Best weekend of the year

This is a great time of the year for college hockey, with conference playoffs, NCAA regionals and the men’s Frozen Four dotting the landscape.

But this coming weekend is my favorite of them all, and here’s why:

** Men’s conference tournaments and all the PairWise banter that comes with them. I’ve only ever been to the WCHA tournament, but I’m sure they all have a little of the same flavor. You can go into the weekend with one set of ideas about how things are going to shake out, but by Saturday night (or early Sunday morning, as has been the case), everything can be completely different.

** The women’s Frozen Four. The best there is. It was a great atmosphere in Duluth last year; here’s hoping Boston can crank it up a notch, even with the closest team being Mercyhurst.

** The Division III men’s and women’s championships.

** Selection Sunday. We’ll probably know who’s in the tournament by Saturday night, but you never know how the brackets will shape up until you see them on TV. But here’s my one complaint: For those of us who have to travel back home from the conference tournaments, the 10:30 a.m. Central Time show is a little on the early side. What can I say? I value sleep, even in the heart of college hockey’s best time of the year.