Three things: March 22

Miami wins playoff title, at a cost

Congratulations are in order for the Miami RedHawks, winners of this season’s NCHC Frozen Faceoff. MU won the league’s playoff title on Saturday by virtue of a 3-2 win over St. Cloud State.

Getting past the Huskies allowed Miami to wrap up the league’s autobid into the first round of the NCAA tournament. The RedHawks will be the No. 1 seed in the East Regional – No. 4 overall – and will face Providence on Saturday in Providence, R.I.

It will undoubtedly be a home game for the Friars, but that won’t be Miami’s biggest concern this week. What will likely weigh heavier on the RedHawks’ minds is what they’ll be without when they square off against Providence.

Miami will be without forward Blake Coleman, who netted a hat trick the first 35 minutes of the RedHawks’ NCHC playoff title-clinching win. After that, though, Coleman was sent off for a contact-to-the-head misconduct call.

It was the third misconduct call leveled against him this season. As such, he will have to sit out from Miami’s next game.

The RedHawks will also be keeping a close eye on the progress of Riley Barber, who fell injured on Saturday against SCSU.

Miami’s game against Providence this next Saturday is set to start at 5:30 p.m. CT. SCSU will face Michigan Tech in Fargo, N.D. in a Midwest Regional semifinal on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

UND goes 0-2 at Frozen Faceoff

North Dakota came into the NCHC playoff championship weekend with the tournament’s No. 1 seed and looked poised to perhaps lock up the No.1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

That didn’t happen.

Instead, UND fell twice in Minneapolis, falling 3-1 to reseeded No. 4 SCSU on Friday at the Target Center before dropping a 5-1 decision to Denver on Saturday in the tournament’s third-place game.

Keaton Thompson got UND on the board first 15:02 into Friday’s first semifinal game. However, Husky goals from David Morley and Joey Benik 19 seconds apart in the first period’s final minute saw SCSU take a 2-1 lead back to its dressing room. A Joe Rehkamp empty-netter in the third frame put the game to bed.

Things went no better for UND in Saturday’s third-place game. UND opened the scoring once more, this time through a Connor Gaarder goal, but the Pioneers responded with five unanswered goals from five different Denver skaters.

Denver, which was already assured of a spot in the NCAA tournament before the Frozen Faceoff began, acquitted itself well following a 6-3 semifinal loss to Miami on Friday.

UND will be the No. 1 seed in the West Regional in Fargo, just barely over an hour south of the school’s home in Grand Forks, and will face Quinnipiac on Friday at 7 p.m. CT. Denver will meet Boston College in Providence on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Six NCHC teams go dancing

An astounding six NCHC teams locked up spots in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Miami picked up the league’s autobid, while Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota, Omaha and St. Cloud State all picked up at-large bids into the national showcase.

What’s almost as impressive is that the NCAA tournament selection committee was able to keep each of those six teams apart in the first round. There are potential intraleague regional finals, perhaps, in the East Regional (Miami and Denver) and West Regional (North Dakota and St. Cloud State).

On top of the first-round meetings mentioned above, Minnesota-Duluth will face former WCHA rival Minnesota on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT in a Northeast Regional semifinal in Manchester, N.H. On Saturday, Omaha will square off with Harvard in a Midwest Regional semifinal in South Bend, Ind., at 6:30 CT.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Seems like the worst part would’ve been spending the time-off thinking about the mistakes that you made. I guess arrogance really is bliss.

  2. Nice assessment of the weekend in the B1G. There does seem to be a lot of parody this and it will be interesting to see the final standings. I sure it felt good for Michigan not only to get a convincing win against Penn State, but any win as Penn State has had more success against Michigan than anyone else in the B1G. Side note, If teams keep playing they way they have the first couple of months we may see Penn State on the middle of the pack instead of at the bottom. Wisconsin, what can you say? I can say I am glad the Gophers don’t play them until the middle of January. You never want to play a team on an extended loosing streak. We all know Bucky is due an apt to break out anytime and with 8 home games coming up, it would likely be sooner rather than later. The old hockey adage, your never as good as your winning streak and never as bad as your losing streak applies here. While Wisconsin is likely not going to turn into a great team in the second half, I sincerely don’t think that they are an O fer team either.

  3. (Because I know y’all care) My picks for the league: 1- 50 pts, Minn. 2-35 pts, UM. 3- 27pts, PSU. 4-25 pts, WIS. 5/6 OSU or MSU. Can’t decide on whose going to finish last.

    • I agree with you on Minnesota and PSU. Michigan will need to improve significantly or PSU could be second. Hard to pick the lower half at this point. They all have goaltending, but not much scoring.

      • I think UM will pick it up. And I agree about the bottom half. Goal tending, but no scoring. MSU is actually scoring at a pace to equal last years ‘magnificent’ output. 2.18 goals per game.

          • Hey Noke! Good to hear from you. I like your optimistic view. Delusional, but optimistic. No, MSU doesn’t have the scoring again this season. The defense is good. But they are asking the ‘Tender to win them games. and around mid to late January, Jake is going to run out of gas. 5th or 6th place in the B10 I’m afraid.
            And Noke, I wish you and your family a very nice, and blessed Thanksgiving.
            Later.

  4. The Target Center is not a great venue for hockey but Minneapolis is a great venue as a city. So is St Paul. They don’t call Minnesota the state of hockey for nothing. One of these years UND, St Cloud, and Duluth will all make it and then attendance will be ever better. Unfortunately though, UND at some point will not make it and attendance will be a train wreck.

          • Better leaving than to never have had……like you. And wisco wishes he was me. But he can hold his own…..kind of like that new commentor….#1Wisco Sports Fart.

          • I’m happily married, but it looks like I’ve struck a nerve…

            It’ll get better… Hang in there, buddy.

            Edit: *one of your nerves. I thought you would know what I meant. I’m sorry. I know you’re a little slow. I’ll make sure everything is crystal clear.

          • Why are you so unhappy? What happened? You can tell me. I want to help you.

            I’m waiting for a flight and I have time before I leave.

          • Doesn’t change much, Chockes. I thought you were after the my nerve, your nerve part. You need to be more clear with your wording. Everybody needs a decoder to understand you.

            Do you live in Minneapolis? I’m on my way to New York for a couple days, but I go there on business twice a year. I’d love to grab a Pepsi with you and WIsco.

          • Is that a yes or no on a Pepsi with Wisco?

            Thanks for entertaining me while I wait for my plane. :)

  5. I think you meant to say UND will be in the west regional, not the midwest. I guess I shouldn’t expect anything less from the USCHO writers. GO SIOUX!

  6. St. Cloud played an OK game, but dumb luck sealed the deal. If the ref hadn’t called embellishment on Tech (which it clearly wasn’t) late in the 3rd, SCSU would not have had the chance to pull to goalie and go up a man to tie it. Then they lucked out on a Tech D-man falling down leading to the 2 on 1 break and game winner. Tech outplayed St. Cloud and deserved to win.

    • Poor Ron, want some cheese with your whine? It was refs fault, and/or was either ice surface or team manager in charge of sharpening blades fault Tech D-man went down and they lost. Was not the fact you got beat by a better team that just “played an OK game”. Count yourself lucky they even got in to regional. If it was “old” WCHA from 3 years ago, Tech would have had a worse league record than Colorado College and been watching from home.

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