A strong showing for USCHO.com’s Division I conference correspondents meant the bar was high for advancement to the finals in our second annual picks competition.
Indeed, the staff turned in an impressive 30-10 record in picking the West and East Regional results, including a majority correctly picking Maine to reach the Frozen Four via an upset win over Boston University. The standings:
Jim Connelly (MAAC): 8-0
Dave Hendrickson (HEA): 7-1
Paula C. Weston (CCHA): 6-2
Todd D. Milewski (WCHA): 5-3
Jayson Moy/Becky Blaeser (ECAC): 4-4
That means that Connelly, with a perfect record, and Hendrickson, whose only miss was in failing to pick Michigan over Denver in the quarterfinals, move into the championship. One of these two will be crowned USCHO’s picks champion, succeeding Milewski, the 2001 titlist.
The rules, as before: pick a winner for each of the three games at the Frozen Four, straight up. One point is awarded per game picked correctly, with total goals scored in all games as the tiebreaker. (For the championship game, to earn the point you only have to have the winner right, not both teams.)
New Hampshire vs. Maine: Just as in 1999, the Black Bears will avenge their loss to UNH. The Bears are on to the final. Maine, 3-2.
Minnesota vs. Michigan: Regardless of what people say, there are going to be tons of Gopher fans in the stands to help win this one. Minnesota, 4-2.
Minnesota vs. Maine: The Black Bears’ impressive run ends in Gopher territory. Minnesota, 4-3.
New Hampshire vs. Maine: Maine has more Frozen Four experience, but UNH simply has too much talent. Jim Abbott on the fourth line? Gimme a break! New Hampshire, 3-2
Minnesota vs. Michigan: The Wolverines’ youth finally catches up with them away from Yost Arena. The Golden Gopher faithful go home happy, a least until Saturday. Minnesota, 4-1
New Hampshire vs. Minnesota: The Wildcats take their first ever national championship. UNH coach Dick Umile is elected Granite State Governor For Life. New Hampshire, 3-2