Paula's picks: Jan. 6, 2011

Oh, my friends, how poorly I fared for the holiday tournaments.
Last week: 6-8-0
Season to date: 71-52-14 (.569)

The week

There is a lot of action this week, including games that pit ranked teams from a couple of different conferences against ranked CCHA teams. Days and times are noted in each series or game.
No. 18 Lake Superior at No. 16 Michigan
The Lakers return from last week’s disappointing Catamount Cup showing to conference action against a Michigan team that looked as though its sub-par first half was a distant memory when the Wolverines took the ice in the Great Lakes Invitational tournament. LSSU has a Michigan monkey on its back; the Lakers haven’t beaten the Wolverines in Ann Arbor since Feb. 11, 2006, and the last Lakers’ win against the Wolverines was Feb. 18, 2007 in Sault Ste. Marie — a span of 13 straight Michigan wins. Timing, they say, is everything. Friday-Saturday, 7:35 p.m. UM 3-2, 3-2
Miami at No. 15 Michigan State
This may be the most interesting series of the weekend. The RedHawks haven’t played since their 3-2 overtime loss to Ohio State Dec. 10, a 26-day break that can either see them rusty or rested. The Spartans looked really good last week at the GLI, where they lost the championship game to Michigan in overtime, 3-2. The teams split a series in East Lansing last year, with MSU beating Miami 7-4 Jan. 21 and the RedHawks winning 4-0 the following night. Miami is 5-3 versus MSU in the last three seasons. Friday-Saturday, 7:05 p.m. MSU 4-2, Miami 3-2
No. 2 Ohio State at Bowling Green
The Buckeyes are returning to Ohio after a 4-2 win over Robert Morris in Pittsburgh Friday, while the Falcons dropped two road games to Bemidji State Friday and Saturday. Saturday’s 2-1 loss was the first game in which BGSU scored the opening goal since Oct. 29, and only the second time the Falcons have done so this season. That goal was also their first power-play goal since Nov. 19, a seven-game slump. BGSU brings a 10-game winless streak into this contest (0-8-2). The Falcons are also looking for their second CCHA win of the season. OSU swept BGSU in Bowling Green last season but needed overtime for the first contest. Saturday 7:05 p.m.; Sunday 5:05 p.m. OSU 3-2, 4-2
Alaska at Northern Michigan
The Nanooks haven’t played in more than a month, their last action a home series they split against Michigan Dec. 2-3. Alaska went 4-2-0 in their final six CCHA games of the first half after starting league play 0-6-2. The Wildcats warmed up for the second half with a 3-2 exhibition win over the Russian Red Stars Dec. 30. NMU has a serious home-ice advantage when playing UAF; the Wildcats are 5-0-5 in the last 10 meetings between these teams in Marquette, and the only time the Wildcats have lost to the Nanooks at home was Feb. 5, 2005. I’m not calling against those odds. Friday-Saturday, 7:35 p.m. NMU 3-2, 2-1
No. 9 Colgate at No. 17 Ferris State
The Raiders, currently in second place in the ECAC, played a single game last week, a 5-2 win over Canisius Dec. 30. Senior Austin Smith (19-12–31) is the nation’s leading scorer; sophomore Eric Mihalik (2.48 GAA, .912 SV%) has played most of Colgate’s games. The Bulldogs come back from the Catamount Cup with a pair of losses and a pair of goals, having been shut out by RIT 3-0 the first day with a 4-2 loss to Vermont the second. FSU’s goaltending and the Bulldogs’ defense is fifth-best in the nation, so this is an interesting match. The Raiders bring a seven-game unbeaten streak into Big Rapids. Friday 7:05 p.m.; Saturday 4:05 p.m. Colgate 4-2, FSU 3-2
No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth at No. 8 Western Michigan
The defending NCAA champion Bulldogs bring their nation-leading 14-game unbeaten streak (11-0-3) into Kalamazoo, having last lost Oct. 15 against Minnesota. Senior Jack Connolly (12-17–29) leads Duluth in scoring, but his classmate Travis Oleksuk (13-9–22) is the team’s top goal scorer. Senior Kenny Reiter (2.26, .917) has played all but one game this season. UMD last played Dec. 9-10, when they tied and defeated Wisconsin. The Broncos had all they could handle against St. Cloud State Dec. 29-30, losing 4-2 before winning 2-1 in overtime. As delighted as I would be to see UMD’s streak come to an end, I’m not calling it. Friday 7:35 p.m.; Saturday 7:05 p.m. UMD 4-2, 4-2
No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 3 Minnesota
The Irish beat visiting Boston University, 5-2, on New Year’s Eve before continuing to warm up for the second half with a 2-1 exhibition win over the Russian Red Stars Jan. 3. Minnesota is tied with Minnesota-Duluth for first place in the WCHA standings. Sophomores Nick Bjugstad (16-11–27) and Erik Haula (10-17–27) are the Gophers’ leading scorers; Bjugstad leads the team in goal production, but freshman Kyle Rau (12-10–22) has also reached double digits. Senior Kent Patterson (2.04, .921) has played every game this season. Minnesota has the top offense in the country, averaging 4.09 goals per game. That’s bad news for the Irish, who struggle defensively. The teams last met March 27, 2004, when Minnesota beat Notre Dame, 5-2 in ND’s first NCAA appearance. This is the Hall of Fame Game, which is nice. Saturday, 7:05 p.m. CST. Minnesota 5-2


  1. Lawson is at a sellout, standing room only, packed house in college hockey can make a difference. I’m not saying with a 100% confidence a win either night either as UMD is best in the country and the Broncs still need to fully prove themselves…however I think (hope) a split is in order.

  2. Michigan team that looked as though its sub-par first half ”
    No, Paula, is your memory THAT short? The first half of the first half, AKA October, Michigan was virtually unbeatable and reached #2 in the polls. Then came Halloween and they won something like one game from then until the trip to Fairbanks. 

    • Given that the Wolverines finished the first half of the season under .500 in CCHA play, I’d say that’s a sub-par first half.  At the midway point of the season, how Michigan played in October no longer mattered. 

  3. I really despise the “Host Institution” crap rule.  Minnesota will essentially be playing on home ice no matter where they end up seeded…really an unfair advantage. 

        • Didn’t the Gophers win a NCAA Title in St. Paul?? The Sioux use it as spring board to go choke in another arena under Hakstol!!!

          • Yeah the Rodents might have won once.  I’m probably just not old enough to remember it.  And while ND might (or more than likely will) choke if they’re in the finals guess who was the spring board that has the imprint of their skate blades all over themselves….  :)

          • Hakstol with the Goon Squad..  0 NC…  Lucia 2 NC..  Come talk to me when the Goons and Choker win something that matters.. ND 1-3 against the Gophs this year and thats all that matters…We arestill called the Gophers.  What’s your team name ?  Forgot lost yours…

          • Goon Squad?  They play hockey the way it’s meant to be.  Fast and hard hitting.  Not this basketball mom, foul if you touch me, whine all the way home Gopher style hockey.  Fast and hard hitting is not goon hockey.  That’s HOCKEY.  You whiners who cry every time you get checked should stick to basketball and quit trying to ruin the best sport there is.  And, it’s the last 16 games in the country that count dude.

          • Call it what you want. Hakstol’s way doesn’t win championships. Just remember being a runner up is just the 1st loser.

          • You are another miss informed Gopher hater and that is ok. I’ll help you out. Doug Woogs last season behind the Gophers bench was 1999. Don Lucia took over in the fall of 1999, his 1st season was 1999-2000. Are you following along so far? Good! The Gophers won the 2002 NCAA Title. That would be in Lucia’s 3rd season. The Gophers won again in 2003 that would be Lucia’s 4th season. So yes, in Lucia’s 1st title run he may have had a few of Woogs players left over. I’m pretty sure the 2nd title was pretty much made up of his own recruits. So I guess he has done something with his recruits. Do some math before you run your mouth. Hakstol didn’t do anything with Blais’ recruits and hasn’t done anything with his own either.The 7 is more than 5 bit is your only defense, why don’t you just stick to that.

          • League and Tourney Titles just last year added more hardware to THE FIGHTING SIOUX collection of hardware at the greatest rink on the planet, bar none…  Not to mention a ND kid helped mn win in ’02 after 23 years of futility…  23 years is a looooonnnng time…

          • How ironic is it, that if North Dakota wins the national championship this year, again one ND kid will have helped win it.

          • Let me rephrase it for you then.  If North Dakota wins the NC this year 7 MN kids will have helped win it.  If that is not a relevent statement, then I guess you ought to rethink your comments as well.

          • I think it’s funny UMinn can’t keep its in-state kids from going to UND.  But on a sidenote, it would take a miracle for UND to win the NC this year.  Way to many injuries and defections.

          • It’s not really about keeping kids in Minnesota.  There are only so many spots to fill on any given roster.  Currently in the WCHA there are 103 active players that are native to Minnesota.  23 of them play for the U of M.  There are another 72 playing division 1 hockey in other conferences. UND has a rich hockey tradition and has been very successful over the years, but the entire state of Minnesota has a rich hockey tradition north to south, east to west.  The last several years the U of M has had the injuries and defections.  It was only a matter of time before it happened to UND as well.  The NHL has been a mixed blessing for both of these colleges.  While the opportunity to play for them can lead to the playing at the pro level, it tends to take the best players before their four years is up.  Need I mention Zack Parise. I really believe that had Thomas Vanek not left after his sophomore year, he could have won the Hobey Baker and led the U of M to at least one more national championship.  (Yes, with the help of the Grand Forks Potulny brothers).  Okposo, Kessel, Johnson.  We’ll see about Rau, Bjugstad and Haula in the future, but right now it is nice to back on top at least for a season.  Can’t we all just get along and bash Eastern Hockey like we should?

          • Again I ask, how is that relevant?  The discussion is recruiting classes, not birth-place or state of residence.  Perhaps you should read before you respond???

          • Lucy had only 2 years of recruits on that team, do the math…  99-00 were not his recruits.  Are you following so far?  Lucy had 11 of Woogers upper-classmen to work with inj 02. It took kids from ND and Europe to fix the gofers…  Running your mouth buried you.

          •  They just dont get that ND and Europeans helped then to a couple championships. Not those MN boys they claim are so great.

          • 1 European and 2 kids from North Dakota. You don’t get that Minnesotan’s helped North Dakota win their titles eitther.

          • I have no problems with mn kids, or California kids or the east coast kids…  mn is mn’s team.  Given the kids The Fighting Sioux use they should be called North America’s Team…

          • Like I said do the math on 2003 team it was in his 4th season. That would be 3 recruiting classes.  I suppose you figure Woog recruited 4 years out like coaches do today. Woog didn’t operate that way. Woog was famous for signing kids during their senior seasons.

          • Your pretty tough, just like the Hack. How many titles does Hack have? Stop counting, I will help you out – ZERO!

          • If you mean pulling someone out of the line during shaking hands, not to mention the smallest on the team, then yes I wouldn’t call them the Good Squad. Also, it’s not just the Gopher who complain about the Souix playing cheap, it’s the whole freakin conference.

          • I think that the whole loss of the team nickname is rediculous.  Just think of all of the young hockey players in that great state that are raised in the Fighting Souix tradition that will now be denied…oh wait, that’s right they only have one player from NoDak on there roster.  Nevermind.

          •  These people just cant grasp what tough hockey actually is. You want momma’s hockey, go hit up the ECAC and hit the ice with them in their tuxedos. You expect that players should be able to go up and down the ice without being touched. Hockey is supposed to be a rough sport. Suck it up and quit making excuses for your bunch of babies goophs squad

          •  As of last night, the name is Fighting Sioux. Should watch some news shows or read the paper. But as a goophs fan, you must be illiterate. So I guess you wont be able to read this post anyway…….

          • You do realize the Gophers have won 2 titles since UND last won back in the 20th century, right?  So you must be 7 years old?

          •  It was 2000. Apparently you love to look like an idiot, just spewing out pointless jargon like the other goophs fans, before actually looking at facts.

          • 2002 and 2003.  First team in 50 years to go back to back. (Denver has also done it B2B since then) If you’re not old enough to remember that, it’s probably past your bedtime when the games are played on Friday and Saturday nights. 

          • 50 years?  You must be forgetting about BU in 1971-1972 and DU in 1968-1969 or in “new math” does 2003-1972 now equal 50 years?  (it was 30 years, still impressive but certainly well short of 50)

          • Yeah, the Gophers beat Maine 4-3 in 2002 to win it all with a power play goal on a questionable penalty in OT. I always thought they musta had some homer refs to go with their home ice!

    •  You have a point but it always comes down to money. Home town yes, but not home ice. The gophers play on an Olympic size rink and the x is much smaller.

    • Maine has played there before, against that team……I just dont believe they could put Maine out there, since they do travel well, they’ll do what they can to keep Maine in the east someplace…..fingers crossed, lol

    •  Why does it seem that the goophs host either the west or midwest regional every year? Seems they just moved between them each year. Ridiculous.

          • I may be wrong, but I believe the schools decide whether or not to host and there is competition if more than one applies. It could be that Minnesota does a good job hosting, so they get favorable points for that. It could also be that no other schools are putting in bids.
            And, no, I’m not a gopher homer. Hockey East fan here.

  4. Does the NCAA count the hall of fame game? In years past when it used to start the season  it didn’t count towards the rpi or tuc but It looks like it does now. Seems to me it should count but I am curious.

  5. I have no problem with anyone going to St. Paul.  It’s not like Minnesota won’t choke.  If Maine didn’t do them in, ND will.

    •  I would love to see this matchup in St. Paul with the Sioux stomping on the Goofs to go to another frozen four!  End the season now and lets do this lol

      • Surprise, UND trolls coming out of the woodwork to talk smack about a team that is 3-1 against them this year.  Also, I think you guys have rewritten the book on under-performing in the NCAA tourney of late.  Oil.

      • Before the Souix Nation starts stomping Gophers, I think that they ought to be thinking about beating Nebraska Omaha ( a team that you have split with)  Michigan Tech, and Denver.  All of whom are ahead of you in the standings, by the way.  Otherwise, you are not going to be playing any WCHA tournament hockey games in the greatest hockey arena in the history of the universe. 

        •  Before you start talking you should get your facts strait ok bud!  Denver is ahead in the WCHA standings by 2 points and the Sioux are tied with Tech and the Cloud at 22…  And ahead of all 3 in the Pairwise!  But you do have one thing right, the games coming up against Denver and Duluth (the biggest one for me) are crucial.  Im not as close to worried about playing Tech and Minnesota State at home to close the season out

          •  Actually, the Sioux are tied with Tech and Nebraska. And the Sioux dont play Nebraska again this year. Apparently it is absolutely true that jd doesnt know how to read.

        • Is that your mn education again?   S I O U X !!!       Don’t get me wrong, the x is a nice, albeit antiseptic, arena.  Have you been to the Ralph when a top team like mn visits?  Makes the John, well, good taste prevents me…

  6. Another week, another blatant disregard to the championship committee’s guidline of: “Conference matchups in first round are avoided, unless five or more teams from one conference are selected, then the integrity of the bracket will be preserved.”
    I read that as any all Hockey East matchup (5 teams in tourney) or any all CCHA matchup (6 teams in tourney) will remain to preserve bracket integrity.
    This article’s title argument Mayson makes in its final paragraphs of moving teams amongst regions for attendance concerns over bracket integrity is extraneous. Mayson already blew up bracket integrity by ignoring the above noted NCAA guidline.

  7. Moy does a great job with this column.  Why ruin it with all of the non-sense and chirping?  None of you are playing in the tournament and, most likely, none of you even play/coach the Game now.
    Enjoy the great hockey that it brings whether you are from the East or West. 
    I am a Michigan fan and last year’s loss still stings, but I do not take anything away from UMD–perfect line change in OT.  Good for them.  Respect and appreciate the game and Moys column by keeping the trash talk out.

  8. Not a fan of what you have for a bracket.  Seriously, MN or UMD will both be 2 seeds.   They have both been on top of the polls since the begining of the yr almost.  One of the two will get a #1 seed.   I also question how the “afraid to check league” AKA HEA gets 5 times.  I know you gotta go by the rankings this week.  But they will change, not gonna happen. 

  9. Another string of comments and more whizzing matches between competing fan bases.  Why can’t you ever get any decent commentary on fan forums? 
    My idea is the entire tournament should be placed in the regionals by geography as the #1 seeds already are.  Top seed to the closest region and so on.  Best #2 (5 overall) in the closest region to them and so on.  We already allow for movement from within the bands for needed tweaks (intra-conference avoidance, host teams, etc) so why not do it with all the teams.  A “one” seed will still play one of the “four” seeds and with all the parity in the NCAA is this really an issue anymore?  My Irish versus BSU in 2009, in case anyone needs one example as a reminder?
    This way most teams would be as close to home as possible (barring a huge contingent from one of the conferences and them being bunched closely together in the ordering 1 to 16) and you still can usually come close to meeting the 1-16, 2-15, 8-9 idea in the first round.  See for yourself with the current field.  I think no one is more than 2 seeds off where they should naturally be in this scenario. 

  10. Lol at all the Souix fans commenting now that their team has finally squeaked their way into talks off going to the NCAA tourney. If you want to talk sh*t let’s talk about this year. You are 1-3 against the Gophers, the Gophers are first in the conference, and they have the second best defense and offense in the nation. 

    • Im a die hard sioux fanbut i am realistic. Ill argue to the death that we have the best program in the country. Ill also admit that weve choked in recent years, though last year we just ran into a goaltender that playedout of his mind. This year, though has been fairly disappointing,but generally we are too drunk in thefirst half oftheseason anyway. Well make the tournament and well make a decent run at it, we always do. I still would rather play our real hockey than all the other crap out there. You want to know why blood went captain destructo in the handshake line! After the game was over a gopher came off the bench and chopped him behind the knees to the ice. Theres a difference between hard hitting hockey and playing like a man and being a bunch of classless goons. We play like men and win or lose we booze. Stop being so soft and deal with it. Stop chirping and posturing and play instead of picking, cheaping, and whining.

    • And reading gofer posts as they spiral out of contention is amusing…  Read the pairwise recently?  A couple more Friday debacles and it is bye-bye, again…

      • I still don’t think that makes any sense, if they aren’t good enough okay, but then the other 5 teams shouldn’t make it either.  Them and Ferris are the only teams in the conference that don’t need help from other teams.

  11. Ferris state would mess their pants seeded against the Sioux first round….would that even be considered an upset???

  12. It’s funny how almost every article on this Website (WCHA related or not) gets veered towards the topic of the Gophers. For a team that hasn’t even been relevant the last few years they sure are on a lot of people’s minds.

  13. If everyone is so concerned about attendance “woes” then why not go back to the beast of three series on campus locations, then play the frozen four. This way there will be no attendance issues and there will be a true champion at the end. With all due respect to RIT and Bemidji and all the other “under dog” schools out there, I would much rather see a true frozen four with the best four teams in it. Taking the ’10 Frozen four for example, there is no way RIT should have made it. In a 2 out of 3 situation in the first two rounds, Denver (the best team that year) would have likely  made the final four. The 2 out of 3 takes the one game and your done out of the equation and lets the best teams out there win, and not the hottest goalie. 

  14. Jasom, can you PLEASE stop ignoring this rule: “• Conference matchups in first round are avoided, unless five or more teams from one conference are selected, then the integrity of the bracket will be preserved.”. With 6 CCHA and 5 HEA teams, you DON’T have to avoid first round matchups involving them.

  15. This feature is garbage.  For that matter, it has always been garbage.  How do you knock UND out and keep in Ohio State in?  They are tied in the PWR.  Also the Sioux’s advantage over Ohio State in TUC is a lot wider then the OSU advantage in the RPI.
    USCHO: Find a new writer.  Moy is a hack.

    • IIRC, the comparison tie is broken by who has the highest RPI. That’s not Jason’s rule, it is how the committee decides. 
      Ohio is playing their way out of the tournament, anyway- and if the Sioux had played better this season, this would also not be an issue. So save your bitterness, Hack. 

      •  RPI is a garbage statistic.  The only reason OSU has a MARGINALLY higher RPI is because the CCHA pads their schedule with a bunch of AH league teams.  Need anymore evidence?  Check out how the conference looks after the future shake-up.  Looks strong to quite strong… NOT!

        • Here’s a reality check for you (in other words, don’t let the facts get in the way):
          10 of 11 CCHA teams have a higher SoS than North Dakota right now. The only one that doesn’t is BG and they are 22. UND is 16. Michigan is #1 and STILL played three games against AHA opponents. FSU-9, MSU-2, NMU-4, OSU-5, Miami-7, ND-8, WMU-10, Alaska-11, LSSU-13.
          6 of 11 CCHA teams have a higher RPI than UND (including Ohio)
          2 of 11 CCHA teams have a higher win % than UND. 
          I’d re-think your opinion of the CCHA this season. Either that or ratchet down your opinion of your own team. But keep posting ignorance… your choice. 

          • Exactly.  Last year the WCHA had the better SoS numbers and their fans went on and on about it in these comment sections.  When Yale’s SoS dropped to 30 that was “proof” they didn’t belong.  Duluth is 29 right now.  Denver is 22.
            And when they whine about scheduling, look at the facts:
            Out of conference opponents:
            Minnesota: 2 x Sacred Heart (3-24-3), 2 x Vermont (5-22-1), 2 x Michigan State (16-12-4), Niagara (14-10-8), Northeastern (11-14-3), Notre Dame (16-13-3).
            Duluth: 2 x Notre Dame (16-13-3), 2 x Providence (12-14-2), 2 x Western Michigan (15-12-5), 2 x Alabama Huntsville (2-28-1).
            Denver at least scheduled both BC (19-10-1), BU (17-10-1), Princeton (7-12-6), Miami (17-13-2), Union (17-6-7), Air Force (15-7-7), 2 x Alabama-Huntsville (2-28-1).
            Colorado College: 2 x RPI (8-19-3), Air Force (15-7-7), Union (17-6-7) and 2 x Cornell (13-6-6).
            I know schedule’s are made in advance and you can’t control when an opponent is going to have a bad year.  And I give props to the teams that scheduled Alabama-Huntsville.  But face it: CCHA has better numbers.

    • This feature is excellent at what it claims to be for: predicting what the tournament bracket will look like.  Moy does a good job of explaining why he does what he does, and it almost entirely boils down to “the committee will do this”.  If you have a problem with who is in the tourney, your issue is with the NCAA.

    • Not much.  Another ECAC team would be the 15 or 16 seed.  The current 15, Ohio State, would be out of the tournament.  In the initial pairings 15 would go with 2 BC in the Northeast.  16 goes with 1 Ferris in the Midwest.  That doesn’t create any new issues.  The others intraconference matchups would remain.

  16. A sweep of mighty Alabama-Huntsville by Miami somehow knocks North Dakota out and puts Ohio State back in? Seriously? What a joke!!! A split with the defending champs on their ice with a injury plagued squad and you bounce them? Embarrassing.

  17. I can’t believe there are that many CCHA teams in this bracket when Ferris State is #1 in the country.  This proves the conference is GARBAGE.  Everyone knows Ferris State will either choke in the next couple of weeks or blow it in the first round of the tourney. How many times have we seen Miami’s team reach #1 only to watch them flush everything down the toilet a week or two later. 
    Also, if Union is in the top 10 and they lose the ECAC tourney they do not deserve to go to the tourney.  That conference is borderline D-III.  How do they get a conference tourney auto seat in the first place?

        • Why do North Dakota’s men have so much trouble with ECAC teams?  You losers tied Harvard this year.  And you split multiple series with Cornell a few years back.

          • Last year the Sioux tied Harvard 4-4 then beat them 7-3.  Dont forget the regionals when the Sioux blanked RPI 6-0.  Sounds like the Sioux have a seriously hard time with ECAC teams.  Half of those squads don’t even deserve to suit up against Tech, let alone a premier program like NoDak, Denver or CC.

          • Tie is not a win.  And you ignored the two splits with Cornell as in “You lost to Cornell TWICE”.

          •  Oh yeah, I forgot to include the fictitious split with Cornell.  Considering we didn’t play Cornell last year, I say pass me whatever you are smoking because clearly you’ve had enough.
            Also, if you want to comp. the Sioux all time record against the ECAC —  go ahead. 
            SPOILER ALERT… it will reflect SHEAR DOMINANCE!  The conference blows and every real college hockey fan knows it.

          • As I clearly said, “A FEW YEARS BACK”.  Obviously they don’t teach reading in North Dakota.

          •  I see you forgot to consider the 10-1 win over Harvard A FEW YEARS BACK.
            Let me know how that UND vs. ECAC all time record stat turns out.  I’d wager its above 700.
            I would wager even more that UND has more national championships than all of the ECAC teams combined.  Oh wait… quick wikipedia check confirms it, 7 vs. 3.  Looks like you lose again SUCKER.

          • Took longer than usual but as always, the North Dakota fan’s argument always falls back on “But we have seven titles!”  Nobody cares. Just like nobody cares about the strength of the WCHA.  We cheer for our teams, not our leagues.  There is no award for best league.  And Harvard is awful and has been for quite some time.  They were 9-16-6 that year.  Congratulations.  That would be like us bragging about beating Anchorage.  Also, love how you remember the 10-1 game but not the 4-3 game.  You’re just cherry picking.  Point is, you guys try to claim you would win every game against the ECAC and you can’t.  End of discussion.

          •  And what team do you cheer for again?  I’m guessing its some dog team that maybe plays in the tourney once a decade?

          • Who I cheer for is irrelevant to the discussion.  You should really take a class in logic or debate. you’re all over the map.  We all know that top to bottom the WCHA is a better league than the ECAC.  But as I said, they don’t give out awards for best league.  And when you guys play our better teams lately you’re .500 at best.

          •  Ok, so we narrowed it down to a ECAC team.  I’m guessing your alma mater is either Dartmouth or RPI.  Am I right? 

          •  Sweet!  I guess I just got a glimpse into your day to day life… boring and irrelevant.
            Call me when Quinnipiac makes the tourney.

          • I was referring to you and this “discussion”.  You’re boring and your points are irrelevant.  

          • And the Souix by themselves have 7, the Badgers have 6 and the Gophers have 5. So congrats we have 3 teams that have just as many if not more championships than your entire conference.

          • ECAC teams have 5 national championships combined. Cornell – 2, Rensselaer – 2, Harvard – 1. Not that this weakens your argument about North Dakota’s supremacy much, but it does mean you’re not very good at this.

          • Irrelevant.  You’re trying to change the argument which is that the ECAC can put together teams that can beat WCHA teams.

          • You guys are ignorant calling Union out.  You have any idea who one of their top players is?  Kelly ZAJAC (you may be familiar w/ the name) who spurned North Dakota to come out east.  I hope they get to play North Dakota in the NCAAs, b/c it’d be a favorable draw. 

          •  Wrong bucko… Kelly is a Canadian.  His brother Darcy had a horrible work ethic.  Also, I’m pretty sure any third rate player can put up superb numbers against those dog ECAC teams.  Pretty hard to deek out a siv. 

          • Wasn’t Darcy captain of the team his senior year?  Ya’ You Betcha!  And Travis was pretty good too.  Point is, your players are not untouchables and your team is obviously good, but beatable by a team like Union.  Union pounded Michigan this year @ Yost. I don’t think they’d be intimidated by North Dakota. 
            Your just a son of a gunderson!

          • You are so dumb its actually a bit funny.  The dutchmen have beaten Michigan and Merrimack this year and if im not mistaken only lost by one to CC and Denver.  Buddy the sioux arent that good this year compared to other years.  You just arent, its not hard to see

          • And UND lost to Yale in the tournament 2010…..And those Lamoureux “girls” never deserve to win another game after bailing on Minny….

          • You should also know that those ECAC games are usually when ND’s best players are playing in the World Juniors.  It’s a great time to play the younger players who don’t normally play.  You can’t fault any one team for that.

    •  Everyone has to stop ripping on Ferris. Just because we are a small school it doesn’t mean we don’t know how to play hockey. The team we have this year is well rounded and we don’t rely on one player like we did when Chris Kunitz played for us. We are first in the CCHA which includes some Big Ten schools, i.e. Michigan and Michigan State. Also, Ferris was the first to reach the 20 win mark this season. Yes, Ferris did lose to some teams that they shouldn’t have, but who hasn’t this season? If there is one thing that we Michiganders know it’s good hockey. So just stop complaining and enjoy the rest of the season.
      GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!

      • Im a sioux fan . . . That being said, ferris has a good team and deserves a birth for sure. The fact that ohio state is in and ND isnt as of right now iiiiiiiiiiiis garbage. OSU hasnt won a game this year. Miami, eh, theyre a bubbleteam, rightfully so. I do think some of the 9-16 rankings are a little wack. Bottom line though, in a single elimination tourney every team is scary and i wouldnt be confident playing anybody. Even teams that are far superior can get outplayed and even though i think our depleted team is better than half of these, i wouldnt discount anybody.

        • You want to favor a team that starts poorly and finishes strong over a team that does the opposite.  Unfortunately, the system doesn’t allow for that.  At one time the last 15 games were given more weight but that isn’t the case now.  Anyway, there are enough games left that will allow North Dakota and Ohio State to play themselves in or out of the tournament.  But someone has to be the first team left out and I don’t think recent streaks is any more or less fair than any other criteria.

    • I’m pretty sure Miami has played in the national championship much more recently then the fighting no names. Can’t wait for the NCHC to run you guys out of goggin with ur tails between your legs.

    • Union: nations best team defense (1.8 gaa), best goalie (1.59 gaa), top 5 offense (3.5 g/game).  Early they went into Ann Arbor and blew out MI 6-3 and MA to roll over No. 5 Merrimack 3-1. 
      But in their last 10 games union has outscored opponents 42-14 (thats 3:1).  Forget regionals, I’m booking ticks to Tampa…

    • Since there are no pro sports teams in North Dakota, this guy thinks he can come in here and bash everyone else in the country. I have news for you buddy… the fact is no one cares about North Dakota except the people who live there.

    • Union is far more deserving of a tourney bid than the winner of the Atlantic Hockey conference (likely RIT or Air Force).  
      The Atlantic conference has a 16-57-8 record in non-conference games.  Can anyone justify why the Atlantic conference is deserving of an automatic bid?RIT and Air Force are rated #39 and #40 in the KRACH ratings, which are more statistically sound than the Pairwise rankings.

  18. Also in USCHO’s own poll North Dakota is ahead of Miami, Michigan State and Miami, yet all three are in this weeks bracketology and UND is out.  What sense does that make?

        • Nice comeback.  Just admit the polls don’t count in the NCAA selection.  And also admit that the polls reflect how the voters feel about how the teams are playing right now whereas the pairwise takes into account the entire season.  A team can start poorly and get better and therefore have a poll ranking higher than PWR.

  19. Why not switch 12-Michigan St. and 13-Minnesota.  Keeps both teams in the same bracket, Minnesota at home, and removes two intra-conference first round match-ups.  Switching two teams with adjacent seeds, even if different bands does not ruin bracket integrity.

  20. if NoDak was so good, why are the struggling at 16th to get in?  NoDak is lower than OSU in the RPI.  WCHA only has 3-4 teams that could make a case for qualifying, HEA has 5 and CCHA has 6.  Better conferences this year than WCHA.  you NoDak fans have your heads so far up your asses you can’t even see that your team isn’t as good this year as some others.  Not that they are bad, just not as good, especially compared to the rest of the country.

  21. 6 CCHA teams?????
    Not only does the CCHA play all of their nonconference games against atlantic hockey teams, they all play 2 game series with alabama huntsville…so naturally the non-conference win % is extremely high
    oooooo someone beat canisius, another swept robert morris… and if not that, its one game with a mid to low end ECAC team
    10 out of 11 teams in the CCHA are “teams under consideration” what a joke
    The WORST hockey east team (Vermont) beat the BEST CCHA team (Ferris State), the 2nd worst HE team (Northeastern) beat Michigan and swept Notre Dame
    Why has no one caught on to any of this? Maybe Miami will magically get a 1 seed again and blow it in the first round like every other year…..

    • I remember last year you WCHA guys were trying to justify a sixth or seventh team for the NCAAs.  Those midpack teams “padded” their schedules with the dregs of the CCHA and AHA.  Although they couldn’t beat the top WCHA teams at all the midpack teams would end up with decent records.  And their victories boosted the Strength of Schedule (and RPI) of the WCHA as a whole.  Didn’t see you guys claiming that was a problem then.

    • CCHA has played WCHA teams most in non-conference, and ECAC as much as Atlantic Hockey.  Also, less than half of the teams played Ala-Huntsville.  Also, the 3rd worst CCHA team beat Hockey East’s 2 best teams, Boston U and Boston C.  Nobody’s caught on to this, because you just made that stuff up.  Just stating facts here.

  22. “[Moy] has been writing Bracketology since 2004 and has never missed predicting the NCAA field.”Is this his prediction after the conference tourneys are played?  Or before?  If its after the conference tourneys are played you might as well crown him Nostradamus.  I wake up after the WCHA tourney in a drunken stooper, shivering from withdrawl (too many roaring lions and vodkas) and can still nail down who is going to the big show. sound.

    • You are seriously stupid.  The bracketology column is not meant to predict the field in March.  It’s to show what the field would be if the season ended today.  And then where the teams would be seeded and which regional they would be assigned to.

  23. It blows my mind how many people have posted in this discussion who have no idea how the tournament bracket it constructed or what the point of this article is.  Polls mean nothing and Jayson doesn’t “choose” what teams he puts in the bracket.  The tournament teams are seeded based on the pairwise rankings.  That’s it.  There’s no subjective opinion like in the basketball tourney.  The fact that 6 CCHA teams are in and UND is not is due to the computers and formula used in the PWR.  Understand?
    Now, back on topic a bit more: Moy was playing with all kinds of moving of seeds and what not to account for Minnesota at home, keeping #1 seeds close to home, and protecting the number one overall seed.  My question, why not just “switch” Michigan and Minnesota-Duluth from the original bracket? Yes, it technically makes UMD a #2 seed and Mich a #1, but it eliminates two intra conference matchups and maintains bracket integrity.  Michigan and UMD are the # 4 & #5 overall seeds, so flip flopping them makes no difference other than who they play in the first round.  Just an idea I guess…

    • You are absolutely WRONG about the seeding always being based strictly by PWR. Look at last year!!!! They haven’t kept the 1/8/9/16, 2/7/10/15, 3/6/11/14, 4/5/12/13, seedings in 3 years. That is why there is so much discussion, and the reason these seedings are crapola. You would get NO complaints from me if they would stick to what they should, leaving the 1-4 seeds closest to home, and seeding the rest strictly by PWR. Can’t believe you are from the state of hockey.  :-)

      • I can see how you think I was wrong because after first reading your post I thought I had said it wrong too, but actually, I think I said it correctly.  The seeds are based on PWR, the brackets are not. The teams that make the tournament are seeded based on the PWR.  After the PWR determines who makes the tournament, teams are switched within the brackets for attendance, intra-conference matchups, etc. So, you end up with a 1, 5, 11, 14 bracket in St. Paul for example, instead of 1, 8, 9, 16.  The teams are still seeded the same, but in the bracket it is messed up.  
        On a separate note, now that I look at it, that bracket would really screw Ferris St.  Not only would they play the host school in the first round, but could potentially play the overall 5 seed instead of 8/9 in the regional final.  Brutal.Either way, people arguing for less CCHA teams or the inclusion of UND shouldn’t be complaining about how Moy put together the bracket.  One, there’s lots of hockey left to play and two, it’s similar to the BCS in my opinion.  There are lots of arguments for the inclusion/exclusion of specific teams, but it comes down to the computers in the end. 

        • You are perfect on what I meant, and thanks for the congrats. This weekends game were both worthy of Frozen Four material. Last year BC was moved out of the New Hampshire bracket, breaking the “committee’s rule” immediately. This had a knock-on effect of pairing DU and ND in the same bracket. This bracket in Green Bay also violated the strict 1/8/9/16, etc. pairings. This is an important reason we need to go by strict “rules” when pairing teams up. Travel should not enter into the brackets. The difference between a 2 hour flight and 3 hour flight is miniscule.

      • Also, congrats on the two wins last weekend. Great for you guys, terrible for us.  Hopefully we both make the tourney and meet in Tampa…

  24.  Understand attendance concerns; but tour last move Denver – Maine potentially sets up all four of the regionally final as intra-conference.  Since national TV is also an audience, I would think having as many interconference regional finals as possible would be a better choice.

  25. Jason asks which bracket the readers prefer. The most interesting to me is the one before he swaps Maine and Denver. I think that bracket offers the most attractive match-ups.
    I personally prefer games between teams from different conferences in the early rounds; I’m less interested in west vs. west and east vs. east (this isn’t the NHL, after all).
    Let’s take, for example, the Northeast:
    Air Force vs. Boston College
    Union vs. Denver
    I like this bracket. I have not had a chance to see AF play, but I gather they have a lot of team speed. Denver also generally has good speed, although in the recent game against Minnesota I saw it looked to me that the Gophers were a bit quicker (at least that night) even though they lost. BC always comes with speed, of course, and they have a good history with Denver, so that’s in interesting match-up. I’ve only seen Union in its televised game with Merrimack and neither team looked particularly quick (or even all that good).
    As we saw in the tournament last year, the most dangerous opponent for a speed team is another speed team. When you expect to have the faster team in every game, you may not be ready for an opponent that is as fast or faster, and this is, I think, what happened last year to BC against Colorado College. CC was probably the worst match-up in the tournament for BC, because BC is always looking to attack and CC’s own team speed allowed it to get behind the BC defense.
    Assuming I am correct about Air Force, this bracket brings together three fast teams, each of which could provide a real challenge for the others, including AF vs. BC. It has the added attraction of allowing teams that don’t ever see each other (BC/Denver excluded) to play, and with the limited number of non-conference games available each year, I like this aspect. For BC and BU especially, the Beanpot costs them two non-conference games, even when they play each other (or Northeastern), so they are already limited there, and with Notre Dame coming into the conference, the number of non-conference opponents will be even smaller. About the only ECAC team BC plays with any regularity is Harvard (they did get Yale this season). They last played Air Force in a holiday tournament in 2007, and I can’t remember BC ever playing Union (#1 in this week’s Bleacher Reports power rankings!!).
    Of course, none of this will matter once the season and league tournaments are over–do we really expect Ferris St. to finish as the top seed (although Yale undeservingly did last season), or for both BC and BU to be #1 seeds? Probably not. But I like this week’s Bracketology tournament, without the Maine – Denver swap.

  26. East- Bridgeport-
    1. UMD
    2. Umass
    3. Union
    Northeast- Worcester, mass
    1. BC
    2. Michigan
    3. merrimack
    4.Ohio state
    Midwest- Green bay
    1. Ferris State
    2. Maine
    3.northern Michigan
    4.Air force
    West- St. Paul
    1. BU
    2. Denver
    3. Michigan State
    i started out by putting #1’s in the most desirable place and minnesota in st. paul. i then put the teams in my bracket based on the rankings only. i then fixed the intra-confrence in st paul. after that i spent some time on google maps to figure out what would be the best locations for some of the eastern schoolsand moved my bracket around as best as possible to help attendance out there. now i know people will hate having umd out east and BU out west but considering the other schools in those locations the attendance wont suffer to dramatically. i know it is far from perfect and i have little experience doing this myself but its what i came up with in 20 min.

    • ST. PAUL
      14 Minnesota vs. 1 Ferris St.
      9 Northern Michigan vs. 7 Denver
      13 Miami vs. 4 Minnesota-Duluth
      12 Michigan State vs. 5 Michigan
      15 Ohio State vs. 3. Boston Univeristy
      11 Merrimack vs. 6 Mass-Lowell
      16 Air Force vs. 2 Boston College
      10 Union vs. 9 Maine
      I started out putting #1’s in the most diserable place. I then filled out the bracket just like the PWR told me to (bracket integrity in its purest form). This originally put Minnesota in Bridgeport to play BU which isn’t allowed. Instead of the knee jerk reaction of placing them in the the St. Paul bracket (So defined by the placement of #1 seed Minn-Duluth), I moved the Gophers to play the other “western” #1, Ferris St. The rationale being to avoid the intra-conference matchup with Duluth because only three WCHA teams are in this tournament. I then just called that the Western Regional.
      I did not fear the inter-conferance matchups btw Mich/Mich St and Mass-Lowell/Merrimack because Item 4 of the above noted championship committee guidelines tells me to preserve bracket intergrity due to five or more teams representing both CCHA and Hockey East. (The happy side-effect of following this rule. Attendance at Bridgeport and Green Bay is now spectacular. Mich St./Mich in the first round. Are you kidding me!!!)
      My final tweak was to swap Denver and Maine for the same reason Moy did. Attendance. St. Paul will be fine with the host. Worcester is more than fine expecially if the Atlantic Hockey team is somebody other than Air Force.
      I’ll give you three guesses who I hope that AH team ends up being. 

  27. To be honest this ripping on UND is pathetic. The injuries this year have been detrimental, but once again they have really stepped up their game the second half. To leave them out of the tournament this year instead of a team like Cornell would be a college hockey travesty. Quite honestly there are no stand out teams in college hockey that are unbeatable. We might not root for a conference, but to say our team plays a harder schedule is a fair fight. ECAC is weak hockey, you can’t argue against that. The WCHA and Hockey East are like the SEC and BIG10 of football. The teams battle week in and out unlike CCHA and ECAC. Sioux should be in the tournament and for being a “bad” team will upset a couple teams.

    •  Remember like 3 or 4 years ago that Wisconsin made the tourney while Mankato, who had a much better record and pairwise standing, didnt make it? I think who ever selects these teams just does so by money and who they like. There was no way Wisconsin should have been in that tournament.

      • I just checked this.  Wisconsin had 11 Pairwise comparison wins which made them the 12 seed.  Notre Dame and Mankato each had 10 comparison wins and were tied for 13th.  Princeton won the ECAC Tournament and their autobid got them the 14 seed which meant 13 was the cutoff.  Notre Dame won the Pairwise comparison with Mankato and had the higher RPI so Mankato was out.  The only “controversy” was that while Wisconsin had more comparison wins they lost the comparisons to both Notre Dame and Mankato.

    • No, it wouldn’t be a travesty.  The criteria are laid out in advance and the Pairwise is based on the entire season of work.  Sorry your team sucked it up at the beginning of the year.  If they’re as good as you think they’ll play their way right in over the next few weeks.  If they don’t. . . 
      And if you don’t like Pairwise, take a look at KRACH.  You would be on the outside looking in there, too.  The WCHA Strength of Schedule wasn’t that good this year.

  28. They really need to drop the host school rule, and then there wouldn’t be so many issues protecting the #1 seeds. Every year there is at least one regional where a lower seeded team plays in its backyard while a #1 seed travels across the country. If the committee was truly concerned about the #1’s, they’d get rid of this rule immediately.

    • Host schools supply ticket buying fans and fill otherwise empty seats.  this isn’t football or roundball and there just isn’t enough casual interest out there to fill seats.

  29. This isn’t nodak bias, but I can’t see the ncaa taking Ohio state over nodak as that last seed.  NCAA wants cashhhhhhh.  If the ECAC doesn’t bring a lot of cashhhhhh, then they are not good in the ncaa’s eyes.  

      • If two teams are tied for the last spot in the Pairwise, they are going to take the team with the better draw, which equals more $.  Not hard to understand, but just pointing out what will actually happen if the bracket were picked today.  No offense to the smaller programs, they always get the short end of the stick.  It’s something that is dealt with in all college sports.
        Previous occurrences are not rocket science my friend.  I feel like if you have followed college hockey the past few years, you would understand this, I must be a rocket scientist.

        • Teams can’t be tied because they have TIEBREAKERS.  Good lord, you’re stupid.  The criteria are perfectly laid out and for the last ten years the Pairwise has predicted the field.  You have to go back much further for smoke filled room conspiracies.

          • There have been many teams on that bubble for the tournament that get bumped out because of their attendance pull.  Sad to see, but I tried to point that out as that IS what would happen in a situation like that.  The point I was attempting to make is that the TIEBREAKER for the NCAA is $$$$$$$$$$$$, get a clue man.  Pairwise says they are TIED, they will take the team that will make the most $$$$$$$$$, regardless of the tiebreaker for the ranking.  BCS also said a team like BOISE STATE was supposed to be in a BCS game, but they took a team like MICHIGAN instead.  Just pointing out the obvious that happens in college sports, I know that the Pairwise rankings determine most of the field, but the border teams that aren’t major programs never get the chance.  Not trying to argue with you, just pointing out something that nobody else had yet, take it as you want.

          • Name one time the Pairwise didn’t predict the field.  It’s been 100 percent accurate since 2003 when the field expanded to 16 teams.

          •  07′ Miami(OH) got in instead of Wisconsin, where Wisconsin was actually 2 spots ahead in the pairwise, no ties.

          • I wrote out a long response with links to USCHO articles from 2007 and a Pairwise generator.  Because I included links my post has to be “moderated”.  Who knows if it will ever show up.  Long story short, you’re wrong.  Maybe you have the year wrong.  But in 2007 Wisconsin was tied with Denver at 15th in the Pairwise with 10 comparison wins each.  Neither made the tournament because the CHA and AHA autobids took spots 15 and 16.  Miami was alone at 14 with 12 comparison wins.  There was a three way tie at 11 between UMass, St. Lawrence and Maine.

          •  also in 07′ Wisconsin was tied with Maine, but Maine had the better RPI so your ‘Tiebreaker’ worked on that tie. 

          • Final Bracketology of 2007 had Maine in a three-way tie for 11th with UMass and St. Lawrence.  Each had 13 comparison wins.  Moy broke the tie using head-to-head i.e. UMass was 11 because they won both comparisons with Maine and St. Lawrence. SLU won the comparison with Maine so he made SLU 12 and Maine 13.  Miami was alone at 14 with 12 comparison wins.  Wisconsin was tied with Denver at 15 with 10 comparison wins each.  CHA and AHA autobids took spots 15 and 16 so neither  Wisconsin or Denver made the tournament.  Note that in 2007 there was an RPI bonus of unknown amount for “good” non-conference road wins.  Moy used 0.003.
            When the brackets were announced the only difference from Moy’s final bracketology was the tie breaking of the UMass-SLU-Maine.  He speculated that they went by RPI rather than head-to-head comparison.  This made Maine 11, SLU 12 and UMass 13.  Moy nailed the 16 teams in the tournament.

  30. Ok to end all of this discussion i think we compare how the ECAC teams compared when they play WCHA teams in the NCAA tournament the past 5 years.
    WCHA: 3
    ECAC: 0
    WCHA: 0
    ECAC: 1
    WCHA: 1
    ECAC: 0
    WCHA: 1
    ECAC: 1
    WCHA: 0
    ECAC: 0
          WCHA 5 ECAC 2 so it looks like the WCHA is usually better than the ECAC when it really counts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Nice cherry picking.  I look at that and see 2011 skews your entire data set.  Duluth, a good team already, got hot and swept to the title.  And UND beat the last at large team in RPI.  Impressive indeed.  The four years before that show the leagues were tied 2-2.  But why not go back to 2006 when Cornell beat Colorado College and lost to Wisconsin?  2004 Cornell lost to Minnesota.  2003 Cornell beat Mankato.  Starts to look a little more even, doesn’t it?
      We all get it that the WCHA has more good teams.  What’s odd is how you guys scream about letting anyone else in the tournament.  And we know why.  You’re afraid of losing to a supposedly inferior league.  You don’t want a repeat of the Yale incident.

  31. HORRIBLE! moving ferris state to St.Paul over UMD ? what drugs are you on? UMD will draw 4x the crowd this Ferris State bullshit will….Screw damn Minnesota in attendance. Have UMD,UofM,Michigan,NMU in St.Paul….youll have a 19,000+ sellout every game.

  32. This is to all the annoying Sioux fans out there. You may have 7 National Championships but you don’t have 9 Michigan does, so when you guys want to be the best in college hockey as you guys claim you are then tie them with 9, untill then you are only second best in your only agrument you have to say to anyone.

    • And what the North Dakota fans fail to realize is that people hate them not because of their seven titles but because they are the biggest jerks on the USCHO boards.  We’re not jealous of you titles.  Following that logic I should hate Michigan even more.  I don’t hate Michigan at all.  I should Denver (7 titles).  I don’t.  Notice how people laughed at Minnesota for losing to Holy Cross but didn’t when Denver lost to RIT.  Now ask yourself why people make fun of North Dakota for losing to Yale.

  33. I believe that the writer stated that this is what he believes the bracket looks like as of the point in time when he wrote the article. Things have changed quite a bit since last week in terms of rankings. When he does this exercise again next week it will probably look different than this installment. By that time ND may be in and OSU out. Minnesota may be out and Miami in. So don’t read so much into these brackets.
    I think it is interesting to see how things will change over the next couple of weeks and then compare them to what the actual bracket will be come March.

  34. some how mass. lowell is still going to play michigan state. As a fan of mass. lowell should i look forward to this matchup of should i hope for a better one


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here