TAMPA, Fla. – Saturday will mark the sixth time that two teams with the same colors match up for the national title, and will be the second such sartorial situation pitting Hockey East against the CCHA. Past instances:
• North Dakota beat Michigan State in 1959
• Cornell beat Boston University in 1967
• BU returned the favor in 1972
• UND beat MSU again in 1987
• BU beat Miami in 2009
What’s the pattern? For the life of me, I haven’t been able to find one. It’s funny that only the BU-Miami battle featured an Eastern team against a Western opponent … but it’s only a little funny. So maybe the pattern — the only pattern — is that (Hockey) East has gotten the better of the West, 100 percent of the time.
Also, the season finale has seen a team wearing maroon and gold in 13 of the last 15 years, Saturday’s pairing inclusive.
Hail to the chiefs
For the fourth time in a row, a Hockey East team will play for the crown in a presidential election year. BC is 1-1 in those games, and Maine fell to Denver in 2004 in the other matchup. The CCHA contended for the title in each of the four election years prior (4-0).
Bigger is better
The school with the longer (informal) name has won four straight national titles (and in 2007, Michigan State — 13 letters — beat Boston College, also with 13 letters). That would favor BC over Ferris State (11 letters) this time around.
They put the HEA in heat
The NCAA has held only two “tropical” championships — Anaheim, Calif., in 1999 and this one — and Hockey East has featured prominently in each of those. Maine beat New Hampshire in Southern California, and now BC makes it three for four for the New England conference.
Dogs vs. Birds
Dogs (Bulldogs, Huskies and Terriers, specifically) are 9-11 all-time in championship bouts. Birds (Eagles, RedHawks and Falcons) are 5-7. Dogs are 3-1 against birds, the most recent inter-species iteration occuring in 2009, when the Boston University Terriers bested the Miami RedHawks in Washington, D.C.