NCAA semifinals picks

This is it – the final four games of the year.

One of Plattsburgh, Norwich, Elmira, or Wisconsin-River Falls will be crowned women’s Division III national champion Saturday night.

But who?

Candace and Matt carefully make their final picks of the season and then put the magic 8-ball away for another seven months.

Friday, March 20

Wisconsin-River Falls vs. Elmira
Candace: I have to think Elmira comes out on top in this one, but it will be close. Elmira 3-2
Matt: Elmira has the two top guns in the country in Ashley Ryan and Ashton Hogan. That much is certain. River Falls has Alice Cranston, Chloe Kinsel and Dani Sibley. Can we expect a shootout? Possibly, but I see it more like a 5-3 win for UWRF.

Friday – Norwich vs. Plattsburgh
Candace: Norwich couldn’t push the Cardinals in January, and I don’t think Plattsburgh will lose on home ice. Plattsburgh 4-1
Matt: Plattsburgh has home-ice advantage and that goes a long way in my estimation. The Cardinals were either ranked No. 1 or No. 2 all season long – and for good reason. Norwich was blown out by Plattsburgh 5-0 back in January and methinks another shutout is in order from Camille Leonard in a win. Plattsburgh 3-0



  1. The Sioux have at least 4 starters with season ending injuries! What a coaching job Dave Hakstol has done! He deserves all the respect we can give him!
     To MN VOTER — I am also a Minnesotan,Big difference, I give credit where credit is due!

  2. All of these comments make me laugh so hard because there is so many Gopher fans/players that were just heartbroken at the X because the team from North Dakota showed you never quit.  Now you have to come on here and spew your hate.  You got beat fairly, get over it.  And for god sakes own up to it because your players and coach are willing to. 

    As for the “you’ll never win a national championship blah, blah, blah”, you guys haven’t been so hot yourself lately and haven’t even got the chance to play for one so don’t throw stones if you can’t even make the tourney. (That’s how the saying goes, right?)

      • How? When I typed this I had not heard one U of M fan owning up and saying ‘we got beat. North Dakota took it to us’

        Then…I read that post and was so relieved that a Gopher fan had posted that and knew what they were talking about.  If you look at the chronology of statements, this one being 4 hours ago and then the other being 2 hours ago it’s easy to come to the conclusion.  Thanks for trying to call me out though.

  3. Whats the gophers record over the last 3 years in the Final Five.  Im guess its a astounding number.  Might want make sure your team is present for more than one game before you go looking for reasons to hate on the Sioux

  4. Reading all the comments here makes me laugh. I went to the Final 5 this past weekend. As a Gopher fan I was upset my team didn’t win. I wasn’t upset that they lost to the Sioux. I can handle my teams losing, I was more upset at the players for letting down, not for me but for themselves.  I don’t care if Lucia or Hakstol has more titles. Both are good coaches, period! Is Coach K a bad coach because he didn’t make the Sweet 16 in basketball? No! Is Lucia a bad coach because his team lost last Friday? No, just like Hakstol isn’t a bad coach or for not winning a title. This whole my team is better than yours is stuff for the sand box. I hardly doubt anybody ripping each others program, has ever played for the schools they cheer for. Most comments are pretty good takes, but as Gophers Season Ticket holder, I can honestly say my team got beat and move on. Will I lose sleep if the Gophers don’t make it to the Frozen 4? No. I won’t stop cheering for them either. Would I like them to win a National Title this year? Yes I would. I just would like to wish good luck to all the teams, players, and coaches. May the best team win. 

  5. Great take Mr. Hockey.

    I’m dreading playing the Gophers again on Sunday (assuming we both make it). I can’t see the Gophers dropping dead twice in a week, but I can see the Gophers taking it to the Sioux to start the Championship game. My Sioux will need to be much more sharp or it will be a long off season.

  6. I hope this article finally puts to rest everyones’ supprise when UND rises from the dead happens every year. Just like lucia locks up UM’s bid early, if the don’t start hot they won’t be hot.

  7. Once again UMD is completely forgotten about by these guys. It’s not like they are defending national champions with the Hobey favorite on their team, right? At least Theresa would write a blurb about us before writing us off.

    • This just may be a better result for the BULLDOGS.  With the 70 shots they fired last Friday at Britton and the well officiated game (I was so proud of Shepherd and Anderson for swallowing their whistles until they felt it necessary to help DU late in the 3rd and again on a clean sheet of ice for ot and to nullify the 5 min major, etc. :) The DOGS took all of the energy out of DU and greatly assisted ND for Saturday night’s game.  I am not so certain that BC (even with their 15 game winning streak and #1 everywhere) is going to get by Air Force.      

  8. I remember the Holy Cross game, it was devastating for me as a Gopher fan to watch, they were # 1 at the time and missed a chance to play the Sioux in the regional final,that would have been quite a game, last Friday reminded me of that awful feeling of the Holy Cross game.but in a different way, I was very disappointed in how the Gophs seemed to let off the gas, i could see it coming, as i was watching, it was like i was writing the script, they totally blew it, but as a true hockey fan I tip my hat to the Sioux for an unbelievable run in that tournament, the best team won. there’s nothing like watching the Gophers and the Sioux, its absolutely the best rivalry in college hockey,and its going to really be missed when Minnesota moves to the Big Ten. OH,and after i put together my own NCAA tournament bracket picks, I’ve got No Dak as the eventual NCAA Champ!      

    • What the hell does seeding have to do with anything? Didnt UMD win from a number 3 spot last year? Judging by your name, you love fake wresting and you live in north Grand Forks. I am assuming thats what the 58203 stands for? Zip code? I would be afraid to be a UM fan in the forks

  9. I am a Sioux fan…. but not a fan of my bike is nicer than yours juvinial BS…… Gophers and Sioux with the resources they have should win NCAA championships every 5 years or so a piece. We don’t!!   I for one would root for the Gophers in the championship if we are not involved. 

  10. I’m a huge Gopher Hockey fan and have been one since I was little, but after seeing the last half of the game on Friday and the dominating performance on Saturday, their no reason to make fun of any of the Sioux. They clearly won if you look at the scoreboard. Gophers and the fans just need to move on to the NCAA tournament because complaining how bad of a coach Hack is, is not even a valid argument, and is not going to change what happened last weekend. So move on!

  11. I think everyone is basically just throwing McNaughton Cups & Broadmoor Trophies out the window here.  Bad move soldiers.  Those are hard trophies to win!  Some might even argue that the McNaughton Cup is harder than an NCAA title because it shows you played well for 5 months against the best competition in the country.  All of you try seeing the glass as half full once in a while instead of barking up a tree at each other about blah blah blah

  12. I hope MN and UND meet again next weekend for the final of the West regional.  That would be a great game to watch as I think the intensity level will be sky-high for both teams the whole game.  The game last Friday was great, but I couldn’t believe the lack of energy UND had until they called the timeout.  I don’t know what Hakstol told them, but it worked!  They really took it to the Gophers and now the Gophers need to learn from that.  I just hope that either UND or the Gophers makes it to the FF.  My high school teammate’s kid plays for UND (Kristo) so I’ll be happy if either team makes it to Tampa.  Frankly, I’m amazed at the Sioux this year as they seem to win with such balance.  You know they’re clicking when Mario L. scores a couple goals Friday.  Wouldn’t it be ironic if they won the title this year when all the teams with the star-studded lineups didn’t win?  I think Hakstol is a great coach and some of these people calling for Blais to come back are crazy.  And Wooger would have had his NT title if Skarda’s shot had been one inch left of the where it hit the pipe.  Let’s go WCHA!    

  13. no dakota cares bout wcha championship but the gophers want the national championship u will see who gets out of the regional and its notnorth dakoa

  14. I think that JT Brown is gonna be a 2 time play of the tournament after the NCAA’s are over. That’ll earn him a rather nice NHL deal.

  15. I think ND lost at the X last April, they have a 3 game win streak inthat building. To say the only reason UMD won last year is because ND ran into a hot goaltender is simply laughable. Yes Hunwick was good, but ND had few quality chances from my perspective in the 10th row. The ‘Dogs somehow found a way to get it done two days later when he was arguably better. Give credit where credit is due and don’t pretend to be a fan if you are not.

  16. This whole thing is ridiculous. I wish for once that trolls and rubes from both sides could just get along and promote good college hockey. This coming from a Gopher fan. The gophers had the better year (McNaughton), but lost to the Sioux who took the Broadmoor. I could go on about how “the gophers lost it in the last 20 minutes” or how “The Sioux were a first round loss from not even making the tournament” but that doesn’t solve anything. The Gophers lost, it’s unfortunate. Props to the Sioux for hanging tight and turning the game around. Dell kept the game close and gave you a chance to win…which you did

    Now let’s all play nice and wish each others teams well in the NCAA. If the Gophers can’t take the tourney, you know I’ll be rooting for a WCHA team….even if it is the Sioux.

  17. Its not how you start the season but rather how you end it. Minnesota was a roster crazy loaded with talent which put them out the gates running from the start but what was their record after Xmas. They sure tapered off quite a bit while UND was what 4-7-1 and struggling to get more than 1 or 2 goals a game. It was brutal but somehow Hak was the magic man once again by getting his team to rebound and somehow pull off winning the Final Five again. He is a good coach, and so is Lucia. This was a great write up for a coach who deserves more than a little praise. And yes last years team from UND was the best I have seen maybe ever, with the only exception being the ‘ 87 team. I wouldn’t mind seeing the gophers and Sioux meet up again this weekend. Two teams that keep rivalry alive in College hockey. Much like Ohio St and Michigan in football. I do hope that Hak will get a title sometime soon, been to the dance how many times to fall short…

  18. Not a big fan of these bloggers. A quick fact check (a lost art, I know) of all regional attendance from 2010 would show them that the ‘ugly’ attendance of 14,000 was tops of the 4 regionals held in 2010. This years should set the record for attendance at a regional given the teams playing but 2010’s was nothing to be ashamed of compared to the others.

  19. I’m thankful the Gophers give most of the scholarships to local boys. If the team was full of Canadians or players from other states, I wouldn’t watch them. Because they are home boys, they represent the state. It is the only team in the nation that does that, and that’s what makes them important. Titles mean nothing to me if they are not won by homegrown talent.


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