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Hargrove signs with Boston, done at Western Michigan after three years

Western Michigan junior forward Colton Hargrove has signed with the Boston Bruins, joining the organization that drafted him in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL draft.

Hargrove leaves after his best season of his three-year career with the Broncos as he totaled 28 points on 14 goals and 14 assists, all career-highs. He also finished with a team-best plus-12 plus/minus rating.

Hargrove finishes with 34 goals and 28 assists for 62 points in 105 games at WMU.

“We are very excited for Colton to begin his professional career with a great organization like Boston,” said Western Michigan coach Andy Murray in a statement.

Colgate junior Baun bolts school to sign with Chicago

140104 COLG FEST M 208 Colgate junior Baun bolts school to sign with Chicago

Kyle Baun (left) gives up his senior season after signing a free-agent deal with the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday (photo: Ryan Coleman/d3photography.com)

Colgate junior forward Kyle Baun announced Thursday that he will forego his senior season and sign a free-agent, entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The contract is for two years and he will report to the Blackhawks immediately.

“First off, I would like to thank coach Don Vaughan, Mike Harder, Steve Chouinard and the entire Colgate hockey program for the opportunity they have provided me,” said Baun in a news release. “It is a bittersweet time for me right now. I am thrilled about the exciting challenges ahead, but words cannot describe how much I am going to miss Colgate. The memories, friendships and experiences here will never be forgotten. This place will always have special place in my heart.

“I could not have asked for better teammates over the past three years. They will all be deeply missed and I want to wish them the best of luck moving forward.”

Baun appeared in 113 games during his three years with the Raiders, amassing 39 goals and 40 assists for 79 points.

An ECAC Hockey All-League Third-Team selection in 2014-15, Baun ranked second on the team in scoring as he notched 14 goals and 15 assists in 38 games played. Baun ended the year with a plus-12 rating, tying him with classmate Ryan Johnston for fourth best among Colgate skaters.

The Raiders were nearly unbeatable when Baun found the scoresheet this season, compiling a 17-2-3 mark when the power forward finished with at least one point. Even more impressive, Colgate was 12-0-2 in the 14 games that Baun found the back of the net in 2014-15.

“Kyle is a tremendous individual who has worked extremely hard over the past three years to make both himself and the Colgate hockey program the best they can be,” added Vaughan. “Like most elite hockey players, Kyle has always had the goal of playing in the National Hockey League. At this time, he feels he is ready for the next step in working towards achieving that goal.

“I want to thank Kyle for his three years at Colgate and wish him nothing but the best as he moves onto his professional career. Graduating our student-athletes is of utmost importance and Kyle is committed to making that happen and will receive his Colgate degree in the near future.”

2015 Midwest Regional preview: Two teams hope to break the ice with first NCAA wins

The No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament has advanced to the Frozen Four in three straight seasons and in six of the last seven. This year, that spot is occupied by Minnesota State, which leads a group of four into the Midwest Regional.

The Mavericks, however, are one of two teams in South Bend, Ind., that has never won a Division I NCAA tournament game; Omaha is the other.

Harvard has a national championship to its name (in 1989), and Rochester Institute of Technology advanced to the Frozen Four in its only other Division I tournament appearance in 2010.

Here’s a look at the teams playing in the 2015 NCAA tournament Midwest Regional in South Bend, Ind., starting Saturday:

minnstboards 2015 Midwest Regional preview: Two teams hope to break the ice with first NCAA wins

Minnesota State’s Brad McClure scored three goals in the WCHA championship game (photo: Tim Brule).

Minnesota State Mavericks

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Mike Hastings, third season at Minnesota State and overall

Record: 29-7-3 (21-4-3 WCHA, first)

How they got in: WCHA playoff champion

Regional seed: First

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2014

Best NCAA finish: First round, 2014, 2013, 2003

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: Their depth has been noted all season, but it has really carried them late in the year, with third- and fourth-liners accounting for 12 of their 22 playoff goals. Freshman and third-line winger Brad McClure had a breakout weekend at the WCHA Final Five with five goals and an assist.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: The Mavericks have yet to win an NCAA tournament game at the Division I level, and even a first-round win would put the Mavericks into uncharted territory against either a rival in Omaha or a hot and healthy Harvard squad.

Minnesota State is hoping the third time is the charm.

“We haven’t won a game in the NCAA tournament,” coach Mike Hastings said. “Our goal is to win our first game.”

And from there? Get to Boston, right?

“We never worry about Saturday when we have to worry about Friday,” Hastings said, referring to his team’s approach throughout the season. “We’re looking at it as the same thing this weekend.”

The Mavericks are the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and will play Rochester Institute of Technology in the Midwest Regional on Saturday.

Three years ago, Minnesota State hired Hastings away from Omaha, where he was an assistant coach, and he inherited a 12-win team that hadn’t been to the national tournament in a decade.

He also landed a team that had a group of promising players fresh off their first year of college hockey: Matt Leitner, Zach Palmquist, Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Chase Grant, Max Gaede and Brett Stern.

Hastings talked to those players about earning home ice for the WCHA playoffs, getting to the Final Five, qualifying for the NCAAs.

“There was a lot of hope going into that meeting but not a lot of belief,” he said. “Now, I hope we’ve progressed to the point where we’re capable of meeting it.”

The Mavericks got to the national tournament in Hastings’ first season and played poorly in a 4-0 loss to Miami in Toledo, Ohio. A year later, they won the Final Five and returned to the NCAAs, where they showed better but still lost, going down 2-1 to UMass-Lowell.

This year, they’re in possession of both pieces of WCHA hardware, the MacNaughton Cup and the Broadmoor Trophy, and seek to “break that egg at the national tournament,” as their most famous alum, the St. Louis Blues’ David Backes wished last weekend in St. Paul.

Backes bemoaned never getting a sniff at a Final Five, let alone an NCAA tournament.

Leitner & Co. have been getting there under Hastings’ tutelage, but a win on Saturday would be the next logical step for the program.

“I still feel,” Leitner said, “like we have our best hockey to play.”

– Shane Frederick

20150314 Omaha StCloud 09 MBishop 2015 Midwest Regional preview: Two teams hope to break the ice with first NCAA wins

Omaha’s Austin Ortega set the NCAA record for game-winning goals in a season with 11 (photo: Michelle Bishop).

Omaha Mavericks

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Dean Blais, sixth season at Omaha, 16th overall

Record: 18-12-6 (12-8-4-3 NCHC, third)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Second

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2011

Best NCAA finish: First round, 2011, 2006

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: Omaha boasts five skaters — all of them underclassmen — with at least 20 points to their names. With that many key weapons for opponents to try to contain, UNO will be a tough out for anyone in South Bend.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: The Mavericks have yet to get out of the first round of the NCAA tournament. More worrying than that, however, is that UNO won only two of its last 11 games within 65 minutes.

The NCHC was the class of Division I’s six men’s college hockey conferences this season. The greatest proof of that came when six league members’ names flashed up when the NCAA tournament field was revealed last Sunday.

If any one of those teams could be looked at as having backed into the tournament, however, Omaha is the name that comes up first.

The Mavericks failed to reach the NCHC playoff championship weekend after being swept at home by St. Cloud State two weeks ago in the league tourney’s first round. It was the second time in less than a month that UNO had dropped two games to SCSU, as the Huskies also swept the Mavericks in St. Cloud, Minn., on Feb. 20-21.

UNO’s recent troubles extend well past just their games against St. Cloud. The Mavericks have only won two of their past 11 games within 65 minutes, winning two others in shootouts.

Five of Omaha’s seven losses in that 11-game stretch — one in a shootout against Colorado College on March 6 — took place inside the Mavericks’ now-former CenturyLink Center home. UNO will be opening its own arena at the start of next season.

Even still, UNO was handed a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional and will face Harvard on Saturday. Speaking after the NCAA tournament field was released, Mavericks coach Dean Blais said he looks forward to just UNO’s third-ever shot to make waves in the national showcase.

“Any time you get a NCAA selection out of the top 16 teams in the country, you’ve had a good year, and I think we’re being rewarded for it.

“This is the highest Omaha’s ever been in the NCAA rankings [going into the tournament], so definitely I think we’ve arrived. We’ve got great senior leadership, and going to South Bend, it is what it is but we have to take advantage of it.”

– Matthew Semisch

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Jimmy Vesey scored nine goals in Harvard’s seven ECAC Hockey postseason games (photo: Melissa Wade).

Harvard Crimson

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Ted Donato, 11th season at Harvard and overall

Record: 21-12-3 (11-8-3 ECAC Hockey, sixth place)

How they got in: ECAC Hockey tournament champion

Regional seed: Third

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2006

Best NCAA finish: Champion, 1989

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: Healthier and more confident by the day, the deeply talented Crimson will trump elite competition just as they did in the first half of the season.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: Brief lapses in concentration, focus and effort will burn the lethal but occasionally vulnerable team.

As noted numerous times this season, Harvard’s 2014-15 campaign has been very Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde. On New Year’s Eve, the Crimson were 10-1-2; on Feb. 27, 14-11-3. Depending on one’s proximity to the program and awareness of its day-to-day travails, opinions of — and latitude given — the Cambridge club varied greatly.

In the end, perhaps the most likely variable accounting for all the fluctuations was and is the health of the team’s top lines. Without skilled skaters like winger Colin Blackwell, centers Alexander Kerfoot and Sean Malone, or puck-moving defenseman Patrick McNally, even the Jimmy Vesey-led Crimson crumbled into disarray.

Fortunately for Harvard and the fans — and unfortunately for Omaha and the field — the Crimson are healthy and hungry. With the momentum of the program’s first ECAC Hockey tournament championship and NCAA berth in nine years behind them, the team appears as confident and competent as ever.

“I think that our best hockey is still in front of us,” said coach Ted Donato. “We’ve had some great moments in games, but … we’ll have to bring it out if we want to advance past the weekend. I think our depth up front is something that needs to be a strength and I think we’re capable of putting together a real good group of games. I think we’re peaking at the right time.”

Hobey Baker Award finalist and Walter Brown Award-winning standout Vesey set an ECAC record with nine goals across Harvard’s seven playoff games, including two each in the conference semifinal and final. The Nashville Predators prospect has 11 goals in his last nine games, lighting the lamp in all but one of those contests.

He is paired with center Kerfoot and right wing Kyle Criscuolo, and has been held off the score sheet only three times in 36 games.

Harvard is 17-1-1 when scoring first, as it has in six of its last eight games.

“We’re going to have to be ready from the outset, and really focus on the things that allow us to have success,” Donato said, “and that’s using our speed and skill and being sound defensively. I think it’s going to take some of our best hockey to play with a team like Omaha, and we’re excited about that challenge.”

– Brian Sullivan

DSC 2420 2015 Midwest Regional preview: Two teams hope to break the ice with first NCAA wins

Hobey Baker Award finalist Matt Garbowsky has 26 goals and 53 points for RIT (photo: Omar Phillips).

Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Wayne Wilson, 16th season at RIT and overall

Record: 19-14-5 (14-9-5 Atlantic Hockey, third place)

How they got in: Atlantic Hockey tournament champions

Regional seed: Fourth

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2010

Best NCAA finish: National semifinalist, 2010

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: The Tigers have a proven track record of knocking off higher-seeded teams.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: RIT is the lowest-seeded team in the tournament and just 38th in the PairWise Rankings.

RIT coach Wayne Wilson described his team’s recent Atlantic Hockey championship as an “accomplishment” as opposed to its first in 2010, which he said was a “relief”.

Despite sneaking up on the college hockey world by making it to the Frozen Four in 2010, that team won 28 games and dominated Atlantic Hockey.

This squad was picked to finish seventh in the league and languished in the bottom half of the standings before coming together after the holidays and putting together a solid second half. The Tigers are 14-4-2 over that span, including seven wins in a row.

RIT features the second-highest scoring line in the nation with Hobey Baker Award finalist Matt Garbowsky (26-27–53), Brad McGowan (23-22–45) and Josh Mitchell (15-35–50). They’ve had a hand in 54 percent of the Tigers’ goals this season.

Those three are also RIT’s shut-down line, with Garbowsky also picking up the league’s best defensive forward award.

There are no seniors on the Tigers’ defensive corps, and getting three freshmen up to speed is one of the things Wilson pointed to as a reason RIT got better as the season went on. Rookie Brady Norrish (4-18–22) and junior Alexander Kuqali (4-17–21) were all-league performers.

Senior goaltender Jordan Ruby (2.11 GAA, .923 save percentage) battled sophomore Mike Rotolo for the starting spot all season, and after Rotolo went down with an injury just before the playoffs began, Ruby has shined (1.50 GAA, .945 save percentage).

While no one on the roster is left from that 2010 Frozen Four team, Wilson said these Tigers players have seen some good competition to prepare for the NCAA tournament.

“We’ve played the Big Ten champion Minnesota in Minnesota,” he said. “We played Yale at Yale. We’ve played St. Lawrence … we’ve played Boston College, we’ve played Lowell. We know what’s expected.”

– Chris Lerch

Michigan loses Copp one year early to Winnipeg

141025 21215995 Michigan loses Copp one year early to Winnipeg

Andrew Copp parlayed a strong season with Michigan in 2014-15 into an NHL contract with the Winnipeg Jets (photo: Melissa Wade).

Michigan captain Andrew Copp will give up his senior season with the Wolverines after signing a three-year, two-way, entry level contract with the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

The junior forward and Ann Arbor native will report directly to Winnipeg for the stretch run of the NHL season.

A fourth-round selection (104th overall) by Winnipeg in the 2013 draft, Copp finishes his Michigan career with 81 points (40 goals, 41 assists) in 107 games.

Copp, an All-Big Ten Second Team selection in 2014-15, notched a career-best 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) including 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 19 Big Ten contests, finishing third on the team in overall scoring.

2015 East Regional preview: Two teams enter after a win, two enter after a break

How will a week off before the NCAA tournament for half of the East Regional field affect things?

We’ll see that play out on Saturday, when two NCHC teams that each played two games last weekend go up against Hockey East teams that missed out on the conference championship weekend. Regional top seed Miami plays Providence, while Denver plays Boston College.

As records go, it’s the most evenly matched regional. All four teams have 13 losses and either one, two or three ties.

Here’s a look at the teams playing in the 2015 NCAA tournament East Regional in Providence, R.I., starting Saturday:

35053March 20 2015 2015 East Regional preview: Two teams enter after a win, two enter after a break

Austin Czarnik and Jay Williams lead Miami into the East Regional (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

Miami RedHawks

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Enrico Blasi, 16th season at Miami and overall

Record: 25-13-1 (18-10-1 NCHC, second place)

How they got in: NCHC playoff champion

Regional seed: Second

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2013

Best NCAA finish: Runner-up, 2009

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: Miami looked really good last weekend in winning the NCHC tournament, having a lot of speed and offensive depth.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: The loss of Blake Coleman to an automatic one-game suspension, as well as the potential loss of Riley Barber to injury, leaves the RedHawks without two of their best offensive weapons.

After falling to North Dakota on the final weekend of the regular season and losing a chance to win the Penrose Cup as NCHC regular season champions, then needing three games to get past Western Michigan in the first round, few might have ruled Miami a favorite for the NCHC Frozen Faceoff.

However, the RedHawks roared into Minneapolis and defeated Denver 6-3 in the semis — a little revenge, perhaps, for losing to Denver in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship game in 2014 — and followed that with a 3-2 win over St. Cloud State in the championship game.

“I think part of our program is being humble, but this is a tough league. To win that trophy is pretty special,” said Miami coach Enrico Blasi.

While the RedHawks were celebrating their triumph exuberantly on the ice, it may have come at a cost. Blake Coleman, who had a hat trick in the championship game, also got his third game misconduct penalty of the year, which comes with an automatic one-game suspension, rendering Coleman unavailable for Miami’s game against Providence in the East Regional.

“It was the most stressful game I’ve ever been in,” said Coleman. “I said I could never be a coach, because that was just terrible. I’m so proud of the team; I put us in a tough situation, and they bailed us out.”

Forward Riley Barber also appeared to get hurt during the game and left the ice late in the third period. If both Barber and Coleman are gone, it takes out two of Miami’s top three scorers. Barber didn’t practice on Tuesday, and Blasi officially listed his status as “questionable.”

In addition to losing potentially two of its top three scorers, Miami faces a Providence team that has an accomplished goaltender in Jon Gillies.

“Gillies is as good as anybody in the country,” said Blasi. “Their goaltender might be the best goaltender in the country. … Pretty much the same stuff that we’ve seen all year long in our league play. We’re playing a top-notch team, and we are going to try our best. … We’ve played them quite a bit over the last few years; in fact, we have them on the schedule next year, for the next four years after that.”

Asked after the St. Cloud game about whether the physicality might have been detrimental, Blasi said: “I think if you are in a championship game, you want to win the championship. These opportunities don’t come every day. To say that you are going to play a game and not give it everything you have, and not be physical and worry about injuries and things like that, that would not be the right way to play the game. That would be cheating the game. That’s cheating life.”

– Candace Horgan

20150320 NCHC Denver Miami 02 MBishop 2015 East Regional preview: Two teams enter after a win, two enter after a break

Denver’s Trevor Moore has a team-high 21 goals this season (photo: Michelle Bishop).

Denver Pioneers

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Jim Montgomery, second season at Denver and overall

Record: 23-13-2 (16-11-1 NCHC, fourth place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Second

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2014

Best NCAA finish: Champion, 2005, 2004, 1969, 1968, 1961, 1960, 1958

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: A strong senior contingent led by Hobey Baker Award candidate Joey LaLeggia can pull on a lot of experience and leadership.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: The Pioneers have shown some inconsistency, and can’t afford to take any games off now.

In some ways, the Denver Pioneers’ play in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff was like two completely different teams. After falling flat on Friday in a 6-3 loss to Miami, Denver rebounded with a 5-1 win over North Dakota, a result all the more surprising considering Denver rested three key seniors: forwards Daniel Doremus and Larkin Jacobson and defenseman and Hobey Baker Award candidate Joey LaLeggia.

“We didn’t think we had the details of our game and what gives us success. A lot of it was Miami played so well; a lot of it was us just not playing up to our level,” said Denver coach Jim Montgomery. “That being said, I like the way we responded on Saturday and came back with a really solid team effort.”

Denver was still in the running for a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament on Saturday if Miami had lost, but because the RedHawks won, the Pioneers finished seeded fifth overall and got a regional No. 2 seed. In the East Regional, they will face a familiar foe: Boston College.

The Eagles ended the Pioneers’ season in 2014, defeating Denver 6-2 in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass. BC also came to Denver for a pair of games earlier this season, which they split, BC winning on Friday 2-1 and the Pioneers returning the favor in the second game with a 2-1 decision in overtime.

“I think it does give you an advantage as far as preparation and understanding what the opponents’ strengths and weaknesses are,” Montgomery said of being in a regional with a team they have played five times this season (Miami) and another they have faced three times in the last year.

“I think over the next couple of days after we are done with BC we are going to start working on Providence so that we are really familiar with them.”

Asked about getting revenge against BC for last year’s defeat, Montgomery deflected, saying: “It’s not so much revenge; it’s more the state of our team and our confidence level and maturity level going into this tournament. I think last year, we were a little bit in awe of Boston College and being in the tournament after we had won the NCHC and spending a lot of emotional energy doing that.

“I think this year, our team understands that we can beat anybody in the country and that if we play Pioneer hockey, we are going to be a really tough out.”

– Candace Horgan

150313 19214444 2015 East Regional preview: Two teams enter after a win, two enter after a break

Boston College’s Michael Matheson and Noah Hanifin are two parts of one of the best defensive corps in the country (photo: Melissa Wade).

Boston College Eagles

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Jerry York, 21st season at Boston College, 43rd season overall

Record: 21-13-3 (12-7-3 Hockey East, tie-second place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Third

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2014

Best NCAA finish: Champions, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2001, 1949

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: BC has an exceptional defense, strong goaltending and is loaded with big-game experience.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: This team has significant limitations on offense, so it won’t win many shootouts.

Fans who are expecting a Boston College team similar to last year’s edition that led the country in scoring by a wide margin will be surprised. To paraphrase Rick Pitino, “Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold aren’t walking through that door.”

In fact, the Eagles rank at the unusual position of 23rd in the country in scoring. There’s no Gaudreau, Cam Atkinson, Patrick or Ben Eaves, Nathan Gerbe, Brian Boyle or …

You get the point.

BC has eight players who hit or passed the 20-point plateau, but the high mark is Alex Tuch’s 28 points, a far cry from Gaudreau’s 80 last year (or, for that matter, Denver’s Danton Heinen and his 45). It’s worth noting that three of the eight Eagles 20-point scorers are defensemen and all five forwards are freshmen or sophomores.

“Offensive production is the one area that we knew was going to be a major concern because of the players we lost,” BC coach Jerry York said. “We’re more of a team-type offense, creating offense from different areas.

“But the bottom line is that we haven’t scored enough goals. We’ve played great defense down the stretch, but we still will need to score more goals to win.”

The defense is one of the best in the country, if not the best, led by Mike Matheson, Ian McCoshen, Steve Santini and Noah Hanifin.

“They’re strong, physical kids,” York said. “The four defenseman are as good as I’ve had here for a while.”

Goaltender Thatcher Demko earned all-Hockey East honorable mention status, and although he’s only a sophomore, he has substantial big-game experience.

“The bottom line is we have good players,” York said. “They know how to win games. But it isn’t going to be easy, especially at this level.”

Since BC and Denver met in last year’s regionals as well as two games early in this season, there’s both familiarity and respect.

“They create a lot of offense with their defensemen,” York said. “We’ve got to be really conscious of that.

“Their overall team speed is excellent, and they play at an extremely high tempo. We have to be ready for a game that’s going to be very, very quick without much time and space on any parts on the ice.”

– David H. Hendrickson

150130 21085662 2015 East Regional preview: Two teams enter after a win, two enter after a break

Providence’s Jon Gillies hasn’t allowed more than two goals in the last 11 games (photo: Melissa Wade).

Providence Friars

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Nate Leaman, fourth season at Providence, 12th season overall

Record: 22-13-2 (13-8-1 Hockey East, tie-second place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Fourth

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2014

Best NCAA finish: Runner-up, 1985

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: With one of the nation’s best goaltenders in Jon Gillies, Providence needs to simply give him the goal support and Gillies can get this club to Boston.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: When Providence struggles, the offense isn’t clicking. And the Friars’ power play is the cog to that offense. A bad power play could equal a bad result for the Friars.

For a team that didn’t have to play a single game, last weekend was one of the most tense of the season for Providence.

Having been eliminated by New Hampshire in the quarterfinals of the Hockey East playoffs, the Friars were left in a position of sitting and waiting.

The weekend began with about a 75 percent chance for Providence to make the field as an at-large team, but after upset after upset to begin Friday, those chances began to erode.

“It was a tense weekend,” said Providence coach Nate Leaman. “Eleven percent of the scenarios had us at the 15 seed and only 2 percent of the scenarios had us as the 16 seed.

“We couldn’t fall below the 16 seed, and 16 you’re out. So the lowest we could’ve fallen was 15 and we fell that low.”

Indeed, the Friars were the last at-large team to make the NCAA field, but that new life is something this team could use to rally.

The Friars played their best hockey in the second half of the season, led by junior all-Hockey East goaltender Jon Gillies. After Jan. 1, Gillies allowed three or more goals just four times and didn’t allow more than two goals in the final 11 games of the year for Providence.

That should translate to a powerful position for the Friars. But Leaman is also aware that of those final 11 games, Providence lost four because the offense couldn’t produce. That would be the recipe for disaster.

“I think we know as a team how we score goals and I do [believe we are confident],” said Leaman. “The other aspect of that is our power play. Our power play was much better in the second half of the season, and when our power play has been good in games we score a lot more and we generate a lot more.”

Providence will face Miami team that Leaman calls “one of the deepest teams up front in the nation.” The good news — and maybe a point of controversy for some in the seeding process — is that the game will be played in Providence.

The Friars were not mandated to play in Providence because Brown is the regional’s host, not the Friars. And with Providence the final team in the field, some felt it was a gift to allow it to play so close to home.

Leaman, however, said he looks forward to the support the local fans will bring.

“The crowd is going to be terrific in Providence because Providence is a big-time hockey city,” said Leaman. “They’ve always supported hockey well in this city.”

– Jim Connelly

2015 West Regional preview: Challengers line up to try to take down regional host North Dakota

Tickets for the West Regional in Fargo, N.D., reportedly sold out seconds after they went on sale in October.

That’s the level of fan interest in seeing North Dakota challenge for another trip to the Frozen Four that awaits three lower seeds.

Michigan Tech, St. Cloud State and Quinnipiac all know regional host North Dakota is a large obstacle on the road to Boston, but it’s the Bobcats that have first crack at beating the NCHC regular season champ about 70 miles south away from its home.

This is the only regional where all four teams have a loss as their most recent result. Both of the Huskies — Michigan Tech and St. Cloud State — lost in the conference title game, while North Dakota and Quinnipiac fell in the semifinals. UND also lost the NCHC third-place game.

Here’s a look at the teams playing in the 2015 NCAA tournament West Regional in Fargo starting Friday:

34052March 14 2015 2015 West Regional preview: Challengers line up to try to take down regional host North Dakota

Bryn Chyzyk (29), Luke Johnson (27) and North Dakota host the West Regional about 70 miles down the road from their campus (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

North Dakota

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Dave Hakstol, 11th season overall and at North Dakota

Record: 27-9-3 (16-6-2-0 NCHC, first place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: First

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2014

Best NCAA finish: Champion, 2000, 1997, 1987, 1982, 1980, 1963, 1958

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: UND fell 0.6 seconds short of going to overtime in the national semifinals against Minnesota last season. That hasn’t slipped from UND personnel’s collective memory, and the team will want to finish its business this time around.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: UND hasn’t been the same since losing senior forward Mark MacMillan to injury, and a pair of losses last weekend at the NCHC’s playoff championship weekend has raised some questions as to how far the team can still go.

North Dakota was one of the country’s top teams over the course of the regular season, and it held the No. 1 spot in both the PairWise Rankings and the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll over large chunks of that time.

UND ran into its fair share of setbacks between early October and the middle of this month. Injuries, like those to defenseman Troy Stecher earlier in the season and one currently plaguing senior forward Mark MacMillan, have forced coach Dave Hakstol to move pieces of his lineup around, but those changes worked well enough to give UND the NCHC regular season title.

On the back of that, UND had plenty of reason to be optimistic heading into last weekend’s NCHC playoff championship weekend. However, a pair of losses in Minneapolis, to St. Cloud State and Denver, sent UND back to the drawing board ahead of Friday’s West Regional semifinal against Quinnipiac.

Hakstol accepted that there was work to be done, but he’d rather not have people overthinking UND’s troubles last weekend at the Target Center.

“I think we just get back to work,” he said after a 5-1 loss to Denver last Saturday in the NCHC third-place game. “Don’t overanalyze a whole lot here.

“We had tough results for our team this weekend. We couldn’t ever really get ourselves in a rhythm and on track, couldn’t find a lot of energy [on Saturday] other than in a couple of spurts. Plain and simple: We have a lot of confidence in ourselves, [but] get back home and get to work.”

UND defenseman Nick Mattson, one of seven seniors on his team this season, echoed his head coach’s sentiments

“I think us, as a group, we’ve been in a lot harder situations than this, so it’s not anything we can’t handle,” he said. “We’re just going to face it like men and move forward.

“I don’t think it’s anything too big that it’s going to set us back. We can handle it, and I think we have confidence that we’ll be back better than ever.”

– Matthew Semisch

2015032119 28 3712491 2015 West Regional preview: Challengers line up to try to take down regional host North Dakota

Michigan Tech’s Jamie Phillips is third in the country in GAA and save percentage (photo: Jim Rosvold).

Michigan Tech Huskies

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Mel Pearson, fourth season at Michigan Tech and overall

Record: 29-9-2 (21-5-2 WCHA, second place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Second

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 1981

Best NCAA finish: Champion, 1975, 1965, 1962

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: An incredible assortment of upperclass scoring depth — Hobey Baker Award nominee Tanner Kero as well as Alex Petan, Blake Pietila and David Johnstone, all of whom have more than 100 career points — have been building to this for four years. And goaltender Jamie Phillips and the Tech defense have kept opponents out of the net — both his GAA (1.71) and save percentage (.935) are third in the nation.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: The Huskies haven’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1981 — 10 years before anyone on the Tech roster was born. The Huskies are a talented team but being placed in the West Regional in Fargo for their first tournament appearance in 35 years is not the “Welcome to the NCAA!” gift one would hope for. Provided they get past St. Cloud State, what is essentially a road game against North Dakota looms in the regional final.

If you’d like to put the Huskies’ 34-year NCAA tournament drought in perspective, consider this: The last time Michigan Tech made the NCAA tournament, Mel Pearson was a senior on the team.

“We’re excited,” Pearson said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been in the NCAA tournament. Too long, actually.”

Pearson’s team in 1981 beat archrivals Northern Michigan for third place in the tournament. Since then, Tech has had just five winning seasons.

That’s partly why Pearson, when discussing this year’s team, tries to keep an even keel. He admits the upstart Huskies still have much to prove compared to, say, regional partner North Dakota.

“When you watched the selection show [Sunday], we were Rodney Dangerfield,” he said on his radio show Monday morning. “We were trying to get a little respect. We’re not North Dakota, Miami or all the teams they were talking about. We just got a little blurb, which is fine.

“We haven’t been there in so long I think people don’t really know who we are. And that’s OK. We’ll come in that way and hopefully they’ll know who we are when we leave.”

Although Pearson has a point about UND, Miami and the other top seeds, there’s plenty to talk about regarding the Huskies coming in.

Tech had two of the top three scorers in the WCHA in Kero (45 points) and Petan (39), while Mike Richter Award finalist Phillips leads a strong Tech defensive unit that was tops in the WCHA, too.

And the Huskies are unbeaten in 14 of their last 16 games. Their only two losses in that span were against WCHA champs Minnesota State.

The most recent loss — a 5-2 defeat in the Final Five title game Saturday in St. Paul, Minn. — stung a little, especially considering the Huskies had a 2-1 lead entering the second period. Tech took five third-period penalties and Minnesota State scored two power-play goals in the period.

But Pearson said he wasn’t worried about the letdown from that last game. He said he thought the Huskies played five good periods of hockey in the Final Five, which gets them ready for the tough test in Fargo.

“You find out a lot your team in situations like this when there’s a lot of pressure playing at a neutral site, just like you would be in the NCAA tournament,” he said. “I thought it was a good test for our guys, and I really liked how we took the test. We didn’t get 100 percent but we got a 90 percent, which is still a pretty good grade. But you’re always shooting for 100 percent.”

This week, the test may get slightly harder. Playing in a hostile environment in Fargo (“neutral site” in name only for any team that isn’t North Dakota) will be tough, but Pearson said his team looks forward to the challenge.

“With the games being in Fargo, you’ll know you’ll have good crowds,” he said. “It adds to the whole experience for student-athletes. The energy in the building, you want that.

“But we’ve been good on the road. We’ve been good in hostile environments this season. There’s no more hostile environment than in Big Rapids in that rink against [Ferris State]. I think we’ll be fine.”

– Jack Hittinger

34612March 20 2015 2015 West Regional preview: Challengers line up to try to take down regional host North Dakota

St. Cloud State’s Jonny Brodzinski reached 20 goals for the third straight season with a goal in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

St. Cloud State Huskies

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Bob Motzko, 10th season at St. Cloud State and overall

Record: 19-18-10 (14-13-1 NCHC, sixth place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Third

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2014

Best NCAA finish: National semifinal, 2013

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: The goaltending has gotten better and the play of Jonny Brodzinski is always a threat.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: The Huskies have been a little bit banged up. Kalle Kossila and Andrew Prochno missed the NCHC Frozen Faceoff, although they are expected back this weekend. Tim Daly was hurt in that tournament and his status is unclear.

Entering the NCHC Frozen Faceoff in Minneapolis, the St. Cloud State Huskies had distilled their season down to a single goal: win at least one game and secure an NCAA tournament berth.

The Huskies did so, edging North Dakota 3-1 in the semifinals before falling to Miami in the NCHC championship game 3-2.

“At the very least, we had one thing to do, and we did get that part done,” said Huskies coach Bob Motzko. “We’re still very disappointed. We put ourselves in a great position to win that championship and we’re kicking ourselves. We’d like to have stuck something more through on the power play, which would have tied it up and gave us a chance. Our guys were very pleased with how they played.”

The results were more impressive considering that two key players, defenseman Andrew Prochno and forward Kalle Kossila, were injured. Those two are expected back for the West Regional, where the Huskies play another set of Huskies, Michigan Tech.

Unfortunately, the Miami game may also have cost St. Cloud the services of senior defenseman Tim Daly, who was injured on a boarding penalty by Andrew Schmit.

“Right now, Prochno feels good, and over the next two days we will determine what level he’ll be able to play, and Kossila should be back,” said Motzko. “He probably could have gotten in last weekend, but we picked the safe side and kept him out. We gambled, and because we won, we knew we were in the tournament and had the luxury to keep him out and rest him.

“The one that is still on hold is Tim Daly, and that’s as bad a hit from behind as I’ve seen in many, many years, and it’s unfortunate. He’s one tough kid, and we probably won’t know till Wednesday or Thursday his status. I know he is making progress.”

Asked about Michigan Tech, Motzko expounded on the competitiveness of the team.

“The thing that we are most concerned with is Michigan Tech,” he said. “Twenty-nine wins. I think you just start there. Teams that are on the verge of a 30-win season, that’s a historic season. They’ve earned it, and they deserve where they’re at. They’re led by older kids and have four guys with over 100 points, a goaltender whose numbers are off the charts, and that tells you that you are playing as an older team with great confidence.

“The thing that they will have in their corner is that for the first time in 30-something years, they are in the tournament. There has to be tremendous excitement in their program right now, and in their fan base and their university.”

– Candace Horgan

DSC 6001 2015 West Regional preview: Challengers line up to try to take down regional host North Dakota

Quinnipiac’s Soren Jonzzon (left) and Matthew Peca celebrate a goal against Harvard in the ECAC Hockey semifinals (photo: Matt Eisenberg).

Quinnipiac Bobcats

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Rand Pecknold, 21st season at Quinnipiac and overall

Record: 23-11-4 (16-3-3 ECAC Hockey, first place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Fourth

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2014

Best NCAA finish: Runner-up, 2013

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: The Bobcats will buckle down and play smart, opportunistic hockey in the absence of top scorer Sam Anas.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: Offensive struggles will be magnified exponentially, allowing opposition to play aggressively to the point of smothering the Bobcats.

It’s doubtful that many folks would be able to find Quinnipiac on a map, even among college hockey fans, but the hard-to-find school with the hard-to-say name is anything but a novelty in the NCAA tournament.

The Bobcats return to the Big Dance for the third consecutive season, each time on the strength of their regular season as an at-large bid. Picked by many to have a down year due to graduations and early departures, the young roster (18 of 27 players are underclassmen) has performed above and beyond even its own coaches’ expectations: Veteran coach Rand Pecknold had, until very recently, often described his team as “overachieving.”

One bright-star-gone-dark, however, is that of sophomore Sam Anas. The 23-goal sniper missed the ECAC Hockey championship weekend with what is reported to be a sprained knee ligament, and he is not expected to play this weekend, either.

“He’s not a kid that you can replace,” Pecknold said of his star forward. “He’s one of the best in the ECAC. He’s dynamic. He’s one of the better power-play players in the country. He drives possession. You’ve got to find a way to play a little bit different game [without him]. We did that in [ECAC Hockey quarterfinals] Game 3 against Union: We lost him early in the first, and were able to grit out a win.”

This has left Quinnipiac even less margin for error than what little it had before Anas’ injury.

“I think, for us, we’ve struggled a little bit to score goals this year,” Pecknold said. “It hasn’t been a major problem, but we haven’t been as prolific offensively as we have the last two years. What we have to do on Friday is have some unlikely heroes. We need some guys to step up and score a big goal for us. That’s usually what happens at this time of year: You get some unlikely people to step up and get a big one, and that’s what we need.

“It’s going to be about playing to our identity and buying into it. When we play to our identity, we find success. We have the utmost respect for North Dakota. We’re basically playing a road game at North Dakota — I don’t care that it’s not in their rink, it’s still in their state — and we need to be ready to go.”

– Brian Sullivan

Men’s Division III championship on tap in Minneapolis

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Can Jackson Brewer lead Trinity to a D-III national title? (photo: Melissa Wade)

Adrian. Amherst. Trinity. Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Those four schools are all that remain in the men’s Division III tournament.

Here is a team-by-team preview of what to expect this weekend in Minneapolis.

ADRIAN

Adrian and Wisconsin-Stevens Point have been two of the best teams in the nation all season, and this weekend, the two teams will represent the West Region.

Adrian plays Trinity Friday in the first-ever meeting between the two schools while Stevens Point battles Amherst in the other national semifinal at Ridder Arena.

The Bulldogs, the 2011 national runner-up, are headed to their second final four in program history, while the Pointers are here for the second straight season. They were the national runner-up a year ago.

Adrian (24-3-3) comes in as the hottest team in the nation, winning 12 consecutive games, and they have fueled that success behind a high-powered offesne that cranks out nearly five goals per game (4.77).

Kyle Brothers and Mathew Thompson have anchored the attack. The freshmen sensations have scored 24 and 22 goals, respectively, leading a team that has scored 143 goals overall. Both do a tremendous job of sharing the puck as well. Brothers has come through with 25 assists and Thompson has dished out 20.

But Adrian is hardly a two-man show. Josh Ranalli (17-27), Duston Hebebrand (13-15) and Jeremy Olinyk (11-17) have all stepped up as well.

Defensively, Scott Shackell has been tough all year, winning 18 games and fashioning a 1.99 goals against average along the way.

The key for Adrian is to click offensively. It’s what has helped the Bulldogs put together an impressive win streak. Adrian has scored four or more goals all but once during the streak, including nine in the NCAA tournament. Their defense hasn’t been bad either as they have given up two or more goals seven times during the streak.

WISCONSIN-STEVENS POINT

Stevens Point has been waiting all season for another shot at the championship. The Pointers enter the weekend two steps away from hoisting the trophy.

The Pointers (22-6-1) are in the national semifinals for the eighth time in program history and are seeking their first title since 1993.

Stevens Point has been tough to stop, averaging 4.34 goals per game, and are in the midst of back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1991-92 and 1992-93 campaigns.
Kevin Gibson has been instrumental to the Pointers’ success. He was the WIAC Player of the Year and is the top scoring defenseman in the nation (eight goals, 22 assists).

Joe Kalisz has risen to the occasion time and again as well and has scored 17 goals, which ties him for 15th in the country in that category. He has also tallied 14 assists and is the Pointers’ leading scorer.

Brandon Jaeger is making the most of his senior season in goal, winning 22 games. His 61 wins overall is tied for the most in program history. Jaeger owns a 2.28 goals against average and is tied for third in the nation in shutouts (five).

The Pointers need to be able to find ways to score against a stingy Amherst defense. If they can do that, they will be in position to move on and take aim at finishing the job they started a year ago.

TRINITY

It all could have unraveled. It didn’t of course, which is how Trinity has come to make its second Frozen Four appearance and first since 2005.

The Bantams had been loping along, NESCAC regular-season crown in hand, sporting a No. 2 USCHO poll ranking, and riding an eight-game win streak, until they were ambushed in the opening round of the conference tourney by final seed Tufts.

Trinity then had to watch and wait after second-seed Amherst grabbed the league’s tournament crown and the automatic NCAA bid that went with it.

Still, Trinity’s glittering 23-3-1 while competing in arguable the toughest conference in the country made the Bantams’ exclusion from the NCAA’s next to impossible.

Convincing wins over Nichols (4-2) and Plattsburgh (5-1) only confirmed Trinity’s tourney worthiness.

Looking to make his post-season mark will be sophomore forward Ryan Cole, the NESCAC’s Player of the Year and second leading scorer (15-21-36 overall), whose empty-netter sealed the win over Nichols.

AMHERST

The goal that put Amherst into the Frozen Four might have been a little sketchy, but their getting there was no fluke.

The Lord Jeffs showed they merited a shot at the national title by grinding their way to a 22-4-2 record – their best mark since 2012 (24-4-1), when not by coincidence, they made their only other Frozen Four appearance (finishing third).

Then, as now, Amherst nibbled their opponents to death, scoring just over three goals per game – a little better than middle-of-the-pack, but giving up just two. In fact, in 2012, the Jeffs were the nation’s stingiest team, allowing 1.66 goals per game. This year, behind senior goalie Danny Vitale, Amherst was sixth in goals allowed (2.14 gpg).

Even so, behind NESCAC scoring leader freshman David White (19-15-34 overall including five game-winning goals), there was enough goal production to fashion a current eight-game winning streak which netted the Jeffs a NESCAC tournament crown, as well as that nerve-wracking 4-3 NCAA quarterfinal win in overtime over No. 1 ranked Norwich courtesy of Mike Rowbotham’s seeing-eye game-winner.

Babson goalie Murray parlays stellar season into 2015 Concannon Award

jamie murray babson Babson goalie Murray parlays stellar season into 2015 Concannon Award

Babson goalie Jamie Murray used a consistent season between the pipes to earn himself the 2015 Joe Concannon Award (photo: Babson College Athletics).

The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Thursday that Babson junior goaltender Jamie Murray is the winner of the 15th annual Joe Concannon Award, which recognizes New England’s best American-born hockey player in Divisions II and III.

Murray led the Beavers to the ECAC East title game, where they lost 3-2 to top-ranked Norwich and just missed repeating as conference champions. He finished among the nation’s leaders in goals-against average (1.68) and save percentage (.940). He tied St. Thomas senior Drew Fielding for the most shutouts (6) and he led the nation in minutes played (1680:33.)

Murray’s other honors include being a first-team ECAC East All-Conference selection, as well as repeating as the league’s goaltender of the year. Additionally, Murray is one of five finalists nominated for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, which recognizes off-ice charitable work in the community.

In addition to his support of the Special Olympics and other events, Murray established the Cure for Cole WiffleBall Tournament in 2010 to raise money for a neighbor battling a chronic disease. The tournament draws over 40 teams and 200 players annually and has raised over $25,000 to date.

“This is a great honor for Jamie, who had a great and extremely consistent season,” Babson coach Jamie Rice said in a news release. “His numbers say a lot, but he really played at a high level nearly every game and virtually all the minutes for us. He would probably thank his teammates. They always had great confidence that he would give up one or two goals at most, which always gives your team a chance to win.

“Jamie is just a great kid and really focused on his game. He never missed a practice and always had that level of intensity and preparation required to be successful against the high- caliber opponents we play in our league and our nonconference schedule. He is the first Babson player to win the award among many worthy nominees we have had considered in the past. He is a very worthy winner for what he does on the ice and more so, off the ice as well.”

Elmira’s Dean Jackson named coach of the year

Coach jackson Elmiras Dean Jackson named coach of the year

Dean Jackson, coach of Elmira (Elmira Athletics)

For taking the Elmira Soaring Eagles back to the national championship game, and posting a perfect 18-0-0 regular season record in the very competitive ECAC West, Dean Jackson has been named USCHO’s coach of the year.

Overall, the Soaring Eagles went 26-3-1 on the year, continuing an impressive run that has seen Elmira become one of the powerhouses of Division III. After finishing second in the ECAC West in 2012-2013 with a 14-2 conferene record and 24-5-1 overall record, Elmira won the national championship that year. Elmira then went out in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2013-2014 to Norwich, a season that saw them go 21-6-1.

The Soaring Eagles spent most of the season at either one or two in the USCHO.com Women’s D-III Poll, taking over from rival Plattsburgh after an impressive sweep of the Cardinals Jan. 31-Feb. 1 by 2-1 and 6-2 scores.

Jackson coached his seniors to impressive final performances, with Ashley Ryan leading the country in scoring with 61 points and Ashton Hogan finishing second with 51 points. Elmira had four scorers in the top 12 nationally, and five seniors finsihed with over a point per game average.

Ultimately, the Soaring Eagles fell short of reclaiming the national championship from Plattsburgh, as the Cardinals defeated Elmira in the ECAC West Tournament final to claim home ice for the NCAA tournament, then edged the Soaring Eagles in the national championship game, 3-2.

Jackson edged Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle and Trinity coach Jenny Potter for the honor. USCHO’s awards are voted on by the editor and writers.

USCHO coach of the year Scanlan raises Bemidji State to a new level

Scanlan Jim USCHO coach of the year Scanlan raises Bemidji State to a new level

Jim Scanlan of Bemidji State.

When Jim Scanlan was named the new head coach at Bemidji State in June, he said he wanted to raise the bar for the program, plus he wanted his team to improve on a daily basis and be competitive. In his first year, he accomplished all of that and more.

The Beavers increased their victory total by 10 over the previous season, their winningest campaign in program history with 21 triumphs. After being picked to finish seventh in the WCHA coaches’ preseason poll, Scanlan guided Bemidji State to its second appearance in the WCHA Final Face-Off. BSU posted its inaugural win on that stage, reaching the championship game and falling just one game short of its first NCAA tournament.

Under Scanlan, the Beavers finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the USCHO.com D-I Women’s Poll for the first time. They recorded five wins over teams that also finished in the top 10, including three wins against NCAA Frozen Four participants and a .500 record against the eventual national champion. Bemidji State shaved more than a goal off of its goals-against average, and its penalty kill ranked third in the country. The team’s goal differential of plus-16 equaled the top mark in program history.

There were other coaching success stories this season. Josh Brandwene’s Penn State Nittany Lions added 13 wins to their total from the year before and reached the second round of the CHA playoffs. Rick Seeley at Quinnipiac and Scott McDonald at RIT navigated their teams to the NCAA tournament for the first time. Matt Desrosiers’ Clarkson squad rebuilt on the fly and successfully defended its ECAC season title and returned to the national tournament. Katie King Crowley’s Boston College Eagles had the best record in the country at 34-3-2. Katey Stone shook off a ragged start at Harvard and brought the Crimson to their first NCAA title game in 10 years. Brad Frost coached Minnesota to its third NCAA crown in four seasons.

However, nobody combined improvement with playing the team’s best hockey at the end of the season better than Bemidji State. For that reason, Jim Scanlan is the 2015 USCHO coach of the year.

2015 Northeast Regional preview: No strangers to deep NCAA tournament runs in quartet

In the Northeast Regional, everyone has at least one national championship in its trophy case and three of the four teams have been in the national championship game in the last four seasons.

Minnesota-Duluth won it all in 2011, while Yale did in 2013. Minnesota was the runner-up last season.

That leaves regional top seed Boston University left out, although you have to go back only to 2009 to find the Terriers’ last run to the final game of the season and a national title.

Here’s a look at the teams playing in the 2015 NCAA tournament Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H., starting Friday:

150315 22410031 2015 Northeast Regional preview: No strangers to deep NCAA tournament runs in quartet

Boston University’s Danny O’Regan (10), Evan Rodrigues (17), and Jack Eichel (9) make up one of the most feared lines in college hockey (photo: Melissa Wade).

Boston University Terriers

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: David Quinn, second season at Boston University and overall

Record: 25-7-5 (14-5-3 Hockey East, first place)

How they got in: Hockey East tournament champion

Regional seed: First

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2012

Best NCAA finish: Champions, 2009, 1995, 1978, 1972, 1971

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: This is a team stacked with offensive talent and an often overlooked defense and goaltender. It is the complete package.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: Outside of the seniors, this team has no NCAA tournament experience. Being in a bracket with two recent national champions in Yale and Minnesota-Duluth and a Minnesota team that reached the final a year ago leaves the Terriers the least-experienced and least-tested NCAA tournament team.

The Boston University Terriers will begin their run toward a national title Friday afternoon against Yale. But if you ask second-year coach David Quinn, this process began more than a year ago.

After the Terriers went through one of the worst years in the program’s history, finishing 10-21-4, Quinn had plenty of time to work on building the team he wanted.

The recruiting, for the most part, was done. But Quinn still had to find a way to better condition the returning players and hope there could be a bond with a large freshman class that helped make BU the youngest team in the nation.

Quinn said he saw that happening way back in the summer.

“When you go through the year we went through, guys didn’t ever want to live through that again and I think there was a drive and a determination to not ever have to go through that again,” said Quinn. “And I think when our freshmen arrived for the second semester of summer school, a lot of our returning players were here and you could see immediately that there was a connection and a bond.

“I think that’s where our team came together and started to unfold. Getting into September, I didn’t feel like there were 10 freshmen on campus.”

That success certainly translated and, as most know, was led by freshman Jack Eichel, the front-runner to become the first player since Maine’s Paul Kariya in 1993 to win the Hobey Baker Award as a rookie.

But while much of the attention is focused on Eichel, Quinn said his team is about so much more. He is careful heading into this tournament to emphasize the ability of these players to be a team as opposed to a bunch of individuals.

“We really have a team,” said Quinn. “Guys get a lot of attention because we have a lot of stars, but we really have a true team. There’s a lot of respect for each other. There’s a lot of love for each other. There’s no egos. We need that moving forward.”

While BU may have a team mentality in spades, one thing it certainly doesn’t have is NCAA tournament experience, particularly compared to the other three teams playing this weekend in the Northeast Regional. Yale, BU’s first-round opponent, won the title two years ago. Minnesota-Duluth was in the tourney three seasons ago and won it four years ago. Minnesota played in last year’s final.

That is why Quinn hopes his team can draw on the experiences it went through to already win the Beanpot and Hockey East tournaments.

“I think [winning championships like the Beanpot and the Hockey East] helps,” said Quinn. “When we get in that situation on Friday afternoon, you can draw on some of the experiences you have gone through. It might alleviate some of those nerves and settle you down a little bit more than a team that hasn’t been put in that situation.”

– Jim Connelly, Scott Weighart

2015011020 11 475551 2015 Northeast Regional preview: No strangers to deep NCAA tournament runs in quartet

Adam Krause told his younger Minnesota-Duluth teammates not to take the NCAA tournament for granted (photo: Jim Rosvold).

Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Scott Sandelin, 15th season at Minnesota-Duluth and overall

Record: 20-15-3 (12-9-3-0 NCHC, third place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Second

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2012

Best NCAA finish: Champion, 2011

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: The Bulldogs played well in nonconference games this season, including 3-1 against first-round opponent Minnesota. If Duluth can make it 4-for-5, that could launch a run to Boston.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: UMD faltered down the stretch, losing seven of its last eight in the NCHC’s eyes (two were in shootouts).

Minnesota-Duluth got together on Sunday to watch as the NCAA tournament field was revealed, and a roar went up in the room when UMD’s name popped up.

Being safe in the knowledge that the Bulldogs were tourney-bound for the first time in three years had to be a good feeling for the UMD personnel. What’s more, they might not have been too unhappy when they saw who they’d be playing on Friday: Minnesota.

Duluth has done well against its archrival this season, winning three of the teams’ four meetings. Following a 4-3 Ice Breaker Tournament loss to Minnesota on Oct. 10, UMD swept the teams’ home-and-home series in mid-November, and the Bulldogs got the best of the Gophers yet again, 2-1 in the North Star College Cup championship game on Jan. 24.

An 8-4 nonconference record, including those three wins against Minnesota, was a big reason why Duluth found itself heading to this year’s NCAA tournament. That berth came despite the Bulldogs finishing only fifth in the NCHC and dropping a pair of games to Denver in the first round of the NCHC playoffs.

UMD is fielding a young squad this season, complete with only three freshmen. One of them, Bulldogs forward Adam Krause, spoke following the selection announcement and said that he hopes his younger teammates take advantage of the opportunity in front of them.

“You kind of took [qualifying for the NCAAs] for granted the first year and thought that it’d probably happen every year,” Krause said. “But then it didn’t the last two years. I know how special it is and how hard it is to make it to the tournament, so you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity.

“I’d just say [to younger teammates] that it doesn’t happen every year,” Krause continued. “It’s hard and it’s not something that’s given to you. You’ve got to work extremely hard for it and don’t take it for granted. Take care of the opportunity now because it might not ever come again.”

– Matthew Semisch

20150320 MINN OSU LAR 0709 2015 Northeast Regional preview: No strangers to deep NCAA tournament runs in quartet

Goaltender Adam Wilcox is the backbone of the Minnesota defense (photo: Larry Radloff).

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Don Lucia, 16th season at Minnesota, 28th season overall

Record: 23-12-3 (14-5-3-0 Big Ten, first place)

How they got in: Big Ten tournament champion

Regional seed: Third

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2014

Best NCAA finish: Champions, 2003, 2002, 1979, 1976, 1974

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: The majority of the players on the roster have been to the Frozen Four at least once in their careers. That experience could help Minnesota make a playoff run.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: The last two times Minnesota made it to the Frozen Four, it advanced through a regional that it hosted in St. Paul, Minn. The last time the Gophers had to travel out of state to play at a regional, they lost to regional fourth seed and eventual champion Yale.

Minnesota enters the NCAA tournament possibly playing its best hockey of the season. The Gophers won their final two games of the regular season and won the Big Ten tournament last weekend in Detroit. However, the road to their sixth national title isn’t a smooth one.

Minnesota will face an in-state rival in its first game of the tournament and will have to potentially get past a team that has been ranked near the top of the polls all season long, Boston University, to get back to the Frozen Four.

This season was the first time since 2007 that the Gophers captured their conference’s regular season and postseason titles.

“I think it’s a good sign for our team because the conference regular season is kind of like a marathon, and we had our ups and downs throughout the year,” goaltender Adam Wilcox said after the Big Ten championship game victory over Michigan. “But for the most part we got games, and toward the end of the year we got a lot of sweeps. And when you get a conference playoff title, it’s kind of like what it is in the NCAA.”

As Wilcox said, the Gophers season was a roller-coaster ride. They started and ended the season with winning streaks but played a stretch of rather uninspired hockey during the middle of the season.

Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth are familiar with each other. The Gophers are 1-3 against the Bulldogs this season. Manchester’s Verizon Wireless Arena will be the fifth arena that the two teams have played against each other in this season. They opened the season at the Ice Breaker Tournament, hosted by Notre Dame (Compton Family Ice Arena), played at each team’s home arenas (Mariucci Arena and Amsoil Arena) and met at the North Star College Cup (Xcel Energy Center).

– Drew Claussen

20141031 1474 2015 Northeast Regional preview: No strangers to deep NCAA tournament runs in quartet

Yale’s Alex Lyon leads the nation in save percentage, GAA and shutouts (photo: Shelley M. Szwast).

Yale Bulldogs

Team page | Statistics | Roster | Schedule/results | History

Coach: Keith Allain, ninth season at Yale and overall

Record: 18-9-5 (12-6-4 ECAC Hockey, third place)

How they got in: At-large bid

Regional seed: Fourth

Last NCAA tournament appearance: 2013

Best NCAA finish: Champion, 2013

Why they’ll get to the Frozen Four: The nation’s best defense backboned by goalie Alex Lyon is enough to shut down any team in the tournament.

Why they won’t get to the Frozen Four: Offense. Yale isn’t the high-scoring juggernaut of years past and the Bulldogs are 0-8 when allowing three or more goals, which could happen against Boston University’s top-ranked offense.

The Bulldogs have been here before — and it’s worked out well for them. Much like 2013, Yale was knocked out of the conference playoffs and was forced to wait for an at-large bid. That year ended with the Bulldogs beating three No. 1 seeds en route to the program’s first national title.

This year’s team lost to Harvard in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals, with Walter Brown Award winner Jimmy Vesey scoring the double-overtime goal in Game 3.

That loss meant the Bulldogs entered last weekend outside the NCAA tournament and needed to wait a week to learn if their season would continue. That was much longer than the roughly 24-hour wait Yale had after losing to Quinnipiac in the 2013 ECAC consolation game.

It was an up-and-down week for the Bulldogs. Coach Keith Allain told the New Haven Register the team continued to practice throughout the week, but it was hard to focus with its NCAA fate uncertain.

Several players are still left from Yale’s national championship team, including defensemen Ryan Obuchowski, Rob O’Gara, Tommy Fallen, Mitch Witek and Matt Killian, although Killian has rotated between forward and defense during his collegiate career.

Those players, along with freshmen Adam Larkin and Nate Repensky, comprise one of the steadiest defensive groups that Yale has had in several years. It doesn’t hurt having a goalie like sophomore Alex Lyon, who leads the nation in save percentage, GAA and shutouts. Lyon has made steady progress during his first two years with the Bulldogs and is especially adept at playing the puck.

Sophomore Mike Doherty is the only Yale player with more than 10 goals, entering the NCAA tournament with 12. Classmate and Chicago draft pick John Hayden has plenty of size, while junior center Stu Wilson is a sold two-way player.

– Nate Owen

16 teams, 16 numbers: A look at some facts and figures on the 2015 NCAA tournament

I0000oTjJ7hkHEVk 16 teams, 16 numbers: A look at some facts and figures on the 2015 NCAA tournament

Kyle Criscuolo and Harvard are on a roll entering the NCAA tournament (photo: Matt Eisenberg).

Here’s a look inside the numbers at the 16 teams in the field for the 2015 NCAA tournament:

1

The Harvard Crimson have lost only once since Feb. 28, falling in one game of a best-of-three series against Yale in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. The Crimson are riding a surge of momentum with a return to health for Alex Kerfoot, Patrick McNally and Colin Blackwell, averaging 3.75 goals per game during that run.

2

The Miami RedHawks have only two conference tournament titles in program history, including the NCHC championship hauled in last Saturday. But that’s hardly a relevant number for the RedHawks, who are appearing in their 10th NCAA tournament in the last 12 years. They’ll face Providence for the 12th time in program history on Saturday, but Saturday’s game will be the first meeting in the postseason between the two.

3

Minnesota State has reached three consecutive NCAA tournaments, and this is only the fourth appearance overall in program history. The Mavericks enter the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed and look for their first Frozen Four appearance in school history. They won the Division II national championship in 1980, but since moving to Division I have not won an NCAA tournament game.

5

Five Quinnipiac Bobcats players were named all-ECAC Hockey selections last week. Among them is Matthew Peca, who scored a natural hat trick in four elapsed minutes in the 2013 East Regional, and Landon Smith, an all-rookie selection, marking the third time in four years Quinnipiac has landed a player on the all-conference rookie team.

6

Minnesota-Duluth’s Alex Iafallo has missed six consecutive games due to a case of mononucleosis. Even with his illness, Iafallo has the second-most points on the team this season. But in this recent six-game span, the Bulldogs have just one win and were swept out of the NCHC tournament by Denver in the quarterfinals. Before Iafallo’s illness, Duluth was 19-11-1.

7

Yale’s Alex Lyon has seven shutouts this season, one of three categories in which he leads the nation. His GAA (1.58) and save percentage (.939) are the other two. One more shutout would give Lyon the most in a single season since 2009, when Jordan Pearce recorded eight for Notre Dame.

10

Rochester Institute of Technology’s goaltending tandem of Mike Rotolo and Jordan Ruby has only allowed 10 goals during the Tigers’ seven-game winning streak entering the tournament. Rotolo started the first three games, Ruby the last four. Together, they’ve guided RIT through the full season, giving the Tigers the second-best penalty kill of all teams in the tournament, behind only the aforementioned Yale Bulldogs.

11

Jonny Brodzinski has scored 11 power-play goals this season for St. Cloud State, most in the nation. All the more impressive considering that, until facing Miami in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship, he hadn’t scored on the power play since Jan. 31. And outside of a two-goal performance against Denver to finish the regular season, he hadn’t scored at all since the end of January.

12

This will be Providence’s 12th game all-time at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, the first since 2004. The Friars won the 1985 Hockey East championship at what was then called the Providence Civic Center but haven’t played a postseason game in that building since 1986.

I0000TsrrHnyXfEI 16 teams, 16 numbers: A look at some facts and figures on the 2015 NCAA tournament

North Dakota has the longest active streak of NCAA tournament appearances, tied for second all-time behind Michigan’s 22 from 1991 to 2012 (photo: Bradley K. Olson).

13

North Dakota has reached the NCAA tournament for 13 consecutive years. And yet, during this span, the boys in green have no national championships to their name, having won the title last in 2000. Tantalizingly close to the title game last year, they’ll have plenty of fans anticipating a return trip to the Frozen Four when they begin their tournament in Fargo, N.D., this weekend.

18

At the start of the season, Omaha had 18 underclassmen on its roster. And they’ve been incredibly important for Omaha’s success this year. The top seven scorers for the Mavericks are all underclassmen, with freshmen (32) and sophomores (49) accounting for 81 of the team’s 96 goals this season.

28.2

Minnesota’s power-play conversion rate stands at 28.2 percent, best in the nation. Minnesota State (48) owns the highest volume of power-play goals, but the Golden Gophers have scored their 40 power-play tallies on just 142 opportunities, 55 fewer tries than the Mavericks have needed.

34

It’s been 34 years since Michigan Tech last made the NCAA tournament, back in 1981. Not only have the Huskies reached the NCAA tournament, they’ve entered as a No. 2 seed and as one of the hottest teams in the country, with only two losses in their last 15 games.

41

Boston University’s Evan Rodrigues has scored 41 points since Jan. 1, the most in college hockey in the calendar year 2015. Although perhaps overshadowed by his rookie teammate (and likely Hobey Baker Award winner) Jack Eichel, Rodrigues is just as important to the Terriers’ run to the Hockey East title. Coupled with Danny O’Regan, the trio forms one of the most potent lines in the country.

42

Denver has scored 42 goals in a 10-game span since Feb. 20, tied with Miami for most in the nation, just behind Boston University (4.33) for the highest per-game mark. Trevor Moore and Danton Heinen have combined for 12 goals during the run, but Denver’s scoring depth has been throughout the lineup — neither of the two scored a goal in the Pioneers’ 5-1 rout over North Dakota in the NCHC third-place game.

103

Boston College has won 103 games over the last four seasons, just two behind Minnesota (105) for the most in college hockey during that span. The Eagles won the 2012 national championship but haven’t won a conference tournament in the three years since. They’ll face Denver in the opening round of the tournament for the second consecutive year.

And a bonus 17th number:

35

The number of combined national championships for this year’s 16 tournament participants, owned by nine programs: Denver (7), North Dakota (7), Boston University (5), Boston College (5), Minnesota (5), Michigan Tech (3), Harvard (1), Minnesota-Duluth (1) and Yale (1).

Kayla Meneghin named USCHO rookie of the year

K Meneghin 6 Kayla Meneghin named USCHO rookie of the year

Kayla Meneghin of Plattsburgh (Tim Brule)

She scored a goal in her first collegiate game and then never looked back.

Plattsburgh’s Kayla Meneghin, who finished with 49 points on the year, good for a 1.63 point-per-game average, has been named USCHO Women’s D-III rookie of the year.

In her 30 games this year, Meneghin was only held without a point in seven of them. She had 14 multi-point games on the year, with her season-high coming on December 5, 2014, in a game against Buffalo State.

Showing poise beyond her years, Meneghin proved a key contributor to the Cardinals’ defense of their national title, scoring two goals against Norwich in the semifinals of the Frozen Four in a 5-2 win, then finished her season perfectly by scoring the game-winning goal in the national championship game against Elmira, a 3-2 win for Plattsburgh.

Meneghin led the Cardinals in scoring on the year.

Other candidates for rookie of the year included Carly Moran of Wisconsin-River Falls, Jessica Young of Middlebury, and Sydney Belinskas of Trinity.

USCHO rookie of the year Pankowski proves to be worth the wait

Pankowski Annie FrozenFour 15 1 USCHO rookie of the year Pankowski proves to be worth the wait

Annie Pankowski of Wisconsin (David Stluka)

Wisconsin’s Annie Pankowski is the USCHO Rookie of the Year for 2015.

The Laguna Hills, Calif. native would have started her career in Madison a year earlier, but she was one of the final cuts from the United States roster heading into the Olympics, delaying her NCAA debut. Prior to her national team stint, she played for North American Hockey Academy.

In her first year in cardinal and white, among the nation’s rookies Pankowski led in points per game (1.10) and goals (21), and she finished second in total points (43). That point total placed her atop the Badgers’ scoring chart.

Her season highlights included hat tricks versus Minnesota State and defending national champion Clarkson. Pankowski continued to display her scoring prowess in her first NCAA tournament. She needed less than three minutes versus Boston University to get loose on a breakaway and provide Wisconsin a lead it would not relinquish, adding a second goal a period later. In her first Frozen Four appearance against Minnesota, Pankowski ripped a laser off of a faceoff that found a corner to once again open the scoring.

With a quick release, deadly accuracy, and the creativity to get her shot off, Pankowski is certain to be among the scoring leaders throughout her career. Already named rookie of the year in her league by the WCHA and in the nation by the Women’s Hockey Commissioners Association, Pankowski adds USCHO’s top first-year award to her freshman laurels.

She emerged from a talented field that included goaltenders Shea Tiley and Katie Burt who backstopped season titles at Clarkson and Boston College, respectively, and prolific forwards such as NCAA points leader Kelly Pannek of Minnesota, Hockey East Rookie of the Year Victoria Bach, and the CHA’s top freshman, Stephanie Grossi. With the depth of talent in this freshman class, the game looks to be in good hands.

USCHO’s awards are voted on by the editor and writers.

History lessons for the first round of the NCAA tournament

2014101013 05 0821 History lessons for the first round of the NCAA tournament

Adam Krause and Minnesota-Duluth opened the season against Brady Skjei and Minnesota (photo: Jim Rosvold).

The NCAA tournament is usually a time when new sections get added to team record books to account for first-time opponents.

Not in 2015. The eight first-round matchups all have some history, slight though it may be in some cases.

There are three games between teams that used to call the same conference home. There’s a rare repeat of a first-round NCAA game from the year before.

There’s a game between programs that are better acquainted from their Division II and Division III days.

And schools separated by 150 miles of Minnesota highway will face off at an arena 1,400 miles away, the fifth different building the old foes have played in this season.

The NCAA tournament brings intrigue on its own. A little history never hurts to add some context.

Here’s a look at the 428 combined games in the all-time series between the teams playing each other in the first round Friday and Saturday. We’ll start with the rivalry that has produced the majority of those games:

Minnesota-Duluth vs. Minnesota

Series: Minnesota leads 134-78-17

Minnesota-Duluth has won more than three straight games against the Gophers only twice in the 229-game history between the teams — a four-game streak in the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons and a five-game run covering parts of 2002-03 and 2003-04. But the Bulldogs have won three in a row against the Gophers this season after a season-opening loss at the Ice Breaker Tournament.

And in something of an oddity, the four games played between the teams this season have all been in different venues: Compton Family Ice Arena, Mariucci Arena, Amsoil Arena and Xcel Energy Center. Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., will make it five games in five arenas.

Of the 229 previous games, only one has been played in the NCAA tournament — Minnesota-Duluth’s 3-1 win in the 2004 Midwest Regional final in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Date
Winner, score
Site
 
12/13/1952Minnesota 14-2Eveleth, Minn.
01/19/1962Minnesota 6-1Minneapolis
01/20/1962Minnesota 6-4Duluth, Minn.
12/15/1962Minnesota 7-2Minneapolis
12/21/1962Minnesota 7-2Minneapolis
12/22/1962Tie 4-4Duluth, Minn.
02/12/1963Minnesota 7-1Duluth, Minn.
11/29/1963Minnesota-Duluth 5-2Minneapolis
11/30/1963Minnesota-Duluth 7-5Minneapolis
01/17/1964Minnesota-Duluth 6-3Minneapolis
01/18/1964Minnesota 4-1Minneapolis
12/09/1964Minnesota-Duluth 6-5Minneapolis
02/05/1965Minnesota 9-3Minneapolis
02/06/1965Minnesota 5-2Minneapolis
02/23/1965Minnesota-Duluth 4-2Minneapolis
01/02/1966Minnesota 5-4Duluth, Minn.
02/08/1966Minnesota 5-3Minneapolis
11/19/1966Minnesota-Duluth 8-1Duluth, Minn.
01/20/1967Minnesota 9-4Minneapolis
01/21/1967Minnesota-Duluth 7-4Minneapolis
11/18/1967Minnesota 5-1Duluth, Minn.
12/19/1967Minnesota 7-2Minneapolis
02/16/1968Minnesota 4-0Minneapolis
02/17/1968Minnesota 6-5Duluth, Minn.
11/22/1968Minnesota-Duluth 5-3Duluth, Minn.
11/23/1968Minnesota 3-1Duluth, Minn.
02/07/1969Minnesota 4-3Minneapolis
02/08/1969Minnesota 6-1Minneapolis
11/14/1969Minnesota-Duluth 7-3Duluth, Minn.
11/15/1969Minnesota 3-2 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
01/09/1970Minnesota 5-3Minneapolis
01/10/1970Minnesota 2-1 (OT)Minneapolis
03/12/1970Minnesota 3-2 (3OT)Duluth, Minn. (1)
11/13/1970Minnesota-Duluth 6-3Duluth, Minn.
11/14/1970Minnesota-Duluth 7-2Duluth, Minn.
01/08/1971Minnesota 5-1Minneapolis
01/09/1971Minnesota 3-1Minneapolis
11/12/1971Minnesota-Duluth 4-1Duluth, Minn.
11/13/1971Minnesota-Duluth 5-2Duluth, Minn.
12/17/1971Minnesota-Duluth 15-3Minneapolis
12/18/1971Minnesota 5-3Minneapolis
02/02/1973Minnesota 3-2Duluth, Minn.
02/03/1973Minnesota-Duluth 7-5Duluth, Minn.
02/23/1973Minnesota-Duluth 8-0Minneapolis
02/24/1973Minnesota-Duluth 5-3Minneapolis
10/27/1973Minnesota-Duluth 4-3Duluth, Minn.
12/14/1973Tie 3-3Minneapolis
12/15/1973Minnesota 6-5Minneapolis
01/11/1974Minnesota-Duluth 4-3Duluth, Minn.
01/12/1974Minnesota-Duluth 5-2Duluth, Minn.
10/25/1974Minnesota-Duluth 4-3Duluth, Minn.
10/26/1974Minnesota 3-2 (OT)Eveleth, Minn. (2)
11/29/1974Minnesota 5-4Minneapolis
11/30/1974Minnesota 3-2 (OT)Minneapolis
01/17/1975Minnesota 6-5Duluth, Minn.
01/18/1975Minnesota 7-6 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
03/04/1975Minnesota 6-0Minneapolis (1)
03/05/1975Minnesota 4-2Minneapolis (1)
11/07/1975Minnesota 5-4 (OT)Minneapolis
11/08/1975Minnesota 4-2Minneapolis
01/30/1976Minnesota 5-3Duluth, Minn.
01/31/1976Minnesota 6-3Duluth, Minn.
10/16/1976Minnesota 9-5Eveleth, Minn. (2)
10/29/1976Minnesota 4-3Minneapolis
10/30/1976Tie 3-3Minneapolis
02/11/1977Minnesota 6-4Duluth, Minn.
02/12/1977Minnesota 7-3Duluth, Minn.
10/28/1977Minnesota 5-2Minneapolis
10/29/1977Minnesota 3-2Minneapolis
01/27/1978Minnesota 4-2Duluth, Minn.
01/28/1978Minnesota 6-5Duluth, Minn.
11/17/1978Minnesota 5-4 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
11/18/1978Minnesota-Duluth 5-4Duluth, Minn.
01/12/1979Tie 6-6Minneapolis
01/13/1979Minnesota-Duluth 6-1Minneapolis
03/10/1979Minnesota 2-1Minneapolis (1)
03/11/1979Minnesota 6-3Minneapolis (1)
11/16/1979Minnesota 5-4Duluth, Minn.
11/17/1979Minnesota-Duluth 6-3Duluth, Minn.
02/22/1980Minnesota 7-5Minneapolis
02/23/1980Minnesota-Duluth 7-4Minneapolis
11/14/1980Minnesota-Duluth 8-0Duluth, Minn.
11/15/1980Minnesota-Duluth 6-5Duluth, Minn.
02/20/1981Minnesota 5-2Minneapolis
02/21/1981Minnesota 9-1Minneapolis
03/06/1981Minnesota 5-1Minneapolis (1)
03/07/1981Minnesota-Duluth 7-5Minneapolis (1)
12/18/1981Tie 6-6Minneapolis
12/19/1981Minnesota-Duluth 4-2Minneapolis
01/15/1982Minnesota 5-1Duluth, Minn.
01/16/1982Minnesota-Duluth 6-3Duluth, Minn.
02/05/1982Minnesota-Duluth 5-3Minneapolis
02/06/1982Minnesota 6-3Minneapolis
11/05/1982Minnesota 4-2Duluth, Minn.
11/06/1982Minnesota-Duluth 4-1Duluth, Minn.
01/14/1983Minnesota-Duluth 9-3Duluth, Minn.
01/15/1983Minnesota 5-2Duluth, Minn.
01/28/1983Minnesota 4-3Minneapolis
01/29/1983Minnesota 3-2 (OT)Minneapolis
03/04/1983Minnesota 8-2Minneapolis (1)
03/05/1983Minnesota-Duluth 4-3Minneapolis (1)
11/04/1983Minnesota 5-4 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
11/05/1983Tie 3-3Duluth, Minn.
01/06/1984Minnesota-Duluth 7-2Minneapolis
01/07/1984Minnesota-Duluth 5-4Minneapolis
02/10/1984Minnesota 4-2Minneapolis
02/11/1984Minnesota-Duluth 6-3Minneapolis
01/18/1985Tie 6-6Duluth, Minn.
01/19/1985Minnesota-Duluth 8-6Duluth, Minn.
03/15/1985Minnesota 6-4Duluth, Minn. (1)
03/16/1985Minnesota-Duluth 6-2Duluth, Minn. (1)
10/25/1985Minnesota 4-2Duluth, Minn.
10/26/1985Minnesota-Duluth 5-2Duluth, Minn.
02/14/1986Minnesota 4-3Minneapolis
02/15/1986Minnesota 6-3Minneapolis
10/17/1986Minnesota 8-6Minneapolis
10/18/1986Minnesota 8-6Minneapolis
02/13/1987Minnesota 6-3Duluth, Minn.
02/14/1987Minnesota 5-1Duluth, Minn.
11/27/1987Minnesota 6-1Minneapolis
11/28/1987Minnesota 4-2Minneapolis
01/22/1988Minnesota 6-5 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
01/23/1988Minnesota-Duluth 2-1Duluth, Minn.
03/06/1988Minnesota 6-0St. Paul, Minn. (1)
11/18/1988Minnesota-Duluth 3-1Duluth, Minn.
11/19/1988Minnesota 4-2Duluth, Minn.
12/02/1988Minnesota-Duluth 5-2Minneapolis
12/03/1988Minnesota 7-1Minneapolis
10/20/1989Minnesota-Duluth 9-6Minneapolis
10/21/1989Minnesota-Duluth 4-2Minneapolis
01/19/1990Minnesota 4-1Duluth, Minn.
01/20/1990Minnesota 5-2Duluth, Minn.
11/09/1990Minnesota 3-2Duluth, Minn.
11/10/1990Minnesota 6-2Duluth, Minn.
01/31/1991Minnesota-Duluth 5-3Minneapolis
02/01/1991Tie 3-3Minneapolis
10/18/1991Minnesota 7-3Duluth, Minn.
10/19/1991Minnesota-Duluth 7-4Duluth, Minn.
01/10/1992Minnesota 3-0Minneapolis
01/11/1992Minnesota 5-4 (OT)Minneapolis
01/08/1993Minnesota-Duluth 4-3Minneapolis
01/09/1993Minnesota 6-5 (OT)Minneapolis
01/22/1993Minnesota-Duluth 8-4Duluth, Minn.
01/23/1993Minnesota-Duluth 7-4Duluth, Minn.
11/12/1993Minnesota 3-1Duluth, Minn.
11/13/1993Tie 3-3Duluth, Minn.
02/05/1994Minnesota 3-2 (OT)Minneapolis
02/06/1994Minnesota-Duluth 5-1Minneapolis
10/21/1994Minnesota 5-4Duluth, Minn.
10/22/1994Minnesota 6-2Duluth, Minn.
02/10/1995Minnesota 3-0Minneapolis
02/11/1995Minnesota 4-1Minneapolis
03/10/1995Minnesota 5-4 (OT)Minneapolis (1)
03/11/1995Minnesota 4-3Minneapolis (1)
11/17/1995Minnesota 2-0Duluth, Minn.
11/18/1995Minnesota 7-0Duluth, Minn.
01/12/1996Minnesota 5-3Minneapolis
01/13/1996Minnesota 5-1Minneapolis
10/25/1996Minnesota-Duluth 7-4Duluth, Minn.
10/26/1996Minnesota 4-3Duluth, Minn.
02/14/1997Minnesota-Duluth 8-4Minneapolis
02/15/1997Minnesota 7-1Minneapolis
10/24/1997Minnesota-Duluth 5-3Duluth, Minn.
10/25/1997Minnesota 5-1Duluth, Minn.
01/23/1998Minnesota 7-1Minneapolis
01/24/1998Minnesota 6-5Minneapolis
03/13/1998Minnesota-Duluth 7-3Duluth, Minn. (1)
03/14/1998Minnesota 5-0Duluth, Minn. (1)
03/15/1998Minnesota-Duluth 5-4 (OT)Duluth, Minn. (1)
10/16/1998Tie 2-2Minneapolis
10/17/1998Minnesota 3-1Minneapolis
02/26/1999Minnesota 4-1Duluth, Minn.
02/27/1999Minnesota 10-7Duluth, Minn.
11/19/1999Minnesota 5-3Minneapolis
11/20/1999Minnesota 4-0Minneapolis
02/04/2000Minnesota 3-2Duluth, Minn.
02/05/2000Minnesota 4-1Duluth, Minn.
10/20/2000Minnesota 3-1Minneapolis
10/21/2000Minnesota 9-2Minneapolis
02/23/2001Minnesota-Duluth 5-4 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
02/24/2001Minnesota 4-0Duluth, Minn.
11/16/2001Minnesota 5-1Minneapolis
11/17/2001Minnesota 5-3Minneapolis
02/01/2002Minnesota-Duluth 5-2Duluth, Minn.
02/02/2002Minnesota 2-1Duluth, Minn.
02/21/2003Minnesota 5-4Duluth, Minn.
02/22/2003Minnesota-Duluth 5-4 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
10/24/2003Minnesota-Duluth 4-3 (OT)Minneapolis
10/25/2003Minnesota-Duluth 4-2Minneapolis
02/13/2004Minnesota-Duluth 6-1Duluth, Minn.
02/14/2004Minnesota-Duluth 4-1Duluth, Minn.
03/19/2004Minnesota 7-4St. Paul, Minn. (1)
03/28/2004Minnesota-Duluth 3-1Grand Rapids, Mich. (3)
01/28/2005Minnesota 4-3Minneapolis
01/29/2005Minnesota-Duluth 3-2Minneapolis
11/04/2005Tie 2-2Duluth, Minn.
11/05/2005Minnesota-Duluth 4-3Duluth, Minn.
03/03/2006Minnesota 7-0Minneapolis
03/04/2006Minnesota 2-0Minneapolis
11/03/2006Minnesota 3-2Duluth, Minn.
11/04/2006Minnesota 3-2 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
01/18/2008Tie 1-1Duluth, Minn.
01/19/2008Minnesota 2-1Duluth, Minn.
03/07/2008Minnesota 4-1Minneapolis
03/08/2008Minnesota-Duluth 3-2Minneapolis
02/27/2009Tie 2-2Minneapolis
02/28/2009Minnesota 5-3Minneapolis
03/19/2009Minnesota-Duluth 2-1St. Paul, Minn. (1)
11/20/2009Minnesota-Duluth 4-3 (OT)Minneapolis
11/21/2009Minnesota-Duluth 3-2Minneapolis
02/26/2010Minnesota 3-2Duluth, Minn.
02/27/2010Minnesota-Duluth 3-0Duluth, Minn.
12/10/2010Minnesota 3-2Minneapolis
12/12/2010Tie 2-2Minneapolis
02/04/2011Tie 2-2Duluth, Minn.
02/05/2011Minnesota-Duluth 6-4Duluth, Minn.
10/14/2011Minnesota 5-4 (OT)Duluth, Minn.
10/15/2011Minnesota 5-4Duluth, Minn.
02/22/2013Minnesota 5-3Minneapolis
02/23/2013Tie 2-2Minneapolis
11/22/2013Minnesota 6-1Minneapolis
11/23/2013Minnesota-Duluth 6-2Minneapolis
01/25/2014Tie 4-4St. Paul, Minn. (4)
10/10/2014Minnesota 4-3South Bend, Ind. (5)
11/14/2014Minnesota-Duluth 3-0Minneapolis
11/15/2014Minnesota-Duluth 2-1Duluth, Minn.
01/24/2015Minnesota-Duluth 2-1St. Paul, Minn. (4)

(1) WCHA playoff game
(2) U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game
(3) Midwest Regional final
(4) North Star College Cup
(5) Ice Breaker Tournament

Michigan Tech vs. St. Cloud State

Series: St. Cloud State leads 55-28-5

Another pair of former conference mates, Michigan Tech and St. Cloud State have played two winner-take-all games against each other, with each winning one.

Michigan Tech won 4-3 in overtime in the 1996 WCHA Final Five quarterfinals, while St. Cloud State won Game 3 of a 1998 WCHA first-round series 6-2. Michigan Tech also swept a best-of-three first-round series in 1993.

Michigan Tech won the teams’ most recent meeting, the second game of a series in St. Cloud in March 2013, but St. Cloud State has won 15 of the last 18.

Date
Winner, score
Site
01/23/1948Michigan Tech 9-1Houghton, Mich.
01/24/1948Michigan Tech 9-3Houghton, Mich.
01/06/1956Michigan Tech 19-0Houghton, Mich.
01/07/1956Michigan Tech 13-0Houghton, Mich.
10/13/1989St. Cloud State 4-2Houghton, Mich.
10/14/1989St. Cloud State 4-2Houghton, Mich.
01/19/1990St. Cloud State 8-2St. Cloud, Minn.
01/20/1990St. Cloud State 5-0St. Cloud, Minn.
11/16/1990Michigan Tech 5-3St. Cloud, Minn.
11/17/1990Michigan Tech 6-5St. Cloud, Minn.
02/08/1991St. Cloud State 5-2Houghton, Mich.
02/09/1991Michigan Tech 7-4Houghton, Mich.
11/29/1991St. Cloud State 3-2St. Cloud, Minn.
11/30/1991Michigan Tech 4-3St. Cloud, Minn.
01/10/1992Michigan Tech 3-0Houghton, Mich.
01/11/1992Michigan Tech 4-1Houghton, Mich.
12/12/1992Tie 1-1St. Cloud, Minn.
12/13/1992St. Cloud State 6-2St. Cloud, Minn.
01/22/1993Michigan Tech 5-1Houghton, Mich.
01/23/1993St. Cloud State 7-4Houghton, Mich.
03/12/1993Michigan Tech 3-1Houghton, Mich. (1)
03/13/1993Michigan Tech 6-5Houghton, Mich. (1)
10/22/1993Michigan Tech 6-1Houghton, Mich.
10/23/1993Michigan Tech 3-2Houghton, Mich.
02/26/1994St. Cloud State 2-1 (OT)St. Cloud, Minn.
02/27/1994St. Cloud State 4-3St. Cloud, Minn.
01/13/1995Michigan Tech 5-3St. Cloud, Minn.
01/14/1995Michigan Tech 4-0St. Cloud, Minn.
12/09/1995St. Cloud State 3-2St. Cloud, Minn.
12/10/1995St. Cloud State 3-1St. Cloud, Minn.
02/02/1996Tie 4-4Houghton, Mich.
02/03/1996St. Cloud State 7-5Houghton, Mich.
03/07/1996Michigan Tech 4-3 (OT)Milwaukee (1)
11/19/1996Tie 3-3Houghton, Mich.
11/20/1996St. Cloud State 5-1Houghton, Mich.
02/28/1997St. Cloud State 5-3St. Cloud, Minn.
03/01/1997St. Cloud State 8-3St. Cloud, Minn.
11/07/1997St. Cloud State 3-2Houghton, Mich.
02/13/1998St. Cloud State 6-0St. Cloud, Minn.
02/14/1998St. Cloud State 4-3St. Cloud, Minn.
03/13/1998St. Cloud State 6-4St. Cloud, Minn. (1)
03/14/1998Michigan Tech 3-2St. Cloud, Minn. (1)
03/15/1998St. Cloud State 6-2St. Cloud, Minn. (1)
11/08/1998St. Cloud State 4-2Houghton, Mich.
11/13/1998Michigan Tech 3-1St. Cloud, Minn.
11/14/1998Michigan Tech 3-2St. Cloud, Minn.
01/15/1999Michigan Tech 4-2Houghton, Mich.
01/16/1999Michigan Tech 4-2Houghton, Mich.
01/14/2000St. Cloud State 4-2St. Cloud, Minn.
01/15/2000St. Cloud State 4-0St. Cloud, Minn.
12/01/2000St. Cloud State 4-3 (OT)Houghton, Mich.
12/02/2000St. Cloud State 4-3Houghton, Mich.
01/12/2001St. Cloud State 5-2St. Cloud, Minn.
01/13/2001St. Cloud State 4-1St. Cloud, Minn.
10/19/2001St. Cloud State 7-2St. Cloud, Minn.
10/20/2001St. Cloud State 7-3St. Cloud, Minn.
02/08/2002St. Cloud State 4-3Houghton, Mich.
02/09/2002St. Cloud State 3-2Houghton, Mich.
01/31/2003Michigan Tech 4-3 (OT)Houghton, Mich.
02/01/2003St. Cloud State 4-2Houghton, Mich.
10/24/2003Tie 3-3St. Cloud, Minn.
10/25/2003St. Cloud State 6-5St. Cloud, Minn.
02/06/2004St. Cloud State 4-1Houghton, Mich.
02/07/2004St. Cloud State 3-1Houghton, Mich.
11/12/2004St. Cloud State 3-1St. Cloud, Minn.
11/13/2004St. Cloud State 6-4St. Cloud, Minn.
11/11/2005Michigan Tech 3-2 (OT)Houghton, Mich.
11/12/2005St. Cloud State 7-0Houghton, Mich.
02/24/2006St. Cloud State 6-1St. Cloud, Minn.
02/25/2006Tie 2-2St. Cloud, Minn.
12/01/2006St. Cloud State 4-1Houghton, Mich.
12/02/2006St. Cloud State 3-2 (OT)Houghton, Mich.
11/09/2007St. Cloud State 5-2Houghton, Mich.
11/10/2007St. Cloud State 4-1Houghton, Mich.
02/22/2008St. Cloud State 4-1St. Cloud, Minn.
02/23/2008St. Cloud State 3-0St. Cloud, Minn.
02/13/2009St. Cloud State 3-2St. Cloud, Minn.
02/14/2009St. Cloud State 4-2St. Cloud, Minn.
10/30/2009Michigan Tech 3-1Houghton, Mich.
10/31/2009St. Cloud State 3-1Houghton, Mich.
01/08/2010St. Cloud State 4-2St. Cloud, Minn.
01/09/2010St. Cloud State 5-1St. Cloud, Minn.
01/07/2011St. Cloud State 3-0St. Cloud, Minn.
01/08/2011St. Cloud State 5-1St. Cloud, Minn.
02/24/2012St. Cloud State 5-2Houghton, Mich.
02/25/2012Michigan Tech 3-2Houghton, Mich.
03/01/2013St. Cloud State 5-3St. Cloud, Minn.
03/02/2013Michigan Tech 5-1St. Cloud, Minn.

(1) WCHA playoff game

Boston University vs. Yale

Series: Tied 30-30-3

Boston University and Yale have played 63 times in a series that dates to 1924, but this will be the first neutral-site meeting and first postseason matchup.

The Bulldogs won the first 20 games in the series between 1924 and 1947, so for the Terriers to have caught up shows how dominant they were in the teams’ shared ECAC days (17-4-1 between 1961 and 1984).

Four of the last five games between the teams have gone to overtime, including the most recent meeting in November 2006, a 2-1 Terriers victory at Agganis Arena in which Matt Gilroy scored nine seconds into the extra session.

Date
Winner, score
Site
02/13/1924Yale 6-0New Haven, Conn.
02/11/1925Yale 2-1Boston
01/19/1927Yale 7-3New Haven, Conn.
01/17/1928Yale 9-1New Haven, Conn.
12/12/1928Yale 3-0New Haven, Conn.
12/11/1929Yale 6-2New Haven, Conn.
01/07/1931Yale 8-2New Haven, Conn.
02/10/1932Yale 6-1New Haven, Conn.
02/08/1933Yale 5-2New Haven, Conn.
12/13/1933Yale 3-1New Haven, Conn.
12/12/1934Yale 9-1New Haven, Conn.
01/15/1936Yale 7-2New Haven, Conn.
12/09/1936Yale 9-3New Haven, Conn.
12/08/1937Yale 6-3New Haven, Conn.
12/16/1938Yale 12-2New Haven, Conn.
12/13/1939Yale 5-4New Haven, Conn.
12/11/1940Yale 12-0New Haven, Conn.
12/10/1941Yale 8-0New Haven, Conn.
12/12/1942Yale 19-1New Haven, Conn.
02/08/1947Yale 6-5Boston
01/17/1948Boston University 4-3New Haven, Conn.
01/08/1949Boston University 7-2New Haven, Conn.
01/30/1950Boston University 7-4Boston
01/31/1951Yale 5-4New Haven, Conn.
01/30/1952Yale 5-3Boston
12/17/1952Yale 4-1New Haven, Conn.
12/08/1953Yale 7-0Boston
12/08/1954Boston University 3-2 (OT)New Haven, Conn.
12/06/1955Boston University 5-3Boston
02/02/1957Boston University 2-1New Haven, Conn.
12/11/1957Boston University 6-2Boston
02/11/1959Yale 3-1New Haven, Conn.
12/02/1959Boston University 8-1Boston
02/08/1961Yale 4-2New Haven, Conn.
12/06/1961Boston University 4-3Boston
02/06/1963Yale 5-4New Haven, Conn.
12/02/1963Boston University 6-0Boston
02/03/1965Boston University 4-0New Haven, Conn.
11/30/1965Boston University 7-0Boston
02/04/1967Boston University 8-3New Haven, Conn.
11/29/1967Boston University 9-1Boston
01/08/1969Boston University 5-3New Haven, Conn.
11/29/1969Boston University 5-0Boston
02/03/1971Boston University 6-1New Haven, Conn.
11/27/1971Boston University 6-3Boston
01/09/1974Yale 3-2 (OT)New Haven, Conn.
02/15/1975Boston University 11-7Boston
02/21/1976Boston University 12-3New Haven, Conn.
02/19/1977Boston University 7-3Boston
02/18/1978Yale 7-5New Haven, Conn.
02/17/1979Tie 4-4Boston
02/16/1980Boston University 5-3New Haven, Conn.
12/10/1980Boston University 5-3Boston
12/09/1981Boston University 1-0New Haven, Conn.
12/08/1982Yale 4-1Boston
12/07/1983Boston University 7-3New Haven, Conn.
11/24/1987Boston University 8-6Boston
12/07/1988Boston University 5-3New Haven, Conn.
12/06/1996Tie 1-1New Haven, Conn.
01/23/2000Tie 1-1Boston
11/13/2001Boston University 4-3 (OT)New Haven, Conn.
11/30/2003Boston University 7-2Boston
11/25/2006Boston University 2-1 (OT)Boston

Denver vs. Boston College

Series: Denver leads 15-13

Denver and Boston College also met in the first round last season, when the No. 2 overall seed Eagles won 6-2. This is just the sixth time in the tournament’s 68-year history that teams have met in the first round in consecutive seasons.

St. Cloud State and Notre Dame met in both the 2013 and 2014 first rounds. The other repeats were all in the era when only four teams made the tournament: Boston College and Colorado College in 1949 and 1950; Boston University and Michigan in 1950 and 1951; Boston University and Michigan State in 1966 and 1967; and Cornell and North Dakota in 1967 and 1968.

The Eagles and the Pioneers also played earlier this season, splitting a series in Denver in which both teams won a 2-1 game.

Date
Winner, score
Site
03/14/1968Denver 4-1Duluth, Minn. (1)
12/26/1969Denver 6-2Denver
12/27/1969Denver 7-6 (OT)Denver
03/15/1973Denver 10-4Boston (1)
12/27/1974Boston College 5-2Denver
12/28/1974Denver 10-4Denver
11/09/1984Denver 8-3Denver
11/10/1984Boston College 7-4Denver
12/01/1985Boston College 4-3Chestnut Hill, Mass.
12/03/1985Denver 9-3Chestnut Hill, Mass.
01/09/1987Boston College 8-6Denver
11/27/1987Denver 6-4Boston
11/14/1988Boston College 6-2Denver
12/29/1993Denver 4-2Denver (2)
11/26/1994Denver 4-3 (OT)Chestnut Hill, Mass.
12/28/1998Denver 4-3 (OT)Denver (2)
10/20/2000Boston College 3-2Denver
10/21/2000Boston College 3-2Denver
10/12/2001Denver 4-3Anchorage, Alaska (3)
10/18/2002Boston College 4-2Chestnut Hill, Mass.
10/15/2004Boston College 6-2Chestnut Hill, Mass.
01/02/2010Denver 4-3Denver (2)
10/15/2010Boston College 6-2Denver
10/16/2010Boston College 3-0Denver
10/14/2011Denver 4-2Chestnut Hill, Mass.
3/29/2014Boston College 6-2Worcester, Mass. (4)
10/31/2014Boston College 2-1Denver
11/1/2014Denver 2-1 (OT)Denver

(1) NCAA semifinal
(2) Denver Cup
(3) Nye Frontier Classic
(4) NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal

Miami vs. Providence

Series: Tied 4-4-2

Since being matched for the first round of the 2011 Denver Cup, Miami and Providence have traded home series in recent seasons.

And those four games all went to overtime. In October 2012, Miami’s Austin Czarnik scored in an extra session to win at home. Last season, Niko Rufo scored on a five-on-three power play in overtime for the Friars.

Date
Winner, score
Site
12/22/1990Providence 8-1Oxford, Ohio
10/23/1998Miami 5-3Providence, R.I.
10/22/1999Providence 5-3Oxford, Ohio
10/23/1999Miami 5-2Oxford, Ohio
10/20/2000Providence 5-0Providence, R.I.
11/25/2011Miami 6-2Denver (1)
10/19/2012Tie 1-1Oxford, Ohio
10/20/2012Miami 4-3 (OT)Oxford, Ohio
10/25/2013Providence 3-2 (OT)Providence, R.I.
10/26/2013Tie 4-4Providence, R.I.

(1) Denver Cup

Minnesota State vs. RIT

Series: Tied 3-3

Rochester Institute of Technology got the better of the school then known as Mankato State when the teams were at the Division II and III levels.

The Tigers advanced with a 9-7 victory in a total-goals first-round series in the 1983 Division II tournament, which they capped with the school’s first national championship. RIT also won a Division III third-place game in 1986.

The Mavericks won the only Division I games between the schools, in January 2010 in Mankato, Minn. The Tigers ended that season with a run to the Frozen Four.

Date
Winner, score
Site
03/11/1983RIT 6-1Rochester, N.Y. (1)
03/12/1983Minnesota State 6-3Rochester, N.Y. (1)
03/21/1986RIT 6-0Bemidji, Minn. (2)
12/06/1986RIT 3-2Rochester, N.Y.
01/01/2010Minnesota State 6-1Mankato, Minn.
01/02/2010Minnesota State 3-0Mankato, Minn.

(1) NCAA Division II total-goals first-round series
(2) NCAA Division III consolation game

North Dakota vs. Quinnipiac

Series: North Dakota leads 2-0

In 2006, North Dakota swept a season-opening home series from Quinnipiac, then starting its second season in ECAC Hockey.

Jonathan Toews recorded his only collegiate hat trick in the second game, a 4-2 North Dakota win. T.J. Oshie assisted on all three goals.

Date
Winner, score
Site
10/06/2006North Dakota 6-1Grand Forks, N.D.
10/07/2006North Dakota 4-2Grand Forks, N.D.

Omaha vs. Harvard

Series: Harvard leads 2-0

Omaha’s program was still in its infancy the only time the Mavericks played Harvard.

It was in December 1998, Omaha’s second season, and the Crimson won both games of a series at Omaha Civic Auditorium.

Date
Winner, score
Site
12/18/1998Harvard 4-1Omaha, Neb.
12/19/1998Harvard 4-3Omaha, Neb.

Mercyhurst’s Sisti among three finalists for Minnesota-Duluth women’s coaching vacancy

mike sisti Mercyhursts Sisti among three finalists for Minnesota Duluth womens coaching vacancy

Longtime Mercyhurst women’s coach Mike Sisti is a finalist for the vacant Minnesota-Duluth head coaching job (photo: Mercyhurst Athletics).

Minnesota-Duluth revealed Tuesday the three finalists for the Bulldogs’ head women’s hockey coach position – Harvard associate head coach Maura Crowell, UMD assistant Laura Schuler and Mercyhurst head coach Mike Sisti.

Crowell has spent the past five years on the Harvard coaching staff, serving as an associate head coach this past season (when it placed second at the NCAA Frozen Four), the interim head coach in 2013-14 and an assistant coach from 2011-13. She also served as the head coach at Massachusetts-Boston for five seasons (2005-10) and compiled a 73-53-4 record.

Schuler recently completed her seventh season as a UMD assistant coach and was the head coach at Northeastern for four years (2004-08) before coming to UMD and spent one season in that same capacity at UMass-Boston.

Sisti is the only head coach Mercyhurst has employed in the 16-year existence of its women’s hockey program. He has guided the Lakers to a 410-108-34 record (23-9-3 in 2014-15), 10 NCAA tournament berths, 14 consecutive conference titles and 14 straight 20-win seasons. He was named the USCHO.com Coach of the Year in both 2005 and 2007.

The finalists will be on campus Tuesday and Wednesday with a selection expected in the next week or so.

The coaching vacancy was created when the school announced during the past season that Shannon Miller would not be retained for the 2015-16 season.

How conference tournament attendance both rose and fell in 2015

joelouis seats How conference tournament attendance both rose and fell in 2015

Empty seats were common at the Big Ten tournament in Detroit (photo: Larry Radloff).

Before you see the graphic and observe that the total announced attendance for the conference tournament weekend in 2015 fell below 100,000 for the first time in the 16 years we’re looking at, stop to consider a contributing factor.

Between 2014 and 2015, two conferences changed how they ticketed their tournaments. The Big Ten went from five separate sessions, each with a single game, to three — one for each day. The WCHA ditched having separate tickets for its semifinal games in favor of a combined session.

That means there were 13 total sessions across the six conferences last weekend, down from 16 a year ago.

So while the total attendance hit another low at 97,977, the average per session was up 14 percent over last season’s rock-bottom level.

That’s not meant to gloss over the simple fact that fewer people are attending conference tournament games in the two years since the major Western conference shuffle. That’s impossible to miss, either from looking at the numbers or from watching in person or on TV.

We’ll get into that a little more after the graphic, which this year includes the per-session averages by season:

The pictures coming out of Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, where the Big Ten had its three-day championship tournament, were not flattering, to say the least.

 

That was from Friday afternoon’s Minnesota-Ohio State game. But even when the featured attraction was Michigan against Michigan State in that night’s semifinals, the announced attendance for the session was just 6,324.

Seven weeks earlier, the Wolverines and the Spartans attracted a sellout crowd of 20,027 in the same venue — granted, with much more advance notice.

The Big Ten is halfway through a four-year arrangement that has the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., alternating with Joe Louis Arena as host for the six-team tournament.

After averaging 8,522 in attendance in St. Paul last season, the Big Ten averaged 5,381 in Detroit.

There were more positive signs in the other five leagues in the 2015 playoff championship weekend.

The WCHA moved back to the Xcel Energy Center while the Big Ten was away and had its per-session average more than double over last season’s tournament in Grand Rapids, Mich.

At Minneapolis’ Target Center, NCHC Frozen Faceoff attendance was up nearly 3,000 per day, or 34 percent, over 2014.

Looking at both Twin Cities buildings combined, the per-session average in 2015 was 9,544 compared to 8,552 in 2014.

Still, that’s not even close to the 15,444 that the WCHA averaged over the final five seasons before the 2013 breakup sent some members to the Big Ten and NCHC and brought others in from the CCHA.

The Eastern leagues all showed growth over last season.

Hockey East’s two-day total attendance of 26,615 at Boston’s TD Garden was up 15 percent. In its second season back in Lake Placid, N.Y., ECAC Hockey’s attendance grew by 8 percent.

And in Atlantic Hockey, with Rochester Institute of Technology winning the championship in its hometown, attendance was the highest ever for the tournament. The two-day total of 7,079 was up 167 percent over last season.

In the West, there’s talk of ways of changing the tournaments to put more people in the seats of the big buildings that host the events.

In a story on WCCO-TV in Minneapolis on Sunday night, WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson said he has discussed with his NCHC counterpart, Josh Fenton, the possibility of putting their two tournaments into the same building on the same weekend.

“Might be one of the alternatives to make this much better,” Robertson told the station’s David McCoy.

The NCHC has a contract with Target Center for the next three seasons, while the WCHA again will alternate between Grand Rapids and St. Paul over the next two seasons.

In the meantime, the conferences will have to make the best of the situations they’re in. And many eyes are on the Big Ten, especially, to see how it responds to the small crowds.

Ashley Ryan named player of year

 

ashley ryan Ashley Ryan named player of year

Ashley Ryan of Elmira is USCHo’s player of the year. (Elmira College Athletics)

Ashley Ryan has been named USCHO’s D-III Women’s Player of the Year.

Ryan’s 42 assists were tops in the nation, and in face on assists alone, she was seventh in country in scoring. Add in 19 goals for a torrid 2.03 points-per-game average (61 points), and Ryan blew past her closest pursuers in the scoring rage. She finished 11 points ahead of the second-place scorer, her teammate Ashton Hogan.

In her 30 games this season, Ryan had at least a point in 25 of them. She also had 18 multi-point games, with a high of six assists against Cortland on Nov. 15, 2014. She also had five assists against Potsdam on Dec. 7, 2014, and had three games where she scored four points.

In the Frozen Four, Ryan had an assist on the first goal against Wis.-River Falls, which helped spark Elmira’s rally from a two-goal deficit in the Soaring Eagles’ 3-2 win, and she scored a goal against Plattsburgh to tie it at one in the championship game, which Elmira lost, 3-2.

Ryan beat out her teammate, Hogan, as well as Chloe Kinsel of Wisconsin-River Falls and Kayla Meneghin of Plattsburgh. The USCHO awards are voted on by the women’s editor and writers.

Nation’s top goal scorer Vesey is Harvard’s first Walter Brown winner since 2005

141101 19241558 Nations top goal scorer Vesey is Harvards first Walter Brown winner since 2005

Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey scored 31 goals in 2014-15 and was named the winner of the 63rd Walter Brown Award (photo: Melissa Wade).

The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Tuesday that Harvard junior forward Jimmy Vesey is the winner of the 63rd Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.

Vesey finished first in the final balloting just ahead of Boston University freshman Jack Eichel.

“Jimmy is a great player who has had a tremendous season,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said in a news release. “He has been incredibly consistent offensively, leading the country in goals scored, and has been relied upon in all key situations. Jimmy has also established himself as a team leader both on and off the ice. He is very deserving of this prestigious award and we are very proud of him.”

Vesey led all Division I players with 31 goals and also added 26 assists to give him 57 points and place him in a tie with BU’s Evan Rodrigues for second in the nation in that category.

Vesey was also named ECAC Player of the Year and this season was the third straight in which Vesey made the roster of Walter Brown Award semifinalists. He is the tenth player from Harvard to win the Walter Brown Award and the 11th Harvard recipient. Bob Cleary was the winner in both 1957 and 1958. Harvard’s last winner was goalie Dov Grumet-Morris in 2005.

“The 20 semifinalist candidates for the Walter Brown Award this year made up our largest group ever,” added Gridiron Club committee chairman Tim Costello. “But as the season progressed and the playoffs commenced, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that it would come down to Jimmy or Jack. The Gridiron Club and the selection committee extend their congratulations to both of them on their superlative seasons.”

The Walter Brown Award, established at the 20th reunion of the 1933 Massachusetts Rangers in honor of Brown, who coached the Rangers to America’s first World Championship in Prague, Czechoslovakia, will be presented at the New England College Hockey Writers’ Dinner on April 22.

Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau won the award in 2014.

Past winners McShane, Arena, Loen named finalists for 2015 Edward Jeremiah Award

loen3 Past winners McShane, Arena, Loen named finalists for 2015 Edward Jeremiah Award

Matt Loen of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is one of 11 coaches nominated for the 2015 Edward Jeremiah Award (photo: Rick Mickelson).

Eleven coaches have been named finalists for the Edward Jeremiah Award, given annually to the NCAA Division III men’s coach of the year.

Named in honor of the former Dartmouth head coach, the award will be presented during the AHCA Convention on Saturday, May 2, in Naples, Fla., after being announced March 26 at the D-III national tournament banquet.

The nominees are any coach who won or shared Coach of the Year honors in his conference this past season, along with coaches whose teams have advanced to the D-III Frozen Four.

Of this year’s finalists, three were past recipients: Mike McShane of Norwich (1997, 1999, 2000 and 2010), Jack Arena of Amherst (2012) and Matt Loen of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (2013).

Coach
School
Jack ArenaAmherst
David BorgesStonehill
Chris BrooksWisconsin-Stevens Point
Bob EmeryPlattsburgh
Matt GreasonTrinity
Adam KrugAdrian
Matt LoenWisconsin-Eau Claire
Mike McShaneNorwich
Bill MooreSt. Mary's
Craig RussellPlymouth State
Kevin SwallowNichols
BNY Mellon Wealth Management