving to a neutral site. That would allow a team like Minnesota to move to St. Paul if it can guarantee the seats, or a school like Rochester Institute of Technology could flex to the Blue Cross Arena. Robert Morris could always flex to the Consol Energy Center, but North Dakota would stay at the Ralph. Boston College could go to Worcester or stay at Conte Forum. It’s complicated, and the solution cannot be cut and dried, especially given contracts and timing.

For the immediate future, though, I think we stay with neutral sites. It’s not the best solution, but at least it’s working enough.

Jim: Personally, I like the neutral-site regionals as the home-ice advantage is removed for almost every team. I think with it being a national tournament, allowing any team to have home ice is unfair, particularly if said home ice is on an Olympic sheet that most teams aren’t used to using.

I’m not sure when the NCAA will decide the future of the neutral sites, but I think we both agree neutral sites are likely to stay.

OK, let’s get to the nitty gritty. I assume you’re like me and your actual bracket is busted. So with a chance to redeem ourselves, who do you have winning in Philly? I think BC and North Dakota will have what it takes to get to the title game with the Eagles winning for the fourth time in seven years.

Then again, I wouldn’t be an ounce surprised to see Minnesota and Union in the final. These are four evenly matched teams. What are your thoughts?

Dan: If there’s one thing I learned in Atlantic Hockey, it’s that anybody can win on any given day. I had Notre Dame and Quinnipiac in the national championship game in my bracket, and that’s clearly not happening. But if you look back at the AHA over the past few years, the seventh-seeded team won last year and advanced to the championship game this year.

Yale won the national title game as the last at-large team in last year. So by no means is anything I’m about to say going to mean anything in regard to what will actually happen.

Minnesota is the No. 1 overall seed, and that’s not by accident. I feared the Gophers getting out of their regional, but since they’ve done that, I’m taking them to win it all. I’m taking them over Union because they’re playing fearsome hockey.

And I’m still among the ones skeptical about Thatcher Demko for BC. I fear his age will rear its ugly head at the worst possible time, and I still think that defense has the potential to be suspect. So I’m going with Union-Minnesota, and in the process, the Gophers throw a little revenge in there for the women’s team’s loss to the ECAC’s Clarkson in the national championship game.


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  • Rich Lescarbeau

    As a Lowell fan, it was tough to justify spending the money on the full weekend, especially when you take into account that between the tickets in Worcester and in Boston for the Hockey East tourney ended up being as much as my season ticket! I think the result was a lack of a neutral fan base at the regional final on Sunday. If it stays at neutral sites, they need to control the cost of the tickets. I love college hockey, but I will never pay $100 a ticket for a weekend unless my team is in it. Drop it down, and you will get fans like me who will go even if my team isn’t in it.

    • JakeB

      I’ve posted similar comments many times now… Unfortunately Rich, I think we’re all preaching to the choir.

      • Rich Lescarbeau

        The argument about home ice makes me laugh too. I’m sure if you talked to most athletes, they would rather go on the road to play in the opponents packed barn than to an empty arena in Cinci

        • JakeB

          Absolutely… or the 5400? in Worcester.

  • adamsjeffersonmadison

    College Hockey Fan
    Dan…..

    On the 1st hand, you hit the nail on the head with respect to your view of the NCAA’s consideration of changing the Regionals games to campus sites with your comment, “… It’s a lot easier for the NCAA to plan ahead… (for the)…..the NCAA tournament.” From the NCAA executive perspective, college sports, moreover college hockey, is all about the NCAA; it is not about the members, not about the teams, not about the participants, and definitely not about the fans. Those games belong where historically they were very successful. It will be most interesting to watch the looming court fight, vis a vis, “the participants” vs the NCAA with the participants attempting to unionize.

    On the 2nd hand though, I think you completely missed the nail with your comment, “Being able to plan a year in advance gives fans easier accessibility to the games.” Tell me, just exactly how many Robert Morris fans would have considered booking their flights and purchasing their tickets to Minneapolis a year in advance? Even confident North Dakota fans who booked a year in advance to Minneapolis would have found themselves in the wrong city.

    It does seem that all important issues are almost always about the money. College hockey is no exception. The irony is, at least in college hockey, if they make it about the participants and the fans 1st, and not about themselves, it will generate considerable more money.

    I hope “the participants” win their court case.

    • Dan Rubin

      In all fairness, my use of the term “fan” meant the casual fan. If you’re someone who wants to go watch an affordable college hockey game, you can plan in advance to do it (that’s what I did last year in Providence).

      Also, If you wait to name the regionals, then you’re essentially going to force fans to have to scramble to make travel arrangements, which can be so much more expensive than planning ahead depending on where and how far you need to go.

      Keeping that at neutral sites minimizes costs, but with the “travel cost containment” structure, it’s a lot easier for people in general to plan ahead and expect to see certain teams, especially based on halfway-year projections.

      • KGR11

        I would probably say at least 10% of the fans at Bridgeport were casual fans, based on who was not wearing gear from the schools represented and who was wearing junior hockey gear. That’s 10% that are possibly taking advantage of buying tickets before the field is announced. Also, die-hard fans who want to go to the regional where THEIR team is can plan 4 alternative itineraries. If you drive, take a train, and stay in hotels, you can cancel 3 of your 4 itineraries at no cost. Flying is another matter, but you’d have those same air cost problems with campus sites as well. No doubt about it, regional sites are WAY more convenient from a traveling point of view than campus sites.

      • reardensteel

        “if you wait to name the regionals”

        You must mean waiting to name the regional sites.
        As it is, most teams don’t know for sure where they’ll be playing until a week before. So why would it matter to fans if the site were part of the mystery too (of course, event planners would much rather know exactly where the event will be held far in advance)?

        • Webster Krough

          Bingo

  • Bob

    i believe union looked alot more fearsome

  • http://twitter.com/dirtysconsin #1 Wisco SportsFan

    “Minnesota is the No. 1 overall seed, and that’s not by accident. I feared the Gophers getting out of their regional, but since they’ve done that, I’m taking them to win it all.”

    You “feared” the goofs winning their regional? Why?

    • bluegoose

      Oh well. BC didn’t finish the season strongly, so it might be just as likely that they might not make it out of their region. That being said, the only surprise I had was Wisconsin not making it in. I’m looking forward to the games; four tough teams, and it’s good to see the Minnesota-North Dakota rivalry again!

  • thenoke

    Objectivity gentlemen, it is what you were taught in journalism school. Every time TMQ comes out 90% of the article relates to East Coast hockey. Here is a concept to ponder: why not have a writer that covers the B1G, NCHC or WCHA as a guest on TMQ to balance out Connelly’s persistent stroking of the HE and ECAC conferences. My vote would go to Paula C. Weston, the best writer that the USCHO employs. However, for the sake of objectivity – there is that word again Jim that you either failed to learn or fail to utilize – lets share the keyboard.

    • Jerry Hanlon

      Stroking of the ECAC …when ? where ?….as a season ticket holder of an ECAC team..they’ve never gotten any respect until last year when they had 3 of the top 6 teams in the country….I seem to remember the old WCHA getting 6-7 teams in..last year comes to mind…

    • John Ouren

      THANK YOU!!! Someone needed to say it! It’s supposed to be USCHO, not ECCHO (East Coast College Hockey Online). I second the vote for Paula to replace Jim or Todd.

    • dean0677

      Todd’s in Wisconsin, right? Not far East enough?

  • Mike Peterson

    Minnesota had a pretty good home ice advantage at the X (our home away from home) we play at least two games a year there at a minimum. Other than the smaller sheet. It was pretty clear what side the majority of the fans were on, both nights. I do think the 10,000 seat Marriucci Arena with the Olympic sized sheet could hold the fans we drew this weekend.

    • Brent Sucks

      Home away from home in proximity only – Minnesota’s record there simply isn’t that good, and it certainly does not reflect any significant advantage.

  • mnbigfishonly

    It always surprises me to hear over and over that the “X” is a home game for the Gophers. Yes, they may have more fans in the stands unless they are playing UND but it’s NOT a home game. Totally different sheet of ice.

    The Gophers win and lose at the “X” because of many more factors than people cheering in the stands. When they win people say it’s the “X”, not the quality of the team.

    I’m not a fan of having the regionals on a true home-ice location. The Western region should never be in the Eastern time zone. Have it in Denver, St. Paul, Milwaukee, Chicago, etc. Why have a Western Regional in Michigan – Eastern time zone.

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com/ Goon’s ND Redneck

      The Xcel Energy Center is 7 miles from their Campus to suggest that the Gophers don’t have a home ice is preposterous. They even brought the PA guy from Mariucci Arena to the regional.

      • Brian

        Wow, the PA guy was the difference maker! Who knew? But seriously, even though the X is close to campus you cannot automatically say it’s home ice advantage. Olympic versus standard sized ice makes a big difference. If they played half their games at the X, then you could call it that. But they only played 2 regular season games and 3 postseason games there.

      • reardensteel

        That’s funny you mention the PA guy… I mentioned the same thing to my wife. I listen to the Gopher games on the radio and I hear the PA anouncer in the background. I sure thought it seemed like the same guy!

        • Brian

          Since MN was the host school, it only makes sense their PA guy would be working.

          • stod_2

            Trying to say they don’t have some home ice advantage playing there is just absurd Brian. Let it go. Yes, I will give you it isn’t their home ice, but they get to sleep in their beds, they keep the same exact routine, they just have a 5 minute ride to get to the arena from campus. It is an advantage and one they deserve when they win the bid and they are the host school.

  • Daniel

    As a BC fan, each of these teams scare me. We survived a very very tough bracket and now face the hottest team in the nation. Each of these teams poses tough matchup issues for the other, there is size, speed and good goaltending. Goaltending right now is our one “minor” (said with sarcasm) issue now. I was pleased with how BC virtually controlled both games, against two conference champions. UML is a beast of a team and truthfully I did not think we would win. I thought the key was how the defense played, Matheson using his puck control to skate in and not just fire it in from the point. It’s going to be a great Frozen Four. Go Eagles!!

    • JakeB

      Outside of being unable to get the puck out of the zone,
      the defense in their the own end the last 1 1/2 minutes was outstanding. But I thought their overall play in the 2nd period and neutral zone in particular was too sloppy. A lot of poor and missed passes, wiffing at bouncing pucks, poor puck control, etc… Not the typical crisp passing BC teams we expect. BC has to clean it up… They won’t beat Union playing like that.

      • Daniel

        Good points, great to know that even when we play sloppy we can overcome adversity, as all talented and championship teams do. I’m glad to see Union as our opponent as I know the guys are hungry to make up for last year’s embarrassment. I don’t think we can say “won’t beat Union playing like that” as in sports there is no absolute certainty, but it will be much more difficult to overcome mistakes against Union than against the likes of Denver, PC and Vermont.

      • JakeB

        No disrespect to UML, they’re An excellent team worthy of the FF. But Union is almost a mirror image of UML style of play… just a little more talented (especially on defense) and dynamic (2nd to BC in scoring) offensively, the Novak line in particular. I think Demko’s play will be the X factor.

        • Daniel

          Bingo, Demko will be key.

    • Rich Lescarbeau

      Lowell was playing their game in the first two periods. The Eagles won because they changed it to their style in the third. I think it had to do some with the pure talent on BC, and also with Lowell having a much more difficult first round match-up than BC did. As much as I hate rooting for BC, I hope they take it home and keep the hardware in New England

    • hockeyman41

      As a non-BC fan, I don’t think you need to be scared of any team. Jerry York is an excellent coach and will have his team prepared. This is an excellent Frozen Four field.

  • HOCKEYHEAD

    I was at the Xcel in St. Paul on Sunday and thought the attendance was horrible. Seats open everywhere you looked. When there is no advertising and expensive tickets people don’t show up. I did not hear one radio ad, TV ad or see anything on the tourney. Unless you are a big time college hockey fan, you didn’t go to the game, because you didn’t know it was going on or didn’t want to pay $65/ticket. I had a group of guys come with me and none of them knew when the game was until after I called and invited them to go. When the MN State Boys hockey tourney can draw more fans to a semifinal game then you know there is something wrong. The NCAA does a horrible job with the tournament!

    • reardensteel

      I did see a lot of open seats via the TV footage. I had assumed a lot of those were corporate give-aways that went unused. That happens a lot here in Colorado Springs, even though CC tickets are very affordable (IMHO).
      Anyone know what the actual gate attendance was at each site/night?
      Something tells me the NCAA looks at the number of tickets sold more than the number of bodies in seats.

      • Brent Sucks

        Tickets are simply too expensive. Add in travel, hotel, and food costs, and it’s just ridiculous. Most people can’t afford to do all of the following:
        - attend all regular season home games
        - attend the conference tournament
        - attend regionals
        - attend the frozen four

        Depending on which school you root for, the first one could cost you over $1000 once you factor in parking. The second one could cost several hundred depending on location + hotel + food costs. The third one costs as much as the second and possibly more. The fourth one costs as much as the 2nd and 3rd combined and then some if a flight is involved.

        • reardensteel

          Yeah, kinda seems like people’s funds are pretty much tapped out by March.

      • HOCKEYHEAD

        My guess is 8000 bodies in the arena.

      • HOCKEYHEAD

        Anything less than 18000 sell out crowd should be a disappointment in St Paul! NCAA should be embarrassed

        • Brian

          St Paul still had the highest attendance of the regionals. As stated in the above threads, people are not willing to pay that kind of money as they have in the past.

      • hockeyman41

        CC home games are awesome. CSWA is a great venue. (I live in the eastern US).

    • HOCKEYHEAD

      And they don’t sell BEER!!!

  • hockeyman41

    Want college hockey regional attendance to improve? Simply follow NASCAR’s lead and allow each fan to bring in one soft cooler containing any beverage of their choice and food of choice that will fit under your seat (no bottles). Now that was easy, eh?

    • Chrisgal

      The most intelligent thing I have ever read on this site…..

      • hockeyman41

        Every year I read how the NCAA is trying to figure out how to increase regional attendance for college hockey playoffs. Every year they pretty much do nothing. It reminds me of the old saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result”. My suggestion (above) would result in the single biggest net increase in regional attendance in the history of the Men’s Ice Hockey regional tournament.

        • stod_2

          And will never ever happen. Nice try but the reason the regional sites want the games is for the gate and concessions, no way they are giving that up. Plus I am pretty sure that when we were in St Paul for the Frozen Four a few years ago there were no alcohol sales in the arena because of the NCAA so it’s a good idea but no way is it happening.

          • hockeyman41

            But the regional sites are not getting such terrific gate revenue now. If the regional sites sell out the building and get good ticket revenue and get parking revenue, it’s a win/win/win.

            No alcohol sales is fine. But since they don’t sell alcohol anyway they should allow fans to bring their own. It is the same concept as a BYOB restaurant without a liquor license.

            If the NCAA were smart, they would try it next year at one or two regional sites.

            What they do now isn’t working. This BYOB concept works great at NASCAR events and NASCAR outdraws all of the four major US sports.

          • John Ouren

            NASCAR is not a sport.

  • JakeB

    Dan… It is not at all surprising to me that Union dominated the East Regional as they did. Keep in mind they beat only the 4th and 6th best teams in Hockey East. The 4th, 5th, or 6th best teams in ECACH (or any other conference except for a non-Pairwise qualified Denver) did not make the tournament. Union dominated those same ECAC teams all season long, a 15-game? unbeaten streak as evidence. Based on my eye test, Union and Minnesota have to be the 1-2 favorites… But, every team in this tournament is absolutely scary, especially if they show up with a hot goalie.

  • Jerry Hanlon

    Wouldn ‘t it be easier to have the 16 teams (top 8 ) home arenas the first weekend best of 3 (last weekend).. Quarters this weekend best of 3 to get to the frozen four at highest seeds home rinks….then the frozen four the following……I guarantee these homes rinks would be sold out…the best teams would get the home ice they deserve…..It’s a win win

    • Brent Sucks

      First off, schools want advance notice (and lots of it) that they are hosting so they can set aside their arenas for that purpose – otherwise the time gets sold to somebody else. That nullifies the “award home ice to the highest seed” approach.

      Secondly, best-of-three would drastically reduce the amount of upsets that occur, thus diminishing much of the tournament’s unpredictability and entertainment value.

  • reardensteel

    I’ve been thinking about the single-elimination format and some of the other ideas I’ve heard.
    How ’bout this.
    The regionals are round-robin, sort of like pool-play in the World Cup or the Olympics. So each team has three games the first weekend. I think I’d give 2 pts for a win, 1 for a tie; up to two full periods of overtime before a draw is declared. The top two teams from each region (pool) move on.
    Then, the championship weekend would be 8 teams, re-seeded into a standard bracket. First round is Thurs, second round Fri, and championship on Sun.
    It requires quite a few more games total, but sounds more fun to me.

  • JCA

    ” I hadn’t seen the Dutchmen all season either in person or on TV”

    I guess NBCSN has a sense of what gets ratings, but BU was on more often than the entire ECAC, I’m pretty sure. Really, they did not pick up one of the rematches of the title game from 2012?
    .
    It’s not surprising that no one has seen the Dutchmen. The ECAC doesn’t have a TV deal like HE and NESN or the B1G and the B1G network. The ECAC are small schools for the most part, so I can see putting on Ohio State before Colgate in one sense. But if you are trying to competitive college hockey at a high level, with longstanding rivalries, I think NBCSN has missed the boat. On top of that, many of the schools (the Ivies in particular) have national alumni bases, so again, I have to wonder how the 2013 national champs only appeared once on the NBCSN schedule.

    • reardensteel

      I share your sentiments (I’m a sucker for tradition and nostalgia), but TV will always be about advertising.
      You need but one piece of evidence to prove this: TV timeouts.

      • hockeyman41

        I hate TV timeouts when I am in the arena as a spectator. It’s a necessary evil that slows the game down.

  • John Ouren

    “I hadn’t seen the Dutchmen all season either in person or on TV.”

    Explains why TMQ is usually just a Hockey East soapbox. On a related note, what happened to the weekly lauding of “Hockey East dominance”? Turns out it was just another Jim Connelly wet dream.

    Lastly, I’d like to remind the USCHO writers that NCAA hockey is different than it was 20 years ago when Paul Kariya played. I think the “dominance of Gaudreau” and the emergence of conference parity are the direct results of the best players leaving early for the pros. The Hobey candidate pool gets weaker and weaker each year, and the smaller schools now have a better chance to win.

    • hockeyman41

      I follow and agree with much of your posting but I think Paul Kariya was a freshman when he had 100 points and won the Hobey. That contradicts your statement that the Hobey candidate pool gets weaker and weaker each year.
      I believe the smaller schools have just as good a chance as the larger schools to produce a Hobey winner. Look at Colorado College (enrollment only about 2000). They had two Hobey winners in the last 10 years.

      • John Ouren

        I don’t follow your logic. How does Kariya winning the Hobey as a freshman contradict my statement? And what does the size of the school have to do with anything? Smaller schools have always had an equal chance to produce a Hobey, because it honors individual achievement. .

        My point was Gaudreau does not have the same competition for Hobey as Kariya did twenty years ago, because more and more elite players leave early for the pros. Likewise, since elite players typically play for elite teams, the early departures have a greater effect on them, which has ultimately leveled the playing field for the other NCAA teams.

    • reardensteel

      That’s an interesting take; I’d always thought of early departures as a bad thing.
      I suppose you’re right, though, it does make it easier for smaller schools to win.
      I suppose that which causes me such frustration (MN never having very many seniors on the team), was viewed in an entirely different light by other groups of fans.

    • Chris Lerch

      I can’t speak for Jim, but he, like me, is a radio broadcaster for a specific team, which means it’s very hard to see other teams live because you’re doing your own game. I’m lucky if I can catch the 3rd period of a Western game when my game is done.

      A fan in a remote location with access to multiple games on cable or satellite is in a better position to see various teams than fans with a season ticket, or worse, radio guys that travel with the team and therefore are booked from 7-10 local time every weekend.

      • John Ouren

        Who said you have to watch the games live? When you portray yourself as an aficionado or even expert in NCAA hockey, you should at least make an effort to familiarize yourself with teams in other leagues, especially teams like Union that are serious contenders. If anything, you make a valid argument that USCHO should reconsider hiring radio broadcasters.

  • William Blake

    “oh, and Minnesota and North Dakota also advance to the Frozen Four or something, who cares.”

  • tape

    Cost was the absolute only factor in me not attending the Worcester regional even though my school was in it.

  • alanjason .

    When I clicked on the article, I thought I was going to read about all four teams equally. Nope. This article was nothing more than a love fest for Hockey East. I think Minnesota & North Dakota were mentioned a couple times towards the end of the article.

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