NCAA Quarterfinal Picks

And then there were eight…

We’ve reached the final two weekends of the season and in just over 24 hours we will know who the four teams that will be competing for the 2012 Division III Women’s National Championship.

Concordia (Minn.) @ RIT

Out of the four matchups, this is probably the one that everyone is already penciling in a winner for. Concordia (Minn.) has been a great story this season but they are really up against it having to fly to Rochester, N.Y. to take on the top-ranked Tigers. I think the biggest key in this game is going to be depth. Concordia has a great top line with Taffe, Julius and Dold but after those three the scoring drops off significantly. On the other hand, RIT can roll all four lines and get consistent scoring from three of them night in and night out no matter who they are playing. I just don’t see RIT losing this one in perhaps their final run at a Division III title before the impending move to Division I that is rumored to be happening next season. I like RIT in this one by a score of 5-1.

Amherst @ Norwich

The story lines in this game are incredible. Not only does this game a rematch of the 2010 National Championship, it also has the two teams that have combined to win the last three national championships going head to head. Amherst won in 2009 and 2010, while Norwich won last year. The Cadets also have the pressure on to continue the trend of every team that has won the national championship winning it at least the next year as well. Amherst beat Norwich 2-0 on Jan. 24 at Orr Rink. Since then, Norwich has won 11 games in a row. As cliche as it sounds, this game comes down to special teams and goaltending. Amherst’s Sinead Murphy has some of the best numbers for a goalie in the country sporting a 0.99 goals against average and a save percentage over .950. Kelly Fisk has been solid for Norwich between the pipes and has set a new program single-season record for shutouts with seven. This game also features two of the best players in the country and two likely RBK First Team All-Americans in Norwich’s Julier Fortier and Amherst’s Geneva Lloyd. Amherst is one the teams I think Norwich was hoping to avoid in the Quarterfinal round and I think the Lord Jeffs take this one. Amherst 2-1.

Wis.-River Falls @ Gustavus Adolphus

For the last couple of years River Falls and Gustavus Adolphus have started to emerge from the rest of the pack in the West Region and really assert themselves as the two teams to beat. They’ll meet once again this year in the Quarterfinal round. Last year, Gustavus got the best of the Falcons in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Gusties had an uncharacteristic loss to St. Olaf late in the season but since they’ve pretty much rolled and I think they’ve got too much fire power in this one to be stopped. Plus, as much as Danielle Justice doesn’t get recognition, she consistently puts up outstanding numbers and is going to go down as having one of the most underrated careers in D-III history awards wise. I like the Gusties 3-2 in this one.

Plattsburgh @ Middlebury

This game should also be a dandy especially considering each team ended its regular season against each other with a 4-4 tie a few weeks ago. Plattsburgh got back into the NCAA tournament this year after a one-year hiatus, but just barely as the Cardinals had to sweat it out a little bit on selection Sunday wondering if they were going to be the odd man out. Instead, Elmira was and Plattsburgh got in this year and they were just barely left out last year for the final at-large bid, losing it to Norwich. Both team’s goalies have shown the ability to shut down top offenses, but also give up quite a few goals as well. Middlebury I think gets a little bit of an edge playing the game on their big ice sheet at Kenyon over the smaller surface at the Stafford. Plattsburgh’s size is their best strength and the play of Teal Gove since the calendar turned to 2012 can’t be overlooked. She’s completely taken over on offense for them. Both teams are deep with mutiple players than can hurt you. I think this game has overtime written all over it and I’ll take Plattsburgh 3-2 in a mild upset.

64 COMMENTS

  1. I think Michigan should hope for a split and expect to at least get a point. It’s going to be tough on the road for a team with a pretty terrible blueline who just saw their all-star goalie have an exceptionally tough weekend (allowing 6 goals on 45 shots to Penn State of all teams).

    Minnesota 4-1, Michigan 3-2 (SO)

    • I don’t think the defense is terrible- Downing and DeJong are freshmen and make mistakes. Serville and Clare get exposed, and Bennett is more of an offensive d-man. Sinelli is a converted forward and Lohan got hurt early on. Keep in mind they also lost Merrill and Trouba early. They are only as good as their forwards helping them. Besides compared to Minnesota, there are at least 50 other schools that are deficient on the blueline.

  2. Paula, your giving way, way to much love to MSU. You have them scoring 6 goals on the week-end. They haven’t scored 6 goal in a month, and they won’t do it now. The one thing they are “consistent” at is not scoring. Jake is very, very good,. But when you have to rely on your GT to win games, you won’t.
    PSU 3-2 (SO) and 3-1 (E. net).
    What do you think Noke?

    • Almost called it correctly. But when MSU goes 0-6 on the PP. Including 1:50 of 5-3 and gets just ONE shot! might as well pull the GT and try 6-3. wonder if Anastos can decline the penalty. Skate 5-5 still. Scored 12 goals in the last 7 games. 1.7 Goals a game. All MSU goals were scored Blocker side. So why did the first 6 shooters in the Shoot Out go glove or 5 hole? Learn something will y’all. Geeze. where’s the Coaching? Oh, on the PSU bench.

  3. The only hot streak the nodak no names are on is beating bad teams. They haven’t beat a single team that has a winning record and in this “hot streak” as you say they have also struggled with most of them.

      • Can you read? Where are the Gophers mentioned? I hope you’re still in junior high, because if you’re in your twenties or older, you are not smart. You prove it every time you post your ridiculous garbage. You used to bug me, but now I just feel bad for you and what it must be like to live in your world. Maybe you’re even too dumb to know how dumb you are.

      • No if my team had been playing the schedule that the no names are playing and struggling as bad as they are with Bemidji, Wisconsin, and the absolute power house that is air force I would be highly disappointed and not defending lack luster play at all

        • Last time I checked the PWR calculates W and L, not how you got them. By that rational, when Tiger Woods holes a bunker shot for birdie, it’s a bad birdie because it wasn’t done in regulation? That’s why they play the games, son.

        • Struggling? Do you even watch the games? Or do you look at a 2-1 score and say it should have been 9-0, so they struggled. Bet a 2-1 by your team is total domination, right? Here’s North Dakota’s shot totals for each game. 9 games and have only been out shot twice. Averaging almost 33.5 shots a game.
          UND 26 BSU 33
          UND 32 BSU 29
          UND 39 CC 32
          UND 35 CC 23
          UND 34 PROV 23
          UND 26 PROV 33
          UND 33 AF 20
          UND 43 WISCO 20
          UND 33 WISCO 24

          Yeah, it’s sure is a struggle. 7-2 win, 6-1 win, 5-1 win……struggle. Friday’s 4-3 win could have easily been 9-3 if wisco didn’t have Rumpel in net.

      • If you are talking about Saturdays Wisconsin game I stand by my comments it wasn’t till Wisconsin scored on their own team and completely fell apart that the no names had any sort of advantage prior to that I feel that Wisconsin was buzzing and had the no names on their heels till then

        • Uh, isn’t winning games ultimately the goal of the sport? The games are played instead of mailed in because winning them is rarely easy, and you guys who continue to be obsessed with style points don’t seem to grasp that simple concept.

    • You forget possession, shots, and bounces. There has been only one game this year where UND played like the lesser team, and they lost that one. You would be foolish to dismiss the talent of the great Green and White

  4. Do the writers actually watch the games, or look at the box score, or even proof read a story. At no point was UND down 3-1 on Friday.

  5. Looking forward to this weekend’s Miami-North Dakota series. Should be a good test for both teams. After last year’s 5 game series that UND won 3-2, both will be looking to prove something with Miami hoping to overcome the embarrassing 9-0 loss at Grand Forks and North Dakota hoping to avenge a 3-0 loss at the Frozen Faceoff in Minneapolis. Hoping for some good hockey!

  6. All the UND and Gopher haters that complain about the schedule need to get a life and realize these schedules are made a year in advance. There is no possible way to know how good any teams will be a year in the future. The object is to win the games you play, and get the top 14 in the PWR, knowing 2 slots will go to conference champs that might not be in the top 16.

  7. I herd that Ralph Engelstad was a Nazis. As a megga Fitting Soiux fan, this makes me two sad. I herd that he throwed birthday party’s too honer Hitler. I can not bilieve that some body wood due that. I doesn’t think I wil ever goto the Ralph again. :(

      • It’s nice to see Joe Black’s take a stand against a horrible man. He’s a very smart North Dakota fan and a solid human being.

    • You’re right about Ralph, Joe Black’s. Here are some facts on the real Ralph Engelstad.

      “Ralph Engelstad is a Las Vegas casino owner and a major donor to the University of North Dakota, where he was a goalie in the late ’40s. He’s also a guy who’s been fined $1.5 million by the Nevada Gaming Control Board for damaging the reputation of the state by holding, in two separate years, private Hitler’s Birthday parties at his casino, complete with a swastika cake, German food and marching music, bartenders wearing T-shirts with the words “Adolph Hitler European Tour 1939-45,” and a life-size
      portrait of Hitler inscribed “To Ralphie from Adolph, 1939.”

      I find it sad that that a university of “higher” learning embraces Engelstad while he celebrated a man responsilble for the genocide of 11,000,000 people and starting a global war.

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