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College Hockey:
Paula’s picks, Frozen Four semifinals: April 5, 2012

It’s a great day for hockey. It’s a little overcast and the palm trees are too still — just a little breeze — but it’s lovely. Yes, it’s a little freaky that college hockey’s grand finale is being played out this weekend in a subtropical climate, but the greater hockey community seems to have adjusted very nicely.

Time to pick the semifinals games. My apologies to Union College and Boston College. Why I owe them apologies will be clear in just a moment.

Regionals weekend: 3-9
Season to date: 135-100-25 (.567)

None of the teams I predicted to make the Frozen Four did so. That means I was lucky for both the Dutchmen and the Golden Gophers … two weeks ago.

Semifinal picks

Today’s picks with very brief rationalizations.

Ferris State vs. Union College. I am happy for each of these programs, but — frankly — happier for the Bulldogs. I’ve been covering CCHA hockey since 1995, and I can honestly say that the Ferris State program epitomizes what CCHA hockey is all about: hard-working, committed to academics as well as athletics, great CCHA citizens, and some of the nicest people in the business. Sadly, I think the Bulldogs will fall to the Dutchmen. Of the four teams in this field, FSU has the least-reliable offense. It’s difficult to determine who will score and when. That was typical of the entire CCHA this season, great defense and streaky offense. I think we’re looking at a really good, low-scoring game. Union 2-1

Minnesota vs. Boston College. Each of these teams is scary-fast with the ability to both score and defend but the Eagles haven’t lost a game since Jan. 21 and didn’t allow a goal in the Northeast regional. BC 4-2

No, I’m not trying to jinx the Dutchmen and Eagles. I really think that they’ll win. I really thought my picks for the regionals would win, too. I’m just that bad.

My schedule and yesterday’s Ferris State stories

For today, my duties include a feature on Ferris State — something game-related, so look for it later — as well as live blogging during the first semifinal. Brian Sullivan and I will split a couple of stories related to the Minnesota-BC game later today. He and I are also splitting coverage of the Hobey Baker Award ceremony tomorrow.

You can check out everything I wrote or uploaded about Ferris State yesterday on the Frozen Four blog. I recommend that you browse that blog for great coverage of the whole event, but here are links to what I posted yesterday in case you don’t have the time.

FSU’s great defense and No. 21 offense.

Video reaction to Bob Daniels winning the Spencer Penrose Award, and a little CCHA pride.

The big-school-small-school nonsense.

The Bulldogs and their playoff beards.

As always, you can comment here and I will respond. Play nice, CCHA fans. Also, email is welcome (paula.weston@uscho.com) and comments via Twitter (@paulacweston).

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