Simpson’s gutsy play inspires as North Dakota ends losing skid

North Dakota at Denver, Feb. 22, 2013 (Candace Horgan)
North Dakota captain Dillon Simpson blocked eight shots Saturday night against Nebraska-Omaha. (Photo: Candace Horgan)

To find out what a performance from a hockey team’s captain should look like, one needn’t look much further than the game film from last weekend’s series between No. 11 North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha.

Dillon Simpson, a UND defenseman wearing a ‘C’ over his heart in his senior season in Grand Forks, only picked up one point all weekend against the Mavericks at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center. What really made him stand out last weekend though, was his play when the puck wasn’t on his stick.

UND’s longest losing streak (three games) in one year turned into its longest losing skid in seven (four) Saturday night when UNO beat its visitors 4-2, but Simpson was arguably the last person anyone could blame for UND’s loss that night.

In fact, UNO maybe would’ve won by an even greater margin Saturday were it not for Simpson. Of the 15 shots UND blocked in front of goaltender Zane Gothberg in that game, Simpson led the visitors by far with eight.

To put that into even deeper perspective, consider his teammates’ numbers in that category Saturday: Only one other UND skater had two blocked shots in the game, and five had one apiece.

UND then won Sunday’s rematch by a 3-2 count to salvage a series split. The visitors had to hold on for the final 20 minutes of the game though, after Simpson left in the second period due to an injury, and he could only watch when UNO forward Josh Archibald cut an earlier 3-1 UND lead to 3-2 with 12 seconds left in the game’s middle frame.

Simpson’s departure from the game further shortened a UND bench – which only had 12 forwards available going into last weekend – that was already beginning to run out of gas, just like it had in Saturday’s third period against the Mavericks.

This time however, UND managed to hold on. Largely thanks to 11 saves in Sunday’s third period from goaltender Clarke Saunders, UND battened down the hatches in the weekend’s final frame and ground out the win.

UNO had its chances to find a second equalizer of the game, including a 5-on-3 power play for 1:46 in the middle of the third period as well as Mavericks defenseman Michael Young hitting the bar with a shot inside the final ten seconds of regulation, but UND forward Drake Caggiula’s goal 8:52 into the second period ultimately stood up as the game-winner.

With its win Sunday evening, UND bumped its record up to 2-4-0-0 in the NCHC and 3-4-1 overall. UNO finished the weekend 3-1-0-0 in the NCHC and 5-5-0 overall.

Saunders and UND’s top four remaining healthy defensemen in Jordan Schmaltz, Paul LaDue, Nick Mattson and Troy Stecher deserve a lot of credit for their performances in the third period as they kept the Mavericks’ potent offense at bay.

However, what fans in Omaha saw last weekend from Simpson before he succumbed to an as-of-yet undisclosed injury was a masterclass in on-ice leadership and an athlete putting his body on the line for his team’s cause.

Slow starts haven’t deterred St. Cloud State

It’s not at all uncommon to hear players and coaches speak in post-game interviews about an ability to overcome adversity. For the Huskies of third-ranked St. Cloud State, they’re already getting plenty of experience of doing just that.

SCSU may have only managed a split at home last weekend with No. 7 Miami, but the Huskies’ 2-1 win Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn. marked the fourth time this season they’ve taken at least a point despite trailing after the first period.

One night after the RedHawks blanked SCSU 2-0 thanks in large part to 31 saves from sophomore goaltender Ryan McKay, Miami got on the board first again Saturday’s rematch. Max Cook did the honors, beating Huskies junior goalie Ryan Faragher 18:03 into Saturday’s first period.

SCSU junior forward Garret Milan answered for the Huskies not long after the second period started, though, beating McKay just 1:34 into Saturday’s middle frame. Things then got even better at 10:52 of the third period when Huskies sophomore forward David Morley latched onto a no-look centering feed from Jimmy Murray behind the RedHawk net before beating McKay for the eventual game-winning goal.

Saturday’s win saw the Huskies finish the weekend tied on points for first place in the NCHC. Both SCSU and UNO are 3-1-0-0 in the league so far this season, although the Huskies (6-1-1) have a significantly better overall record than the Mavericks do.

Denver, Colorado College play out NCHC’s first overtime shootout

We had to wait – some folks surely more excitedly than others – for the very first overtime shootout in the NCHC, but the moment finally arrived in Friday’s Gold Pan rivalry game between Colorado College and Denver.

After playing to a 1-1 tie through 65 minutes at the World Arena in Colorado Springs Friday night, the game was settled with a shootout. DU won the shootout 2-0 to take two of the three league points initially on offer when the night began.

Pioneers defenseman Joey LaLeggia and DU forward David Makowski both beat CC goaltender Josh Thorimbert in the shootout. The Tigers’ two shooters, forwards Charlie Taft and Andrew Krushelnyski, failed to find a way past DU goaltender Sam Brittain.

With the shootout win in Colorado Springs plus a 2-1 win over the Tigers in Saturday’s rematch at DU’s Magness Arena, Denver’s record improved to 1-2-1-1 in the NCHC and 4-5-1 overall. CC fell to 1-4-1-0 in the NCHC and 1-6-1 overall.

Nationally, any shootout win in NCHC play counts as a tie.


      • No need to be a jerk about it. People root for their team, teams lose, and some people show sportsmanship while others rub it in.

        Congrats to UNH and Notre Dame, btw. Best of luck in the future. Same to all the other winners today. It’s interesting how the players shake hands after the game ends while their fans make comments like this one.

    • BC fans should only be upset that their team and goalie really didn’t show up. If they use that as an excuse that’s pretty lame. I do think Miami got a pretty tough draw. UNH along with CC are good #4 seeds.

      • UNH is a good #4 seed on reputation, they were 4-5-2 in their last 11 games before this and stumbled into the tournament. If they weren’t so bad down the stretch, they would have stayed a #2 or #3 seed and BC would have been in Manchester and Miami (10-0-3 with 3 SOW) would have been in St. Louis. Also, as you said, CC would have been a tough draw for them too. UNH’s speed caused them problems, CC is much faster. UNH played their best game of the year tonight, coming from somebody who has seen 25 of their 38 games in person and 4 more on TV.
        I think BC’s whole team forgot to show up, not just Muse.

  1. That game was set up for Miami to lose. They’re supposedly the 1-seed, but they’re forced to play 15 hours away from home against a 4 seed who’s playing in their home state, only 1 hour from their campus. Miami got screwed by the refs in the second period… they called bogus penalties against Miami and didn’t call legitimate penalties against New Hampshire. Penalties should at least be called both ways.

    Not that Miami played great, because they didn’t… but all teams deserve a fair match-up, especially 1-seeds, and Miami didn’t get anything fair. BC and Miami should have traded regional locations and the games would have been much more fair.

    • The rules have been in place for a while now regarding host teams playing at their regional and the committee avoiding intra-conference games. Get over it.

      • Well, maybe the rules need to change. What’s wrong with campaigning for a change in the rules? I think a lot of fans would agree. The WCHA has 2 of their 3 teams playing in the same regional. The CCHA has a #1 playing in the home of the #4. The CCHA also has 2 of their teams playing at the same regional. Hockey East has a #1 playing in the wrong regional.

        Maybe the rules suck and if no one takes a stand, they’ll never change.

        • Maybe your team had an off night. Is it possible they could have had an off night if game was in Cleveland or Columbus or Cincy? They lost. Deal with it.

          • Please see the above post, it replies to you too.

            Who’s your school? I’ll make sure to rub it in when they lose too. Just like you’re doing now.

          • I wouldn’t have rubbed it in if you didn’t complain so much about reffing and the fact your team had to travel so far. Rub it in all you want if UNH loses. We have been there before and are mature about it.

          • I made one post saying a couple of things were unfair. (Miami gets sent to the Northeast to play a Hockey East team almost every tournament.) And backed up my statement when someone had something rude to say about it. I wouldn’t say that’s “complaining so much.” And I could care less whether you win or not… I’m just saying that if you show some sportsmanship, I will too. *handshake?*

          • I never said a nasty thing about Miami by the way. They are a good program with a great coach. Anything can happen in one game and UNH had a great night and they didn’t. I don’t see how you can use other external reasons for why they lost.

        • But you are using the same argument that has been used for years and plenty have complained. Guess what??? It hasn’t changed!
          The NCAA wants $$$$$.
          And in reply to your other post, there was a definite phantom trip against UNH late and both teams were just superb on the power play anyways, a combined 0-7!

          • Please direct me to this “phantom trip” that everyone’s so excited about. I’d like to see video because I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m willing to have a look at it. Do you mean the knee trip on Miele? If so, you better learn your hockey rules because that’s a penalty every time! That was an intentional contact to injure another player… that’s wrong.

            I remember seeing a very deliberate trip in the 2nd period made by a UNH player on a Miami player skating into the offensive zone and there was no call. This, right after a “hooking” call against a Miami player where there was absolutely no contact between the two players whatsoever. And a UNH player flopped while standing near Vaive on a Miami scoring chance, so the officials called “interference.” The point is, if the officials hadn’t given UNH a man advantage for half of the 2nd period, Miami could have played with a lot more heart. You can’t tell me that Miami committed penalty after penalty and UNH did absolutely nothing wrong the entire 2nd period. It’s really deflating to have things constantly going against you. It’s hard to get a good offense going when you’re killing penalties for the entire period and only playing with 5 players for 30 seconds at a time. And if you don’t think that can have a huge impact on a team, you haven’t watched enough hockey.

            But that’s beside the point. I agree completely that Miami didn’t play well. I said that in my first post. They need to recruit some faster dudes. They need to take shots on the power play. They certainly didn’t play the type of hockey that won them the Mason Cup in Detroit last week. And, yes, they could have played just as bad at any other arena in the country. But Miami has been screwed year after year by the selection committee. We’ve played BC in Worcester which may as well be playing at BC’s campus. And if you really think it doesn’t make a difference, you’ve never been to the kind of high intensity, emotionally charged games that we have at the CCHA schools. And how does the NCAA earn any more money putting Miami in New Hampshire and BC in St. Louis? And what kind of argument is “oh, the rules might suck, but they’ve never changed them before, so we just won’t complain about them anymore!”

            And what’s so freaking wrong with being upset about your hockey team losing its chance at a National Championship yet again? It’s the same thing year after year. Whether by their own crappy playing, the calls of the officials, or the decisions of the selection committee, they’ve flopped every year. With this group of seniors, I thought this might be our last chance for a few years (Miele, Camper, Cannone, Vaive, and LoVerde are graduating leaving only Reilly Smith and a supporting cast), but then the selection committee put us at the home of the #4 seed, and I had a bad feeling about it as soon as they made the announcement. Yeah, I’m disappointed. Wouldn’t you be? You think it’s funny rubbing it in? Aside from which school we’re rooting for, aren’t all of you exactly the same as me? We all get pumped up for a new season, we enjoy our triumphs inside our conference, and we hope for the best in the tournament. I know the BC fans are saying exactly the same thing that I am about the NCAA selection. And I’m sure your schools have had things happen in the past that upset you and you said the same things I’m saying now. Five years ago, my school had not been ranked #1 in any national ranking in any sport. They had never been to the Frozen Four. They took a small program and turned it into a major force in the college hockey world. But they haven’t won a National Championship. Until this year, they hadn’t even won the CCHA tournament. Meanwhile I’ve watched the same schools win over and over and over and they continue get all the breaks. And in a couple years we’re losing the best teams in our conference to a new conference and we’re not invited to join them. Things are just peachy for our hockey program right now. So tell me, you really blame me for being upset?

          • KN, relax, it’s only college hockey.
            The trip, I don’t remember the Miami player, no it wasn’t Miele’s, that was a definite penalty. It was the other 3rd period penalty. The money part comes in because by keeping the host team at home, you are guaranteed a lot of ticket sales, so beyond that, they don’t care. The NE Regional had the highest attendance for semi-finals. Remember, the schools in Hockey East are much closer together than the CCHA and WCHA, which also helps attendance. Other HE fans will come to a venue like Manchester without even having a team because it is close. All I am saying about the rules is that the argument has been here forever and the NCAA won’t change.
            OK, they did call 3 in a row on Miami, but total penalties were 4 to 3, they gave you guys two later in the game when you were trailing 2-1. Typical NCAA reffing, just try to make the total penalties even. I think I have seen a bit of hockey over the past 41 years, including the last 13 FF’s.
            I met a few great guys from Miami in Washington D.C., at the Frozen Four, two years ago and I was cheering for them against BU, even though I usually cheer for my conference. You know why??? Because you guys are in the same boat as us. UNH has had a number of great seasons, 10 straight NCAA appearances (17 out of the last 21), 4 Frozen Fours, 2 National Championship games… but ZERO National Titles! So, WE are not the team you have been watching win year after year. I am by no means bashing Miami, I wish them the best, their fans aren’t in the same category a some WCHA teams that I can’t stand. But don’t talk to UNH fans about being upset and frustrated about seasons, over and over and over, we’ve been there way too much.
            That said, if you’re going to use quotes, at least make them a true quote, not your view on it.
            Hockey East fans, other than Maine are not as rowdy, loud, and game changing as some CCHA and almost all WCHA fans.
            All this aside, UNH played the most complete game I have seen them play all year. They do not usually play well in Manchester and have been very inconsistent all year. You said Miami needed to take more shots, but the stats show UNH blocking 20 shots. Maybe UNH actually decided to give up the body and try to do what it takes to win, they never block that many. I also remember that UNH won at your house early in the season, 6-3, so we beat you there, why couldn’t it be turned around here? Granted, that was the first week of the season, but your team was red hot, UNH was not, coming into this weekend. Maybe it was more the attitude and mind set about having to come to NH to play UNH.
            That was way more than I intended to write. Anyways, long story short, good luck to Miami and to UNH on FINALLY, sooner or later, going on to win the whole thing.

          • Honestly, my big beef is with Boston College and Boston University, but by extension, all of Hockey East. I guess I should be rooting for UNH because you guys have to put up with playing the Bostons all the time… we only meet once a year. And yes, Miami played UNH at the beginning of the year… the result was a win and loss to each team, scores of both games were 6-3.

            I realize that the NCAA would make a lot of money off UNH people going to the game, but wouldn’t just as many BC fans show up if BC were playing there and Miami went out West? You said yourself that those schools are all very close together. Boston’s only an hour away. And no one was going to show up to the West game anyway because it was far away from every team. If they’re really all about money, they should put a regional in each conference or something. There should never have been a game in St. Louis at all… there’s no college hockey teams there. Unless they were going for fairness by making game inconvenient for everyone. But if that’s the case, then back to my original argument about games being most fair to #1 seeds. I realize that they aren’t going to change the rules… the NCAA will never admit that there’s a problem, and Miami will play a Hockey East school in the Northeast Regional year after year and I’ll complain forevermore. And why do Worcester and Manchester get to alternate hosting a regional every year?

            Penalties ended up pretty even, but those kind of make-up penalties are too little too late. I missed the first two goals of the game because ESPN chose to show me lacrosse (a sport that no one cares about, not even the kids playing it), so I didn’t get to see Miami score at all. But near the end of the 2nd period I thought: “gee, if UNH keeps getting power plays, they’re going to score, and if they score, Miami’s going to lose because they’re not going to be able to make it up.” It was the kind of game where if Miami had been allowed to take the lead, they probably would have held on (no guarantees… nightmare flashback to the Boston University incident in DC). But I knew that if UNH took the lead, Miami, even if they scored to tie, they wouldn’t win. That’s what ticked me off about getting penalty after penalty called against us.

            Question for you… First of all, were you watching in person or on television? Second, I looked around on the other blogs and was reminded of this… did you think there were some awfully strange bounces off the boards? Miami typically will hit the puck hard into the corner so that it will countinue around the corner, go behind the net, around the other corner, to the other Miami player across the ice. But more than once, the puck would bounce off the boards and end up right next to a UNH player. On one occassion, it went from behind the net to right out in front of the Miami goalie where the UNH player got a good scoring chance out of it. It just seemed like the whole game stupid things like that were happening to us. Part of it, of course, was our own inability to handle passes and such. And they need to do something different with the camera in that arena… it’s too low and too far from the ice. When the action comes to the near side, the cameraman loses the puck and the camera zooms around behind the play trying to find the puck for the next 30 seconds.

            And I know it’s just college hockey, but it’s really not just college hockey. I live in Ohio and we never win anything. The Indians were decent in the 90s, although they never won a World Series, but now they suck again (and if we grow a kid through our farm system and he turns into a decent player, we trade him for 3 new kids that we can put back into our farm system). The Browns are perpetually bad… and not only that, we had that team stolen from us for 3 years and had to start over from scratch with an expansion team when football returned… we’ll never win a Super Bowl… heck, we’ll never even play in the playoffs! Basketball? Our best player grew up here and he knows how badly our fans want to win something, but instead he made a plan with some of his friends that he’d “take his talents” elsewhere. Personally, I don’t like Ohio State, but my dad does, and I live with him, so the fact that Ohio State lost at basketball yesterday too made things worse. We get nothing here, except for disappointment. I realize that I’m lumping the Northeast together and you personally might not like all the teams there, but it seems like you guys win everything… you’ve got the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Patriots, Giants, Celtics. And I came on here to make one little comment that the hockey game was designed for Miami to lose, and I still think it was, although Miami did play bad (well, not absolutely terrible, but not nearly as good as they did last week) and UNH played well, and people jump all over me saying I’m whining. Well, you guys get born in a city where everything sucks and we’re always losing at everything and see how it feels. You’d be a little bitter too.

            Good luck, though, to UNH. I certainly don’t mean to say that your team sucks or anything. You earned your spot in the tournament, and although I wish you had lost instead of us, you deserve your chance at the title. I’m just lamenting the latest blow in a series of many to a sports fan in Ohio.

          • I just tried to reply and it didn’t let me, so here goes again.

            Honestly, my big beef is with Boston College and Boston University, but by extension, all of hockey east. I guess I really ought to be rooting for UNH because you guys have to play the Bostons all the time and we only have to play them once a year.

            I realize that lots of Hockey East fans come out for the Regionals hosted there. But wouldn’t just as many BC fans come to Manchester… it’s only an hour away? And if they’re trying to make money, then each conference should host a regional. There’s no school near St. Louis, so obviously no one was going to show up.

            Penalties turned out even, but make-up penalties are too little too late. Half way through the game I thought to myself that Miami needed to score 1st… they wouldn’t be able to come from behind and win the way they were playing. But if you constantly give power plays to the other team, they’re going to score eventually. Calling make up penalties afterwards is just an attempt to fudge the stats so it looks more fair than it was.

            Yes, our teams played at the start of the season. The result was a win and loss for each team… score was 6-3 for both games.

            I don’t mean to say that your team sucks or anything. UNH played well. Especially when we were on the power play… we couldn’t get a shot to your goalie… we couldn’t get in the offensive zone most of the time. Miami didn’t play their best (not their worst either).

            And although it’s “just college hockey,” it’s not. It’s every sport in Ohio. It’s watching crappy baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Our football team left for 3 years and we had to start over from scratch. Our best basketball player grew up here, but still chose to “take his talents” elsewhere. Our pro hockey team has been around for 10 years and the best they have to show for it is one playoffs appearance where they lost all 4 games in a row. But that’s what being a fan is. You grow up somewhere, you root for those teams, and you get disappointment after disappointment. Meanwhile (and I realize that I’m lumping all of New England together although I’m sure you have your favorite teams too), the north east has won everything. It’s hard not to be bitter after a while.

            Like I said, I have nothing against you or your team. Although I wish we had won, you guys played good and earned your chance at the tournament. Good luck to you and UNH in the future. I hope we both get our championships soon.

          • The problem was, your team did score the very first goal and UNH answered right back. You can’t tell me that trailing 2-1 in the third that 2 straight power plays aren’t a huge advantage unless your team had already considered themselves beaten. If they had, then that is their own fault or Blasi’s fault, not anybody else.
            All I mean about attendance is that it probably wouldn’t have been any higher if it was Merrimack or BC there. UNH would sell enough to make them money. I think St. Louis benefited from BC being there on name only, some people may have come out. Someday, maybe all conferences will step up and host, but I know for one, HE would rather let the schools deal with the hassles and headaches and make the money.
            I am not a Red Sox or a Patriots fan, so again, I feel your pain in those sports. I won’t tell you who I like, in pro sports, but they haven’t won either. The Bruins haven’t done anything in a lot of years. But, this is a college hockey blog, so yes, it is just college hockey.
            We will both get our championships; hopefully UNH will get the second win tonight, but we will see.
            I, nor about 95% of UNH fans won’t bash other teams, even if we don’t like them, we mostly show respect. I think your first post and the “like” of the post by Gken got a few people going though, including me.
            Anyways, you have a great program and a great coach there and good luck in the future.

          • The thing I liked about gken’s comment was the part about “I can’t believe they got such a good draw.” If I could like one sentence and not the rest, I would. I wouldn’t say that they paid off the officials and I certainly couldn’t care less about any comments about Merrimack beating anyone.

            I don’t have a problem with you, your team, or other fans. I love hockey. I didn’t realize that suggesting a change in the selection rules was going to have people up in arms. But after being targetted by everyone else, I had to defend myself. I didn’t realize that making one little comment was going to make me perceived as such an unsporting whiner… after all, I never said anything bad about your schools, your hockey teams, your fans, etc. I made one calm legitimate suggestion about a change in the rules and everyone jumped all over me and rubbed in the loss after I was already frustrated.

            The thing about the power plays is that Miami does much better when playing from ahead than from behind. I think they do have a mental thing about being behind. That’s what made me so upset about all the penalties in the 2nd period. Those penalties gave UNH the momentum and allowed them to take the lead. Getting 2 power plays after we’re already losing is not the same as getting 4 straight power plays while the game is tied. But I agree that it’s Miami’s fault for not finding a way to score… and UNH did play some good defense on the PK. Miami plays too much dump and chase in the tournament. It works ok agaisnt other CCHA teams because Miami can usually win the chase to the puck (or at least slam into their opponents and take the puck back), but it doesn’t work against you Hockey East schools because something in the water makes your players so much faster than ours.

            I agree that Miami didn’t play their best. I agree that UNH played well. I congratulate UNH and wish you and your team luck. I hope that Miami plays more Hockey East teams in the future… they’re not going to get any better against your style of play without playing against them.

          • No worries from me, KN, I do like the enthusiasm you have for the game and for your team.
            Miami does have some struggles and bad luck (’09 BU) against HE teams.
            Good luck to Miami next year and hope to see them again in the tourney. It was nice playing them in a series last year and this year, maybe they can continue that series somewhere down the line too. we’ll both get our National titles, I just hope I’m alive to see them!
            Will see some of you in St. Paul, the rest in October!

          • Get a life. Read the paper. UNH did not score a power play goal. I think the rules are likely to change BUT they still have to play the game. Home ice in hockey isn’t as big a deal as you think. You know how many times we have heard about no natl. championships? Miami should have won against BU two years ago but choked. So you are in same camp as us. Better luck next year. Miami is a good program and will be back again. Some BC fans are upset but they lost convincingly the other night. Just because fans yell and scream does not meant they will play well. I know you will be on here giving it to UNH fans if they lose tonight but I won’t be on here whining about it.

          • The only thing I’ll have to say about the game tonight is congratulations to both teams for playing and good luck to the winner in the future. I show sportsmanship. You’re the one rubbing in my loss… I said several times that my team didn’t play well. I just made one suggestion that the selection committee could have done better and everyone jumped all over me. What do you expect me to say? It’s frustrating watching the same thing happen to my team every year and seeing the Bostons have such success. I just wish that my team could catch a break.

            And, yes, playing at home has a big impact in the CCHA. You’ve obviously never been to a game here. I realize that you Hockey East fans are more reserved than CCHA fans. But don’t tell me that it doesn’t make a difference when you’ve never been to a CCHA game.

    • KN — game wasn’t as close as the score (Miami had calls go their way also, such as a phantom “trip”). Don’t take my word for it, check Check Dave Hendrickson’s appraisal above. They played great for the first 40 seconds or so… just like they played great for the first 59 minutes in last year’d final.

    • Miami played in slow motion. That is on nobody but Miami. They had the right of last line change which is actually more valuable in that game because the UNH crowd was FAAAAAAR from a home crowd at a Wisconsin or UND game. You play sluggish…….you lose….doesn’t matter when or where.

    • Don’t forget to sleep with your blankey tonight…the whining is pathetic. Ask Blasi and he will tell you they got bet. End of story.

      • And what do you do when your team loses? Good game and all that… congrats on your win. *offers handshake*

        Rubbing in another team’s loss is even more pathetic than “whining.” And what do you mean “they got bet”… I wasn’t aware of any betting. Did you bet on them?

        Who is going to advocate for a change in the rules if not the losers? Certainly the people benefiting from the rules have no interest in changing them. It’s easy to push aside any intelligent comments with the reply “whiner,” and nothing would ever get fixed. Really sportsmanlike reply Jim. Which team are you rooting for? I’ll get back to you after their next loss.

        And by the way, I prefer my stuffed animals over my “blankey.”

        See my more lengthy reply below.

        • they got beat and you sound like a whiner. I am a UNH fan and if they were in Ohio and got beat by Miami I wouldn’t sound like you on this blog.

          • Really? I just said congratulations to your team and good luck in the future. I said UNH played well and Miami didn’t. I made one suggestion for improving the entire tournament for all teams in the future. And you’re calling me a whiner. Who’s the one with sportsmanship here?

  2. really can not believe that unh got such a good draw much have paid of the ncaa the way they paid the hockey east officials this year. hope they play merrimack and get crushed

    • Paying off officials? Wow. Do you know anything about hockey? UNH advances…beats Miami 3-1. Period. Who’s your team Gken?

    • Good luck next year. Do you really think the fact UNH is only an hour away had that much impact on Miami not playing well. You don’t anything about hockey I guess.

    • Hmmmm, Merrimack huh? Guess not…
      This is not a post against Merrimack fans, just the disgruntled Gken. Congrats on a GREAT season and a tough way to lose it tonight.

  3. Folks: Just a note about the venues in the NE Regionals. At the game last night, I was speaking with a well connected individual that stated this was going to be the last year that the Verizon Arena in Manchester hosts the NE Regionals. Some issues with he management of the arena.

    Now take that with a “grain of salt” but I for one do NOT like the Worcester DCU Center to watch hockey. Maybe Portland ME or Hartford CT will be future venues. If this comes to pass, all arguments about home rink advantages go KAPUT. Too bad because the Verizon Arena has the best sight lines of the New England venues I have attended.

    Another thing fans living outside of New England must remember is that it does not take hours and hours to drive to various places within our six states — as compared to the driving times in the Midwest for example. So it really does not matter where the Northeast Regional is held – hockey fans from the Bostons, UNH, Merrimack, Northeatern, Lowell etc will be there. So my point is that if any Hockey East Team happens to be seeded in the Northeast Regional, it will be a “home rink” for them.

    • If that is true, that’s too bad. And no, not because I want UNH to host, but because it is a great place to watch a game!

  4. Congratulations to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Good job on a huge improvement in your play from last week at the CCHA tournament. Good luck in the Frozen Four.

    Good job, too, to UNH who played a good game. Regroup and I’ll be looking for you in the tournament again next year.

    • And the roller coaster ride continues, the same way as it always does. Play well one day and throw out a clunker the next. ND did anything it wanted to do after they got that first goal.
      I guess I’ll have to be a Notre Dame/Michigan fan now. At least I can enjoy St. Paul and the FF with no stress, that’s my consolation!
      Thanks to our seniors for four years of making the tournament, three tournament wins and a lot of fun!

  5. Poor attendance mentioned during live blog. Late start to blame for at least 3 of us from CT going home and missing Sunday’s game. Really bummed, but with 8pm start, TV timeouts, good chance of OT, we figured game would end around 11 and we wouldn’t get home until 2am on Monday. Not good for those who have to work on Monday. As a guy who has been going to the regional tourneys for 20 years, this year was a disappointment. Bridgeport venue was pitiful and late game in Manchester REALLY inconvenient for any out of towner. Both games on Saturday in Manchester were exciting however as was the AF-Yale game on Friday. Union v MN-Duluth was worst college game I have seen in years.

  6. Congratulations to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. They made a huge improvement in their play from last week at the CCHA tournament.

    Kudos to all teams for making it this far. Good luck to Notre Dame in the Frozen Four!

  7. Looks like the pairwise was pretty wrong in the over ranking of the east conferences and the KRACH would have been the rating system to use. Only WCHA and CCHA LEFT!


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