I can’t help it. I’m ready to be disappointed. After the best weekend of college hockey I have ever seen, there’s no way these final three games can live up to those standards, right?
Look at what we saw in the first round and quarterfinals. A tying goal with 0.8 seconds left. A tying goal with 0.1 seconds left. A winning goal with 18 seconds to play. A winning goal with 14 seconds to play. Three overtime games, including one settled by an anti-climactic video review.
Air Force over Michigan. Miami over Denver.
How do you top that? Teams that weren’t expected to be here can provide unexpected results. The backstories are plentiful. Miami, making its first trip to the Frozen Four after falling short in six previous NCAA appearances. Boston University, the only favorite to make it this far, back in the Frozen after a 12 year drought. Vermont, getting back here for the first time since the infamous “slush game” in Cincinnati in 1996. That Catamount team, which was eliminated on a questionable non-call in overtime (I was there – it was a hand-pass) featured the likes of Martin St.Louis and Tim Thomas.
Without the Michigans, North Dakotas and Boston Colleges, without a bevy of large fan bases, in a non-traditional location with a dearth of built-in fans, what will the atmosphere be like?
Stay tuned for the answers. Until then, it’s anyone’s guess.