WCHA picks, Dec. 28-29: GLI and Florida Classic

And we’re back! Kinda. The WCHA eases back into action this week with three teams participating in holiday tournaments.

Michigan Tech and Ferris State are making this season’s Great Lakes Invitational an ostensible all-Michigan version of a WCHA/B1G challenge Sunday and Monday in Detroit, while Lake Superior State is making its first trip to the Florida College Hockey Classic.
These should be a pretty good appetizer for the New Years’ Day bowls, the college football playoff and the Winter Classic. Let’s go ahead and make some picks!
Great Lakes Invitational (at Joe Louis Arena, Detroit)
Sunday’s Semifinals: Michigan Tech vs. Michigan; Ferris State vs. Michigan State
Jack: I don’t know about you, Shane, but out of all of these tournaments involving WCHA teams, I’ll be most interested in the GLI. For the first time in at least 30 years (and maybe ever), Tech is the heavy favorite. Of course, the heavy favorite doesn’t always win these holiday tournaments — see two years ago, when the Huskies went to Detroit at 5-10-2 before shocking everybody and winning the whole thing. That said, Tech has already swept both Michigan and Ferris in the regular season. I’d be kind of crazy not to pick them to win it all this year. Right? RIGHT? Semis: Huskies 4, Wolverines 2; Bulldogs 3, Spartans 1. Third Place: Sparty 2, Wolverines 1. Championship: Huskies 3, Bulldogs 2 (OT). 
Shane: You and I have talked a lot about the WCHA vs. the Big Ten this season, and here’s a great head-to-head matchup between the conferences. I just found out that the games are on Fox Sports North here in Minnesota, so I just might have to take in some GLI action. I’m with you, I think the WCHA teams are the favorites, and, of those two, Tech is the best team. We’re going to look a lot alike here, except for the third-place pick (should that even count for our records?). Semis: Huskies 4, Wolverines 1; Bulldogs 2, Spartans 1. Third place: Wolverines 4, Spartans 2. Championship: Huskies 4, Bulldogs 2
Florida College Hockey Classic (at Estero, Fla.)
Sunday’s Semifinals: Lake Superior State vs. Cornell; Notre Dame vs. Miami
Jack: Lake Superior State is making its debut at the Florida College Hockey Classic (or FCHC for short), subbing in for former tournament regular Maine. The Lakers’ presence gives the tourney a distinct CCHA flavor, but the Lake State/Cornell game is definitely the undercard for what should be a pretty entertaining ND/Miami battle earlier in the day. I don’t know anything about Cornell other than they’ve beaten a pair of good teams in Denver and Penn State but lost to a weak Princeton squad. Not sure how the Lakers will make it out of this one with a win. Semis: Big Red 5, Lakers 4; RedHawks 3, Irish 1. Third Place: Irish 5, Lakers 3. Championship: RedHawks 4, Big Red 2.
Shane: It’s been a tough first half for the Lakers, but there are worse things than getting a mid-season trip to Florida. You’re right, though, it’s a difficult tournament field with three teams that certainly have goals of getting to the NCAA tournament this season. None of them want to lose to Lake State, and I just don’t see an upset at this time. Semis: Big Red 2, Lakers 1; Irish 4, RedHawks 2. Third place: RedHawks 5, Lakers 2. Championship: Irish 3, Big Red 2

93 COMMENTS

    • You said the same thing last year. In the 2012 NCAAs the ECAC went 3-2 and the WCHA was only 4-4 and both leagues sent one team to the Frozen 4. This year, the ECAC has the best crop of teams in a long time and any one of them (and I will throw in RPI too) could return to the Frozen Four. I can’t speak for the HE or the WCHA but the ECAC will be ready to dance.

  1. Don’t even bother worrying about people from other conferences posting because they’re trolls. It’s obviously a teenager if you read his other posts because his main point in life is to sound off on the polls. Really glad today’s games are being carried on FCS. Really curious what Borelli does today!

  2. For ECAC Pick The Playoffs
    Nate: Need championship game score :-)
    Brian: Give us a pick for consolation and championship before 4pm today :-)

  3. Honestly, the only eastern teams in the tournament right now that will help attendance much are BU and BC. Quinnipiac was in Bridgeport a few years ago and the place was half empty. They’re not going to help much in Providence. As for Harvard, they don’t travel well to the Beanpot (most fans rooting for Harvard are actually rooting against their opponent), so they’re not going to come en masse to Providence or Manchester. The key for attendance is getting BC to Providence, and that can’t be done without having an NCHC matchup in the first round.

  4. I’m just happy to be in the dance at this point, considering how poorly my squad played for a long time. I have tons of respect for all the teams in my region but this looks about as good as it could. Bring on the Mavericks!

  5. Maybe they need to worry a little less about attendance and worry a little more about the match-ups the teams have earned. Yeah…I know attendance is important. Revenue is important. Etc., etc… I get it.

    But…

    If the Northeast can’t even sell out a regional final with two teams less than an hour from the arena, what’s the point?

    Last year’s Northeast regional FINAL had Lowell and BC – both less than 60 minutes from Worcester.

    Wikipedia says the DCU Center can hold up to 12,000 for hockey.

    The attendance for the championship game?

    5,474.

    • This is a marketing issue. We go through this every year. Hockey East playoffs do great at TD Garden, where they can sell beer and use the same rink set up as the Bruins. They do not have to take up the ice and remove all the advertising, include the Bruins logo. Five days later, the regionals are played during a lot of spring break. Hockey East and other conference finals are destination games you can plan in December, unless your team collapses or upsets higher ranked schools.

      The Frozen Four is destination, many people make that their annual vacation. Also, the fans have two weeks to make their plans and the event is big, even in cities like Boston or Minneapolis.

      The regionals also face competition from the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament, drawing people away, as well as many schools on break. Not every school is North Dakota, with a huge traveling fan section. As a BU alum, I respect how the UND fans come out to support the team. But a lot of schools are small and play in smaller home rinks for a reason.

    • I didn’t go because the ticket prices for Worcester were extremely high, despite being a Lowell alum who lives in Boston. Tickets were over $100 with the “convenience” fees. Get a grip, NCAA.

      • If you think ticket prices were “high” for Worcester you really have no idea how bad it can be. In 2007 we had to buy 4 tickets to the Regional at Pepsi Center just to be “eligible” to buy 2 tickets for the FF there next year. The NC$$ cares nothing about the sport, only how much profit they can consume from the fans.

  6. I say a way to set up the tourney would be to keep the 16 teams but get rid of two week conference tourneys and have the 1 and 2 teams from each conference’s regular season standings have a best of 3 series to decide post season champs, kind of like college football, and at large bids then use the extra week to have each match up in the tourney be a best of 3 series at the higher seeds home rink 1 vs 16 2 vs 15 etc it will keep bracket integrity have 3 best of 3 series each weekend and then have the championship at a neutral nhl rink (Another best of 3 series) …then the best teams will get weeded out, more games to make the nc$$Supper plans? their money and better atmospheres! Everyone wins!

  7. The Denver v. Miami NCHC semifinal loser will probably end up with the better NCAA draw. Being the 3rd highest seeded NCHC team probably keeps them in South Bend and away from a Eastern death draw.

    • Providence, as it now stands, is far from an Eastern death draw. If Afterfurtherreview is correct, and I certainly believe him, the only real fan support will come from Quinnipiac. I realize things will change next week, but if DU loses Jayson has consistently put them in Fargo. IMHO, that would be a very tough regional, or death draw. The only reason they cannot be sent to Fargo now, is that they are in the same “band” as UND.

  8. Jason – with all the 2nd band seeds from the West, why should the 5/6 seeds to go East by default? Wouldn’t they rather stay closer to home vs. face lower seeded second round opponents out East? You could send Miami and Omaha east and reward Duluth and MTU by keeping them home

  9. UND is overrated. They are not better than Mankato State, much less Minnesota. Put Minnesota, UND and Mankato in the same bracket and let them fight it out.

    • Really overrated? How are you getting that? They played a harder schedule than either Mankato State or MN and have as good as (Mankato) and a better record (than MN).

      Hey people named Peter are stupid. See I can just make crap up too. How about coming with something other than your opinion. And I would be fine with that bracket because I know UND is coming out of that one.

  10. It would be garbage if Denver was made to play a road game against Providence in the first round. That should be BU’s game as the lowest #1 seed. Would also help attendance as you don’t need BU and BC in the same regional.

  11. Making Michigan Tech move from the Northeast to the West essentially drops them from being the #5 seed to being the #8 seed. Completely unfair.

  12. bracketology haha.

    get off your high horse. anyone can win. UND loses. Quinnipiac loses. look for St. Lawrence to come out of nowhere with a good offense and a hot goalie to take it all. Watch and enjoy. Even if St. Lawrence loses, too.

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