Every point mattered

Three things I learned from Atlantic Hockey this weekend:

Every point and (sometimes goal) mattered. Those wins that turned into ties late in the game? The ones that got away early in the season? That extra goal allowed in a game already lost? How close was it? Two points separated the first and fifth seeds.

In the third period of Saturday’s games, there were still three teams who could have captured the top seed. Air Force wound up clinching by defeating Robert Morris 3-0, but Niagara was six minutes and change away from sharing the regular season crown with the Falcons. They settled for a 2-2 tie at Rochester Institute of Technology, and that tie was the difference between third (and a first round bye) and fifth place for the Tigers. RIT, Mercyhurst and Holy Cross ended in a three-way tie for third, but the Tigers got the third seed and the Lakers the fourth based on tiebreakers.

– The first round playoff pairings feature all six East pod teams and two teams from the West:

No. 12 Army at No. 5 Holy Cross
No. 11 Sacred Heart at No. 6 Bentley
No. 10 AIC at No. 7 Robert Morris
No. 9 Canisius at No. 8. Connecticut

Just for fun, under last years’ playoff format, Air Force, Niagara, Holy Cross and Bentley would have gotten byes, with RIT, Mercyhurst, Connecticut and AIC hosting first round games (now series). That would have been a travesty.


Getting my vote

Here’s my ballot for Monday’s USCHO.com Division I Men’s poll:

1. Boston College
2. Minnesota-Duluth
3. Ferris State
4. Boston University
5. Minnesota
6. Michigan
7. Maine
8. Union
9. Cornell
10. Denver
11. Merrimack
12. Mass-Lowell
13. Miami
14. Western Michigan
15. North Dakota
16. Michigan State
17. Notre Dame
18. Northern Michigan
19. Ohio State
20. Air Force


      • Anybody on this site pick Tech to earn a split in Minny?  Didn’t think so.  This is a different Tech squad.  Friday night was good stuff.  Saturday, not so much.

        • Gophers flat out stunk on friday, just ask them.  Tech did what they had to win. Flukey goals are a result of sloppy play.Tech earned that win. Saturday was more indicitive of the talent the Gophers have, but they haven’t put it together both nights for a while.

          • And in years past, teams didn’t have to bring their “A” game to get two wins against Tech.  That just shows how much better they are this year (as apposed to past Tech teams).  And it says something about the parity if the WCHA.

      • I’d call getting a goal from bouncing it off a defender a fluke goal, the tech player didn’t even shoot it just happened to deflect towards the net. 

  1. I wish Potulny would’ve decked Muckalt. Running up the score? Don’t take penalties, & put a team on the power play. Another thing Tech might consider is, try losing with class!

    • If you listen closely to the Gopher announcers’ video commentary on the situation, you’ll realize they are every bit as trashy as their counterparts at North Dakota.  The poster who characterized the Gophers and their fans as arrogant hit the nail right on the head.

  2. The gophers have always thought they are bigger and better then everyone else… But when they face teams that are not afaid to hit back they dont talk trash. Why dont they try that against Duluth or the Siouux but they wont cause they know they would be knocked off their horse and get beat down look at the past when they try to pick fights its two or three gophers against one opponent. Anyway the gophers wont be there in the end they will get their’s in the end and not to mention in the big 10. Go UNO MAVS

    • Usually the Gophers vs UMD and Gophers vs UND games are played with respect by both teams. Go back to the CHA and keep losing to Bemidji and Huntsville.

    • What you have written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point during your rambling, incoherent response were you anything close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul… The Gophers are very proud of their prestigious program and respect their all of their opponents (Especially North Dakota and Duluth) so I don’t know what you are talking about.

    • Were you watching the game? The Gophers didn’t start any fights. It was completely obvious that Tech was extremely angered by getting overworked with the Gopher’s speed all night. And wow, WCHA newcomer UNO fan already is an expert on WCHA play/teams. Have you ever watched a Gopher/Sioux game? Can there be any more fights then there already are during those games? The Sioux even decided to go after Blake Wheeler during the handshake when every player got into it. Please save your basic hockey knowledge about your new conference after you’ve been here a few years.

      • There were at least 10 cheap shots in that game, coming from both teams.  It wasn’t the Sioux singling him out, everyone wanted to drop the gloves.  Even Ness and Duncan mixed it up that night.  If Tech didn’t learn how to deal with frustration over the last 4 years, it’s never going to happen.  New coach, new attitude, better results.  They play with lot more intensity, and that can work both ways for a young team.  The coaches dropping f-bombs at each other was pretty entertaining, but it looked like Tech boiled over. It’s still a little early to completly write them off, but I don’t see them making the tourney on an at-large.  They’re gonna have to win a bid.

        • I wasn’t saying Minnesota wasn’t at fault in that game. Just responding to the UNO fan that thinks Minnesota backs down from a challenge. UND/UM games are something I look forward to and dread at the same time. Anything can happen, and its been proven countless times.

      • Exactly how do you know what happens out on the ice? are you there? of course not, so before you point fingers know the facts. Finley was pulling on Wheeler but wheeler talks a lot of trash and everyone knows it.  Cocky gopher……just about every Sioux great that is from minnesota was recruited hard by minnesota  but they chose NORTH DAKOTA!!! because of sioux pride

        • Why are you so mad? I wasn’t bashing UND at all, which is unusual for me. I was using it as an example that UM doesn’t back down, especially to UND. Sorry that you took it the wrong way…

        • just like the previous poster knows nothing about what went on, on the ice.  You know nothing about what occurred in the recruitment process, so save it.

        • No your right he won’t……but possibly next year.  I would think that Patterson has a much better chance, especially if he continues to play as well in the second half, as he has in the first half.

          • Unfortunately I don’t think Bjugstad will have a chance  next year. He probably wont be back. Florida GM has hinted they would take him now if they could. Gopher D has to tighten it up on friday for Patterson to have a chance at Hobey. It would be nice but a long shot at best.

          • My son played in the same association as young Mr. Patterson so we saw him frequently through bantams.  He is a quality kid, a quality goal-tender, and he carried his teams back then too.  As I have repeatedly stated, my tirades are not directed at the Gopher’s players (though I think K. Rau embellished the high stick saturday) but at the gofer-faithful (aka rodents, rodentia…) who likely have never been to campus (and yes, I have been).  You have proven yourself a smart hockey fan who admits his bias.  I respect that. Mr. Patterson is definitely a candidate.  And if anyone has yet to wonder who I cheer for let me just say KEEP FIGHTING SIOUX.

    • The Gophers didn’t start anything. A stick to the head while you’re skating off for a change, will prompt retaliation every time. As for the Flickertails and the Bulldogs, did you notice  the GOPHER SWEEPS?

  3. I am sick and tired of Minnesota’s (and their fans) arrogance.  The last I checked the weekend was split.  And what’s this about being a fluke start?  Really?!?!  Oh and Mel Pearson has way more class than the smug Lucia (or his lackey). 

  4. For the benefit of you youngsters, Michigan Tech and Minnesota have a bitter history that goes back to the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons when they were #1 and #2 in the US. I remember a game my freshman year at MTU in 1976 when the fights started as soon as they dropped the puck. Gloves were dropped, punches were thrown and helmets were flipped into the stands. Big Gord Salt was pounding on UM players. It was a battle both nights! By the end of Saturday’s game, each team had only two players and a backup goalie left on the bench because all of the other players had been ejected.

  5. Haha it’s so funny to come to this site mainly because of the Gopher hating. After a long time of us beating you it’s understandable that you naturally hate us, and I’m okay with that. We have the 2nd best offense and tied for 5th best defense in the nation, I don’t think I need to say anymore to prove we are a dominant team. Are we perfect? No, and no WCHA team goes through a season without losing a few to lower level teams, that’s just the way the conference is.

  6. What I would love to know is why, if the goophs are so great, why do they bring in the crappiest teams to play non conference and that retarded holiday tournament against? Come on, Vermont? Sacred Heart? Niagara? Look out for these guys. What a line up of $hitty games. They must bring them in so they can try and stomp them 15-0 over the weekend and try and look all that better.

    • You probably don’t understand hockey so that’s fine. Every year they play their holiday tournament and those lineups for such tournament are set years in advance giving no one the slightest idea of whose going to be good or not. Also, when most top ranking non-conference teams have their own tournament it’s tough to get those schools to come play in your tournament.



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