I regret not being able to make it to Superior – what an amazing three games. All one goal games, with two needing overtime to settle things. Here’s the winning moment, courtesy of Oswego’s Sports Information Department:
A big congratulations to Ed Gosek and his team. He’s one of the classiest guys in college hockey and I’m happy for him.Middlebury’s reign comes to an end…barely. Both the men and women fell in their respective championship games defending their titles, and have nothing to be ashamed of. Both will be back.Some thoughts on the weekend:
- I caught some of the internet broadcasts and the quality was good. When I had to switch to my Mac iBook and head to the rink to cover the AHA finals, I tried to switch to both CSTV GameTracker and PrestoSports LiveStats but neither worked despite promoting the event ahead of time.
- Year two of the neutral site experiment has mixed results. More than enough room for fans, unfortunately, as the stands looked 2/3 full for the championship game. Not enough room for press, which according to people that were there, had limited internet access and didn’t have the best vantage point. The fans that were there and players sounded very positive about the experience, however.
- I was disappointed at the comments made by Steve Nelson, the Athletic Director at UWS during the internet broadcast of the first semifinal. Nelson is also a member of the West Region and the National Tournament Committees. When asked a softball question about the selection process, Nelson cautioned against looking at the USCHO.com Pairwise, saying that the numbers “delivered to my computer on Monday”, the “official numbers”, were different than USCHO’s, which is why the teams selected were different that what many were projecting. Nelson is mistaken. How do I know this? Because, thanks to sources out there, I have seen the “official” numbers and they are virtually identical to the PWR. What is not identical is the weighting the numbers have. And that weighting explains why Norwich was selected over Neumann and why UW-Superior was suddenly ranked above UW-Stout right before the weekend of the conference finals. Here’s a suggestion – use the same process as the D-I committee uses. Not necessarily the same criteria, but the same process, which is out in the open. Every coach and player in D-I knew exactly what they needed to do to get into the tournament, and as last Saturday’s results came in, the field was set and everybody knew it. St. Lawrence knew, for example, that if it won its consolation game, it was in. Plain and simple. The 16 teams in the D-I tournament were known as soon as the final buzzer sounded on Saturday. There’s no reason that this can’t work in D-III.
OK, enough ranting. Hat’s off to all the D-III teams in this tournament, especially the final four. Based on what I saw, any of those teams could have won the title and would have been deserving champions. Thanks to Matt Webb for covering things for us solo. Atlantic Hockey was nice enough to change their playoff format next season, so odds are I’ll be in Lake Placid to see the 2008 champion crowned. I really, really missed being there this season.