The Pairwise Is Right

Any time you pick an NCAA field, there’ll be complaining from teams and fans who disagree with the selections or the seedings. This year was no exception, as Wisconsin and Notre Dame, a couple of teams that struggled down the stretch, got invites based on the objective system used by the NCAA Ice Hockey Committee. Unlike most other sports, the selection criteria in D-I hockey are written in stone, and never has the committee gone against the numbers.

And again this season, it looks like their decisions have been vindicated. Wisconsin made it to the regional finals, and Notre Dame, the last at-large team in the tournament and 13th seed overall, has made it to the championship game.

“We’ve been though a lot the second half of the season,” said Notre Dame defenseman Kyle Lawson. “It think it was good to get some redemption.”

Let’s hope this process, especially its transparency, continues.


    • I find her posting the tv broadcast schedule humorous. As if college hockey fans, who are a bread of their own, don’t know what time, channel, radio station their team is playing on. Just hilarious. This blog is disappointing yet i continue to come back time and again hoping for a miracle. At least Drew actually provides some insight, albeit, he messes up on his records, stats, etc. far to many times.

  1. Don Lucia says Lettieri ‘likely’ won’t play, so I assume he’s out. I don’t think defense will be a problem; the freshmen looked fine last week against Notre Dame, especially Glover. That being said, I have the feeling we’ll have a split this weekend. UMD is always tough, and they’re playing well right now. These will be great games – I always look forward to a UMD series. They’re almost as most fun as the NoDak games…

    • I think the defense will be ok also, but with Lettieri out that means 3 of the 4 forward lines will be shuffled, not a good thing for offense. It showed after Lettieri’s injury on Saturday. Aside from the issues the Gophers had last year with Michigan State, UMD has posed a lot of problems for the Gophers including their only home loss last year 6-2, where they surrendered 4 PP goals. That was an ugly one. I suspect they will split with each team winning at home, which won’t be the end of the world.

      • I would be happy with a home and home split. This Duluth team is clicking right now and are catching the Gophs at a down time for them with the aforementioned injuries. In state rivalries always play us tough especially Duluth. I think if Wilcox can keep seeing the puck like he has been lately the gophers might be able to pull off the sweep.

        • Agreed, Wilcox is obviously a game changer and can dominate all by himself. I would be happy with the split, but sweep would be icing on the cake. Just not counting on it. If you look at the last 4 games against Duluth Wilcox did give up 2,6,4 and 3 goals, well above his average. UMD has some sharpshooters and a good offensive scheme.

          • So true, Sandelin always has his boys ready for these match-ups. Looking back at those last 4 games though he faced a lot of shots in 2 of those contests (37 and 42 giving up 1 and 4 goals respectively a .937 %) The true debacle of a game that really pulls his numbers down was that game he got pulled after allowing 5 goals on 12 shots granted 3 came on the power play as the entire team decided not to show up that night. I am optimistic he pulls it out for both based on recent play by him. I think he will surpass Briggs in career shut outs this year. Dude is a monster!

          • Briggs is the reason we don’t have more national titles. He was awful. He has gaudy numbers but he had all-star teams in front of him. When the chips were down he failed more often than not. Wilcox is the real deal. I would take him over any goalie in the country!

          • I couldn’t agree more. We should have at least two championships from those years…bitterly disappointing. I would take Wilcox over some of the goalies in the NHL even, man is going places!

          • I don’t know about awful, but he gave up some very memorable goals. Definitely nowhere near as good as Stauber, and Wilcox is better than both in my opinion.

  2. I think this blog would be better served to have a guest picker section where the regular posters on this blog get a chance to weekly break down each series. I see better series analysis in the comment section than I do from Drew and life-time record regurgitation machine, that’s you Paula. Not that I think either of these two actually read the comments as there has been no noticeable effort on their part to actually give the fans of this conference, blog, sport what they actually desire.

    • Wisco you aren’t going soft on us now are you? Badgers in a down year so you are leaving the dark said for that good ole Maroon and Gold? I miss the days when you confidently trolled this blog. Ski U Mah my friend Ski U Mah

        • Don’t worry, as soon as Haskol’s team actually plays some real teams they will collapse like usual. Wilcox is going to garnish some serious considerations for the Hobey this year a la Robb Stauber.

          • Our cupcake of a schedule that is ranked first in the nation right now, that we, outside of a road lose to the, albeit, overrated huskies, have breezed through? You are going to have to try harder to troll if you are going to peddle that garbage choker…

          • Breezed through Bemidji that second night huh? Seems like it was 3-3 in the third…..not much “breezing” through there. Barely beat SCSU in OT the second game of that series……but it was another “breeze” of a game, huh?

          • Last I checked a win was a win. Bemidji is a soft team but they played up and kept it a game, ultimately the better team won. And st. cloud has been a legit top team in the league for a solid 5 years now and we pulled out the victory. It wasn’t pretty but we won.

          • So still mad that the Gophers did in 1 game what the no names couldn’t do in 2 against Bemidji. Score more than 3 goals. Also you better hope the no names play better at home than they did against the power house that is air force.

          • So now its all about how many goals are scored, doesnt matter if its a 10-0 win or a 1-0 win. So what goophergal23 said is incorrect then?

          • You come onto the B1G blog trying to troll, you get utterly destroyed, and you resort to childish name calling? I would expect nothing less from a UND no namer’s fan.

          • Bemidji, Providence and Air Force were scheduled 2-3 years ago and that is your excuse. Those definitely are perennial power houses in college hockey… by no means were they cupcakes 3 years ago….smh

          • Any team takes who ever will come in. Lets look back at past gooph opponents. Air force…..Canisius….Sacred Heart….Vermont….Niagra….yup, packing in those power house teams in Marihoochi.

          • See here I thought we were talking about this season, in which our SOS is #1. Evidently that means nothing to you. we have more wins with a tougher schedule. I don’t know how much more I need to explain this too you. Stop drinking that kool aid and just admit we are the better team at this point in the season…

          • Why not make yourself useful and think up a new nickname for the Susan’s,or head down to help remove more of that racist graffiti down at the house that Herr Engelstad built?

  3. Quick look at the schedule of games this weekend leads me to believe that there are few things to consider, If Michigan doesn’t sweep American International at Yost, the issues they are having a deeper than we imagined. Not only must win, this is a must sweep. No pressure there though. Gophers have had a ton of problems with UMD over the past couple of years. They seem to play the Gophers well and match up well. Good offense for UMD. That looks like a home split. Wilcox is playing great, but has one of his worst GAAs against UMD. Michigan State/BC will be interesting I can see Michigan State taking one of these games on goaltending alone. Have not been impressed with the BC goaltending. Bowling Green is on a roll. Ohio State is not. Ohio State scoring and goaltending have evaporated. Looking for BG to sweep at home. Supreme test for Penn St. Their only other adventure outside of Pegula arena had them lose a 2 goal 3rd period lead and lose the next game. The competition is much stronger this weekend. We will see if this team is real or not now. I think we would like to see Penn St, be stronger team, but I am skeptical that they will be able to get anything out of their visit to Lowell.

    • I would really like to see the Spartans take one from BC, but we’ll see. Michigan looked bad against Michigan Tech. I was at the Saturday game, and they weren’t just out-hustled; their line changes looked a bit disorganized, and they lost their heads late in the game. Michigan has a lot of talent, but they need to regroup. As for Penn State, skeptical is the word for me too.

    • You are spot on about Michigan, anything other than a sweep, and I might even go as far as a convincing sweep (multi-goal victories) is the only acceptable outcome for Michigan. We have covered the gophers all over this blog today so no need to expound on that, MSU and BC will be a lack luster affair unless hilde can pull off another one of his beast mode games I don’t see it though, BC sweep as they get back on to their usual winning track. 100 percent agree about OSU and BG. If you can’t score and can’t stop the puck, good luck. Plus BG’s goalie is putting up solid numbers and that team can score 3.2 GAA. As for Penn State Mass-Lowell, I see Penn taking the first game and losing the second. They have quietly turned into a top 3 team in the league this year in part to down years by the usual contenders. I’d like to see this program keep moving in the right direction.

        • Your are sticking with the same Spartans that were waaaaay better than UNH huh? I think it depends on if Demko plays or the 3rd stringer. Second string goalie is on a leave from the team.

  4. The travesty of a season will continue tonight at Munn for the home team. BC-5. MSU-2
    Anastos just said on his pre-game show that he is “optimistic for a good effort” tonight. All he is looking for is a good effort? How about saying he expects a win.

  5. Paula – don’t weep. At least you had the chops to pick Penn State winning at least one game. They are for real but I am a little surprised by the way that they lost on Friday night. More interesting is the way the bounced back on Saturday night.


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