Harvard earns its tickets to Duluth

No big surprises in No. 1 Harvard’s 5-1 NCAA women’s quarterfinal win over Dartmouth. Harvard proves once again why it was the best in the ECAC this season. The attendance of 1497 was solid, but I was hoping for a little better. It was up from Harvard’s 2005 NCAA quarterfinal, the triple overtime win over Mercyhurst which was seen by 1,013.

One characteristic of this Harvard team is that it handles pressure well. This Harvard team has been much more loose, relaxed, and joyous than past Crimson No. 1 teams. Such attitude should be an asset for the Crimson going forward.

One downside for Harvard is this year’s edition is the first since the WCHA’s existence not to play a WCHA team during the regular season. Now in the NCAA semifinals, Harvard will be assured of facing a WCHA opponent. Harvard lost its only game against a non-ECAC NCAA team this season by a 4-1 margin to UNH, so this Crimson team still has plenty to prove at the national level.

More thoughts on intraconference play in the NCAA tournament — it is fair to allow for it in cases in which the No. 1 team and the No. 8 team are from the same conferences, and there is a big gap in the selection criteria between No. 1 and 2 and No. 7 and 8. That was the surely case this season. This debate was also relevant in 2006, when it looked as if No. 1 UNH would have a tough quarterfinal against No. 7 Mercyhurst against a much weaker No. 8 BC, but Harvard pulled off a surprising ECAC tourney win and made that debate irrelevant. Protecting the No. 1 seed in a tournament is a noble goal, although it sure makes for a less interesting quarterfinal matchup.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think ND has anything to play for here, way from home, in what will probably be a blase’ environment. I would not be shocked at all for MT to come of this weekend with at at least a point. Trap games.

  2. UNO leads the nation in shutouts (6) and their goaltending is “average”?

    Plus, Faulkner has taken a shutout into the 3rd period of 12 games (more than 1/3 of UNO’s entire schedule), and UNO’s goaltending is “average”?

    Right.

    How about, if we had better defensemen and took a few less penalties we’d have the best goaltending in the NCAA? That sounds a lot more like it to me.

    If Faulkner isn’t the WCHA goaltender of the year, there’s something really wrong here.

    • Faulkner won’t be goaltender of the year because sorry but the WCHA doesn’t have that award. We have a “goaltending champion” which goes to the goalie with the best goals against average in league play, and it’s looking like that will be Aaron Dell. So sorry. Faulkner will have to settle for *maybe* one of the all-wcha awards.

    • As a UNO fan, I almost made the same post. But his GAA is 2.50 and save percentage is 91.1. Those are fair numbers but there are 6 other WCHA goalies ahead of him in the same categories and having a similar amount of games. So that’s middle of the pack and does not equate to goaltender of the year. Don’t get me wrong, he can steal games. I’ve seen it numerous times this year. And if he gets on a roll, UNO has a good chance to do some damage.

  3. Why is it that all season long they don’t give tech a chance in heck to win anything, but all of a sudden they are predicting a win against the Sioux in one of the upcoming two weekends? I understand they beat us two years ago in the Ralph, but I firmly believe that this year the Sioux are better than they were two years ago, and at the same time I think Tech is worse than two years ago. True, upsets can always happen, but I think the Sioux are just too deep of a team and playing too well this time of year for that to happen. Long story short, I’m wondering why they picked a team that is #1 in every poll and #2 in the pairwise to be one of the few teams to drop one against Tech?

  4. “Wait until next week when the series will most likely go three.” That is the best laugh I have had in a long time

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