Three things: Weird start to the WCHA

We’re two weeks into the WCHA season and every team in the league has sustained at least one loss.

Last season, this was not the case. Michigan Tech won its first 10 games. Both Alaska schools went unbeaten in the two tournaments up there. And Northern Michigan stayed undefeated in its first six tournaments.

This season, that ship has sailed early. All 10 teams have at least one loss — some worse than others. That being said, a few teams are better set up after their opening weekends in nonconference play. Is this too small a sample size this early? We’ll see. Let’s examine.

1. Minnesota State can’t score

Preseason conference favorite and defending MacNaughton and Final Five champion Minnesota State has struggled most out of any team. Sure, the Mavericks have played two top-tier NCHC schools — Omaha and St. Cloud — but the way they have lost, with two goals in four games and three straight shutouts — has been most shocking. They’re the only team in the league without a victory. And it could stay that way — the Mavs’ next two opponents are Bemidji State and Alaska. Speaking of which…

2. Beavers, Falcons playing strong

So far, the team with the most impressive result (that is, the team that has performed the best against the stiffest non-conference opponent) has been Bemidji State. The Beavers are 1-1-1 with a win over No. 7 Minnesota Duluth and a tie and a loss to No. 1 North Dakota (BSU and UND were tied 2-2 with 10 minutes left in the game but ended up losing 5-2 following a questionable 5-minute major penalty). The Falcons are 3-1-1 with their lone loss coming on a weird Tuesday game against Western Michigan. At the very least, BSU and BG have the best track record out of the conference, which overall has been much weaker for the WCHA compared to a season ago.

3. Tech in position, maybe?

Michigan Tech and Ferris State split the first conference series of the season, with Tech winning the opener in Big Rapids 5-1 before the Bulldogs took game two 3-2. It’s still pretty hard to judge anything so early — especially since the Huskies are starting a week behind everybody else. They played a pair of exhibitions two weeks ago when most of the college hockey world was starting up, so it’s probably not too shocking that they are still finding their legs. But if Minnesota State is going to continue to struggle and the Huskies want to make a statement and pull ahead in the conference after finishing second (by a point) last season, they need to find a way to get as many points as they can in the first month (or so) of the season. Tech plays rivals Northern Michigan next weekend then hosts Ferris for the return trip before traveling to Huntsville.


  1. Ummm, the Pony Express line is Frattin, Malone, and Trupp from North Dakota. Connolly is on the FCC line….wow.

    • How much more evidence does anyone need that there is a major East coast bias on these columns? You are a professional writer that covers College Hockey for a living and you can’t get that really easy fact right. I agree . . . WOW! I sure hope Elliot doesn’t have a vote, he might just vote for Gerbe again.

      • He really should watch more hockey from outside New England. (Although he may have seen a game or two in Ohio) It will be Miele or Frattin. Of course I am parcial to Frattin.

      • We all make mistakes, guys, a thought you should be familiar with if you’re supporting Frattin.

        Seriously, though, I’m sorry about that mistake. See above: I shouldn’t do this when I’m sick.

        As for Gerbe, I said all along that Kevin Porter was the clear winner. Go back and read what I wrote at the time.

        I don’t mind you taking shots at me – it’s a reality I’ve learned to deal with ever since my horrific interview with Phil Kessel in the summer of ’05 – but I do think you’re overreacting just a bit.

        • Just a question about the character. Do you think someone’s off ice from two years ago affects this years voting, or do they look at someone’s character from this year only?

          Honest opinion people?

          • It doesn’t matter this year, Joey….But, the Frattin supporters thinks the fact that he came back from these troubles should count on why Frattin does get the hobey….and that is more wrong than not considering him because he got in trouble.

          • I’m a Frattin supporter and I dont think it should be held against him or for him, overcoming it is a wash (especially since he overcame it last season and this is a yearly award).

            So, if we go by off ice activities . . . I do believe that Miele does a little bit more than Frattin does. Habitat for Humanity, working with the disabled, hanging out with underprivelaged kids compared to going to the rescue mission and doing something with Sioux Crew.

            Miele and Frattin’s grades are about the same but Miele has a major in American Studies and a coaching minor, while Frattin has a major in Parks and Rec.

            We’re talking about small degrees here but I think Miele has the edge off the ice even after throwing away the past. I think that Frattin is a superior player. I think that makes up the difference in off ice/academics. I’m not a voter, its subjective, and if Miele wins it is because he deserves it.

        • Elliott, I will give you a break….you seem like a decent guy. But, I have to ask you….do you HONESTLY see much of “western” hockey? As I have said on here before (as have others) there are so many of us that do not TRULY see hockey if it is not in our section of the country. The eastern jokers see Miele play and they say….dang, he is pretty good. The western jokers see Frattin adn they say…dang he is pretty good. But, how many of us can truly say we have seen enough of BOTH players through the year to make an educated decision? I live in Atlanta and due to my paying about $300/month in cable fees I have seen a number of eastern and CCHA games (which, BTW, many westerners see as being an “eastern” and have been lucky enough to see Miele play one or two times. Is this enough to make an educated decision? Probably not. I am a WCHA “fan” so I have watched Frattin much more often. In my opinion I have to go with Frattin. But, I say this with some trepidation since I have not seen Miele enough. Frattin has had a couple of flat games (for him anyway) so an eastern viewer may have seen this particular game and said to him/herself…..huh, I think Miele is better. Get my point? Anyway, what I see as being the difference between these two is what Frattin does for his team overall and his defensive play seems to be a notch above. But, again, this is based on limited information on Miele. I would have to think my comments must hold true for just about everyone on this website. Am I wrong? Ok, see you all at the FF. I will be in the suite in the corner…I’ll be the guy not feeling much pain yelling for no particular reason…:)

          • I like your posts, Suture!…. You were a true supporter of Sioux hockey to buy club seats and fly up to Mpls/St.Paul for the FF. I received the obligatory email saying I was not selected for tickets from the Fighting Sioux Club, since my priority number was lower than others whom were in line above me. I’ve had season tickets for 5yrs and, i’m sure, others have had them longer than I.

            Glad you got your wish to come true….. I’ll be watching on t.v., I guess! ;-(

            You post comments that are descriptive and pretty accurate. I, too, agree with them. When you look only at the 2010-2011 season and see talent of each player, offensively and defensively, you’d have to see Frattin as a favorite. The number of games he plays in his schedule is so much more difficult than the schedule Miele or Atkinson have to play! PERIOD…..

            Take a scissors and slice up this season’s accomplishments and weigh it as a stand-alone comparison. Frattin’s plate just has more balanced weight.

          • I live on Ohio so I watch Miami a lot. I am from ND, so I watch UND every weekend. Miele is a beast, Frattin is better (maybe I’m biased). Miele has more assists, Frattin has more goals (obvious).

            Frattin supporters need to stop talking about how good Miele’s line is, because Frattin’s line is pretty darn good. Why doesn’t Frattin have more assists than Miele? Who really knows, maybe Miele is better at racking up assists . . .deal with it.

            I don’t think there is an issue at all with Frattin’s character this year.

            I still think Miele has a great shot and I will be more than happy for him if he wins. This is not an award handed to the best player in the NCAA. If the voters think that Miele best embodies the award I hope he gets it. I hope that either way people just shut up with their ignorant comments

        • Hahaha thats funny that you mentioned that. We forgive you! An inter with him is or might be as bad as Interveiwing Oshie.. Who is taking a couple days off to regain his unparrallel skills in the NHL

        • In all honesty, I was just trying to give you a little bit of a hrad time. I understand that everyone makes mistakes. Sorry if I came off a little harsh. I meant to put a smiley face at the end of my comment. I really do respect all of the work that the writers do on this website. is my first and favorite website to follow. :>

        • I really do apologize about the harshness of my comments. I have let my previous experience with posters about East vs. West cloud my opinion. I usually only post what I believe but instead posted an attack and I was wrong to do so. Please forgive me Elliot. All three are great players and deserve the credit of being in the Hat Trick.

      • Not to go back in time here, but based on what I saw at the Frozen Four in 2008, Gerbe should have won the Hobey. He single handedly won BC the title that year. Yeah, and I hated Gerbe. But I’ll admit that. Best player that year, no doubt.

  2. Good lord, the Frattin fanboys are out in full force. Enough with the stupid east coast bias nonsense…it doesn’t exist. If you don’t think Cam Atkinson is as worthy as Connolly from UMD, you haven’t watched enough hockey.

  3. Elliot may not see much Western hockey, I know I see very little Eastern hockey, so I would obviously have a huge WCHA bias were I to write a hockey article. It’s OK, and a mistake is just a mistake, which can be corrected. We all make them.

    The bigger issue is can USCHO afford to have writers submit pertinent articles from the “outerlands” of college hockey? Not sure if they can, unless they get some gratis work done along the way.

    Just geographically, Eastern hockey has a fairly small area in which to see most of the teams. Once you move West the square miles and weekend only play make it very difficult for one or two people to cover all the teams. It just is what it is for a niche sport, which college hockey is. The same problem exists on XM Home Ice. Their college program falls way short of proper coverage of the West, and by the time they do pick up a story from the West, it’s usually old news to those of us who follow it regularly.

    As for the Hobey voters, you just hope they have followed these players as best they can all season and will be honest in their assessments. Since everyone assumes the winner will be either Miele or Frattin, it’s not a potential Eastern bias, but how they perceive value that will matter most. If you put more value on goals or getting your team to the Frozen Four, you pick Frattin, if you put more value on points or PPG, or downgrade someone for past mistakes, you pick Miele. As long as each voter is comfortable with how they pick one player over the other, that’s good enough for me, though I may personally disagree with them. The reality is they are both great college players, and as far as I can discern, both great people off the ice this year.

    My hope is that Matt Frattin wins the Hobey, and North Dakota wins the NCAA Championship, but, I’m a Sioux alumnus and season ticket holder so I have that bias.

    Should be a great Frozen Four, Go Sioux!

    • Ron,

      No offense to your well written post. However, based on your documented bias towards UND, you forget the qualifications to win the Hobey Baker Award.

      Here they are:
      1. Candidates must exhibit strength of character both on and off the ice.

      2. Candidates must contribute to the integrity of the team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game.

      3. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportmanship.

      4. Candidates must comply with all NCAA rules: be full time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; and complete 50% or more of the season.

      Matt Frattin does not qualify on number 1. He could be questioned on #2. #3 i am not sure, and #4 he must qualify.

      The way I see it, and this is not a UND bash! Frattin should not even be in the Top 10. He has earned the right not to be considered.

      If he had character, he would remove himself from the Top 3.

      • 1. What did Frattin do this year that took away from his character?
        2. What part of the game is Frattin not outstanding? When did he stop contributing to the integrity of team?

        If you want to look at past mistakes, that’s your perrogative. But it’s a “this year” award.

        Like I said before, Frattin most likely won’t win it. Miele had a heckuva year.

      • Let me guess, you think Atkinson qualifies under this criteria though? In my opinion being charged with 3rd degree assault on a minor doesn’t exhibit much strength off the ice. Atkinson is without question the joke of the Hobey Hat trick.

      • If Frattin hadn’t met the criteria you just posted, he wouldn’t be in the final 3. Since he has you can move onto something that carries some weight.

  4. Matt Frattin had a problem with alcohol, worked very hard at rectifying his life, paid his own money to come back to school when he could have gone pro and proceeded to be a leader and great hockey player on a team that has had great success in the face of difficult competition. He deserves the Hobey Baker Award without people whining about his character. In my eyes, he has shown his character by how he has handled his problems.

    • Frattin has 9-6 for 15pts. in 17 games against teams in the NCAA Tourny.
      20% of his points are against Michigan Tech
      15% of his points are against Bemidji State

      Atkinson has 12-6 for 18pts in 11 games against teams in the NCAA Tourny.
      Very Consistent, but his overall numbers do get him over the top.

      Meile has 8-17 for 25pts. in 15 games against teams in the NCAA Tourny.
      Highest point total since 2002-03.

      Frattin has paid his dues, but let’s not make the mistake of saying he deserves it because he got his life back on track. That takes away from a kid like Meile, who has better stats, and has been a model of the ideal “Hobey Baker” candidate all through his College Experience.

      This isn’t the Heisman Trophy, this is the Hobey Baker!

      Meile, Atkinson, Frattin

      • Frattin deserves it because he’s the best player in college hockey. Not trying to take away from Meile, but Frattin is a star on a talented and deep team. And so what if he’s feasted on weaker teams? UND beat the hell out of them both, and I don’t think its Frattin’s fault that the Sioux played them 4 times each the regular season. He does have 7 game winners on the season, most recently the double ot goal against Denver. He is the complete package.

      • If Frattin was on the same line as Miele, he’d probably have 50 goals. When a guy scores 24 goals and has double the assists, it’s not because he’s the next Gretzky. When it was elimination time, Miele was a -2 and absent on the score sheet. Yes, it’s only one game. But it’s also the most important game of the season. At least Atkinson made the score sheet in their loss. Put Miele on a line with Trupp and Malone. I’m confident he’s not scoring anywhere near 36 goals and it’s also a far fetch to think that he’s going to rack up 71 points in the WCHA. You simply can’t look at nothing but their stats and say one guy is way better than the other. Look at who’s buried the biscuit come clutch time. I hate Sidney Crosby, but I’d take him 10 out of 10 times over Ovechkin because he produces when it counts.

        • No one had argued that Frattin is not a good goal scorer. Meile had the game winner the CCHA Playoff Championship.

          Who is calling Miele the next Gretzky?

          How do you know he wouldn’t have 71 points in the WCHA? He had 25 points in 15 games against the teams in the NCAA Tourny. Are you saying the WCHA is better than the Top 15 teams? Get over yourself and the WCHA.

          I cannot just look at the stats and say someone is better? You just did when referring to Miele’s performance against UNH.

          Your argument is based on the fact that this award goes to the best college hockey player. It isn’t that simple. The Award goes to the College Hockey Player who exemplifies the characteristics of Hobey Baker.

          And I say Frattin had earned the right not to win it.

          • Get over yourself? I don’t recall ever mentioning anything about myself. And actually, I agree that it doesn’t go to the best college hockey player. That’s obvious from years past. And fortunately for all of us, what you say doesn’t really matter so get over yourself.
            I don’t really care who wins the Hobey. I think it would be cool if Frattin did because it’d be pretty wild to have the Sioux go 4 for 4 on the year. I definitely think he’s deserving, but when the Sioux were knocked out a few years ago in St. Louis, Duncan winning the Hobey didn’t make it any less painful. They’re all worthy, and I won’t be surprised who wins it. But there’s an argument to be made for whoever doesn’t. That’s all I was trying to say.

        • What are you talking about? Did you see the CCHA Championship? I doubt it as I’m sure in your eyes the CCHA don’t count. When it was elimination time, Miele took the game over in the 3rd period to take his team to the title. You people in the west think hockey only exists in the WCHA, open your eyes and quit being a homer.

        • Sorry! Does it change the point I was trying to make? Or does the typing error take away from the credibility of the argument?

    • it reeks of siouage on this entire website….remember, there are two more games to go for whoever raises the banner in the fall…

      • I don’t see “any other college kid” getting arrested twice and getting kicked off the team. Least of all the other two finalist for the hobey.

        • any other college kid isn’t on a elite hockey team to get kicked off of. Its not like he would have been suspended from school or anything (unless it was BYU maybe). He got kicked off the team because if he wasn’t people would have been in an uproar about how Sioux hockey players get away with whatever they want.

          . . . I’m guessing you never drank and got a little rowdy in your life. I’m also guessing that you never had 2-3 drinks and than drove a vehicle and DIDN’T get a DUI.

          Now TJ Oshie . . . definately threw away his Hobey chances because he was getting caught during the season (if I remember correctly). There is a pattern here. We live in ND, we need to drink . . . there is no other way around it. Hell Captain Serious has a picture of him doing a beer bong and he got a minor (at the bar commodore brought the cup to mind you).

    • Why should a kid get more preference for the hobey after it took him 2 arrests and getting kicked off the team before he “figured it out” over a kid who has never been in trouble a day in his life and has turned down 2 free agent offers the last two years to turn pro so he return to his team and help his teamates win a national champonship? I applaud Frattin for turning his life around but Miele gets the nod over Frattin hands down…..

  5. That’s what I don’t get about the process. It’s hypocritical at best.

    People are saying that Cam Atkinson doesn’t deserve to be a finalist because you shouldn’t include his past achievements at BC. Yet, at the same time, they continually bring up Matt Frattin’s screw up’s from 2 years ago and hold it against him.

    It’s not a career award. It’s a “this year” award. I would like Frattin to win being a Sioux fan, but I believe and have seen Andy Miele on TV this year to know that he is uber-talented and will most likely win it this year. Eclipsing 70 points in college hockey now-a-days is a rare feat. The only thing holding him back potentially is what held Jack Connolly back IMO. His linemates are extremely good. So is it more Miele or his linemates

    We’ll find out next Friday.

    • You are not the real Lefty. What Lefty would really be saying right now, among other things is that Atkinson had to go to classes. Frattin was busy at party pulls.

    • Let’s just fix the whole Atkinson and Frattin debacle off ice and toss both out of the running and add Connolly back in.

  6. It would be wonderful if Miele won. Outside of him being a fantastic player, he is the one of the three who most embodies the best of the student athlete rising to the occasion not just on the ice butafter the tragedy at Miami. Oh, UND fans, please refrain from the usual comments

  7. Frattin had something like .83 points per game against the top 7 teams in the WCHA. Connolly had something like 1.25 against the top 7 teams. Mike Connolly had 1.43. Just saying.

    I hope Meile gets this.

    • I think Connolly should have been a final three instead of Atkinson . . . but

      Keep in mind Connolly had a 5 goal game against UMD. If not for that game, he only had 4 goals and 28 assists against the WCHA period. Half of his goals game out of conference . . . and his +/- is 8 lower than Frattins.

      Connolly does a heck of a job passing the puck to a goal-scorer when playing tough teams. But you have a good argument in that Connolly records even less points against worse opponents

      In conference play Frattin has as many GWG as Connolly has goals outside the UMD game. You can play around with numbers all you want. Take out your bias and Frattin is better and everyone knows it. Just saying.

      I like Miele, won’t argue against him but I’m pulling for Frattin

  8. don’t let the fact get in the way of a good story
    if my memory is correct Mike Mottau both played for Jerry York at Boston College and one the Hobey…. or do we just want to list the players that never one the award
    cause I have a long list of guys from every school that “DIDN”T” win it

  9. Bottom Line….you are all idiots! You are arguing about something you have no control over. Whether or not someone deserves it is not a decision for you to make. If you don’t like the process, figure out a way to get onto the Hobey committee and change things instead of just sitting on a website and moaning about bias and assists versus goals. Truth be told I would be happy seeing any one of the ten win because they are all fantastic hockey players but that is not my decision and only one can win. So here is my advice, ready?

    Get a life and enjoy hockey for what it is! A great sport with a rich history!

    Elliot is a smart guy and his opinions are just that…opinions so lay off and relax…there is some great hockey ahead!

  10. Surprising that the 5-minute major taken in Bemidji’s game Saturday is described as “questionable” when the officials reviewed it and tossed the player from the game…

    • If you saw it, you would know what the writers are talking about. It was a standard check into the boards. No head shot, no nothing. Simple, NCHC refs making sure UND wasn’t taken out for the second year in a row by BSU at home.

      • Perhaps you should look at it again. There was contact to the head and the BSU player left the ice to make the hit. Maybe that is why the officials removed him from the game. The question is, did you or the writer of this article actually see it?

        • Well, I watched it over and over, and NO, I didn’t SEE IT… Must be the water in Grand Forks. It must make people see things that are not there. Like a head hit, a nickname, and a national championship…

          • no you didn’t watch it over and over. If you did you wouldn’t say stupid crap like that. It was to the helmet which counts as the head( if ya didn’t know). But I’m guessing you are just trying to find a excuse to make losing easier..

  11. 1a) Do not press the panic button yet on Huntington Ave. If the Huskies keep taking bad penalties to end the second period, especially in close games, that could be their demise. Give Bentley credit for withstanding a relentless NU forecheck in the first game.

    3b) CC has a history of terrific goaltending. Fortunes turn around quickly in college hockey. About ten years ago, CC was almost unbeatable, producing two Hobey winners and many pro players.

  12. Moving the #1 overall Seed to a Regional that is over an hour and a half further than their closest regional is ridiculous.

    • It’s 2 hours and 15 minutes. If I want to see my team, I have to drive 10 hours. Quinnipiac being sent 2 hours from their campus the furthest thing from ridiculous. Ridiculous is whining about a 2 hour drive.

      • The New England teams don’t get it because there’s always a regional or two within a few hours of them. Those of us in the midwest and out west are used to the closest regional being 4 hours away in a good year (unless you’re Minnesota)

      • Has a east or northeast regional been more than a 2 to 3 hour drive for probably 75% of the schools around there? What a bunch of babies. Wonder if they’d rather buy a seat on a plane with 5 days notice or drive 10+ hours. “It’s so not fair having to drive 2 hours instead of one….wah wah wah wah.”

        10+ hour drive or 700+ dollar airplane ticket…..great options, right east coast hockey babies.

    • Hamden to Albany isn’t much further than Hamden to Worcester. Maybe an hour. Plus, having RIT in Albany might improve attendance there

      • I live here, and can’t agree. 1 of 4 teams won’t do it. This will look like the ECAC tournament did here for years before it left… 3500-4500 fans tops. (Did you see Lake Placid last night?)
        The real problem is that the make up of the travel bases in this regional just stinks. Albany or Worcester won’t make much difference. BC and PC, Yale, UML are all far better draws in Worcester. But BC and PC are far better draws for local fans here.

      • The BIGGER issue at hand is playing Friday and Saturday in Worcestor is much better than Saturday and Easter Sunday in Albany. Many fans wont be able to make a trip to Albany on a holiday like that.

    • I agree, too much of a hardship. I think the NCAA should move this Regional to Hamden, Connecticut immediately. They should do this quickly so RIT, UML, and Yale fans can change their travel plans.

    • Moving DU and Michigan makes too much sense for Jayson and the NC$$. Michigan and Notre Dame in Cincy will do zero for attendance, Sioux will have 50% of the total Cincy fans in the seats anyway. Since attendance is their normal “excuse” for moving teams where they want, this becomes a standard joke. The move will also be closer to real “bracket integrity” having 3/6 teams in same bracket. To make it closer to true integrity, 3/6/10/14, why not switch Yale and Notre Dame also.

      • You really don’t think that MI or ND will help in Cincy at all? I have been to a number of tourney games that ND was at the site in the past and they seem to travel pretty well. But there are so many ND fans all across the country they probably show up no matter where they are, so maybe that was your thinking. I know they have sold a lot of tickets in St Paul already but actual people in seats, I bet it will be pretty limited.

        • Their are many Irish fans back east that will also show up in Albany. My point was that the NC$$ has never cared one bit about keeping the integrity of PWR rankings. How many people will be in the Cincy finals if both UND and ND lose the first game? Only some Sioux fans will show up, nobody else.

        • You are correct, makes no sense to you. Do you know the primary criteria for seeding teams? Do you realize that attendance has been horrible due to the way the NCAA selects sites and makes fans travel on short notice and pay highest prices for tickets? If you know either of these facts, maybe my idea makes sense. The NCAA is supposed to seed teams by PWR rankings first. This means 1/8/9/16, 2/7/10/15, 3/6/9/14, etc. With the premise of past attendance being crap anyway, why not seed teams as close to this as possible? The NCAA Committee’s mantra has been, “they have to fly anyway so it doesn’t matter where”. My team has been sent back east more than any other western team and it is crazy and expensive. Let us simply seed teams strictly by PWR, except if a team is either “host” or plays in a city site. Now THAT makes sense.

          • Wow, an RIT fan who beat DU in Albany. How many hockey championships have you won? When you win your first, you won’t have to brag about beating one team in one game.

          • I understand it’s still a sore subject. I’d have thought you guys would be over it by now, though.

          • Not a sore subject, DU has been beaten by better and worse teams since 2005. Still didn’t answer my question though, do you have short retention span?

      • notre dame should not draw an HE opponent like Lowell in round 1. The 2/3 match ups forced the move due to 2 HE teams being in the 2d tier and 2 in the 3 tier.

        • I withdraw my apology. If a conference has five or more teams making the Regionals (HEA has six), it is perfectly acceptable to have them meet in 1st game. They did it a couple of time to the old WCHA, no difference here other than it is an Eastern conference.

  13. I think moving the West regional from the 7/10 up to the 6/9 teams compromises the bracket integrity – more important than getting Michigan to Cincy. I think you may be off by one – switching Denver and Michigan.

  14. We always here about attendance issues. The bottom line is that attendance will be weak everywhere no matter what we hear about North Dakota traveling well. The NCHC final four was ( officially ) just over half full in Minneapolis. Check out attendance at all the league tourney sites. Pretty bad. Hockey East had 27,000 for 2 days which isn’t bad while the NCHC had about 22,000, just OK. The others were really low. Now travel to these regionals that aren’t near any teams ( Albany & Cincinnati and to some extent Worcester ) and fans are strapped already. Add to that high ticket prices and fans can’t even have a beer. Dumb. Maybe just have Bracket integrity with the 4 #1 seeds staying as close to the site as possible. Until they change the format, attendance will be low….

    • so true….but has much more to do with the prices….can’t afford to take my family to a college hockey playoff game….ncaa s/b ashamed….

      • Exactly. With 2-3 weeks of league tourneys then the regionals where a lot of people need hotels. Add to that the NCAA ticket prices are absurd. They pressure you into buying the 2 day tickets. Something has got to change…

      • Announced attendance and real attendance are 2 very different things. Did it look like 12,000 fans either day? Boston Garden didn’t have 27,000 either. The Target Center holds almost 19,000 so 12,000 is not a great crowd. The ticket prices are a killer. A lot of hockey to see and pay for in this 3-5 week stretch. We are all stretched out financially.

        • You do realize there is no NCHC team near Target Center, don’t you? UMD is 150 miles away and SCSU is 80 miles away, by far the closest of our league. We need to start moving Frozen Faceoff around to other cities. We have as many teams in Colorado as in Minnesota.

  15. If your just looking at attendance then change the format, move from 4 regionals to 2 regionals. East could be held in Boston, Phila, New York, Pittsburg, and the West in Minn, Detroit, Denver, Chicago.

    • Right idea, but New York and Philly aren’t college hockey towns. Providence, Hartford, Manchester and Boston would make more sense.

      • True, but even if the percentage of people who are college fans is higher in those smaller markets, you’re still likely to have more fans in NYC just due to the sheer volume (of potential fans). But def be worth trying each to see.

      • Providence had their chance last year with their own team placed there for attendance. Even when they made the final no one showed up.

    • Maybe a Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Brooklyn or the Meadowlands, with the Sunday games having the Friday winners go head to head and the Saturday winners doing the same. Expensive hotels but probably easier travel connections than past hosts like Worcester or Bridgeport.

  16. Some say that Quinnipiac “earned” the right to go to Worcester? Earned? That’s like earning the right to vomit after a bad meal. The hour’s difference in travel time is trivial. Local fans can easily do either one without a hotel stay, if they want to. I suspect Q wouldn’t even pick Worcester if you gave them the choice, or an extra $125. In addition, while they aren’t exactly a host team, the Albany Regionals are hosted by the ECAC (although the two Albany area teams that didn’t make it got dual host school designations. It’s therefore appropriate that two of the three ECAC schools tat made the tournament get placed there.

    • I disagree. If you finish with the #1 overall seed, you should be placed in the most favorable location. A huge segment of the alumni base lives in the central mass to boston area through rhode island. The travel just went from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours. I can say for me personally, i was planning on taking my kids to see [email protected] a hour time in the car a huge difference than 5 hours. Not to mention.. Worcester would have had home ice feel to it. Now RIT will have that in Albany. Not sure #16 should have an edge over a #1. Just my 2 cents.

      • Sure… And a huge fraction lives in Fairfield County, too… Closer to Albany. And Rochester is 4 hours away. At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s that complicated… You need an Eastern team and a Northeastern team and Quinnipiac is an Eastern team on hockey terms… Way more than Providence.

  17. I understand that Notre Dame had a strong pair wise ranking, but at 19-10-7 the fact they’re making this tournament over a 23-9-5 Michigan Tech is an absolute joke.

          • Yeah… you all need to learn how PWR works then. If you are getting screwed by a team with a worse record, then you need to look at who you and their opponents were. You can schedule tough and sneak in near .500, or schedule cupcakes you need to have a higher win %. (or somewhere in between) The rules are clear and predictible. No need to whine.

          • Problem is that opponents need to be scheduled years in advance. A team may schedule a Wisconsin thinking that it is a quality opponent 3 yrs ago and play them this year and beat them with their backups. Also 5 years ago somone may have scheduled Lowell as a creampuff and wham you paa bonafide contender.

    • The only joke here is you and your total lack of understanding of how this works. MI Tech has the 45th ranked SOS and lost 9 games. How do you think they would have done if they had played the 9th best SOS in the country like Notre Dame did? Get a clue.

      • You got way too technical for Alistair. Don’t use SOS, you need to spell out Strength Of Schedule and that is means how strong all the teams you played were combined.

      • And how many of those tough ND games were at home??? The vast majority. The NCAA must change the Pairwise to factor in home and away wins / losses and good road wins, bad home losses. In ND’s case, the two loses to Northeastern would have dropped them much, much farther that it did.

        • Are you really trying to justify a team that had the 45th SOS should make the tourney? If you are going to have the 45th SOS you pretty much have to limit your losses to just a few. 9 is way too many. Really ND didn’t play a balanced schedule in what was one of, if not the toughest conf in the country? I don’t care about ND, I am a UND fan but to try and make the case for MI Tech to be in and ND to be out is just stupid.

    • The real joke is that they lost to Ferris, a team with barely a .500 record, in their semi-final. As it played out, MTU was projected in by making the final, whether they won the AQ or not.

    • Its not a joke. Michigan Tech knew what they had to do in the conference tournament to make the NCAAs and they didn’t do it. Their overall record against mostly weaker WCHA teams inflates things but when you break it down like you should, its obvious Notre Dame is a much more deserving team.

      • Using winning % would be absurd, learn college hockey. Put BU, BS, SCSU, UND, DU, Quinniapiac, Providence, UML, or Michigan in the AHA and they would all be in top 10 EVERY year. As to “back room cigar smoke”, the NCAA has to use the top 16, minus conference champions, to be in Regionals.

        • Look at QU as the perfect example. Each year they are anywhere from average to great team, but you don’t know until the tournament because they play in a very weak conference. They only play 4 – 8 “losable” games per season, and with such a small sample size, even winning (or losing) those can’t tell you too much.

          • tough words about this years likely champion…..this weak conference seems to be in the thick every year

          • Du fan Adam, check the inter-conference records and you will see that the “very weak” conference that Quinny plays in actually had the 2nd best inter-conference record this year…and Quinny destroyed SCSU twice this year. SCSU beat DU three times so in any comparison, DU falls below that “very weak” Quinny. Travel east and see just how strong your western teams are like SCSU did. Most won’t only expecting east teams to come west or play in “neutral” tournament sites.

        • Get some respect du_fan and if that’s not impossible consider college hockey history and the fact that the NCAA makes up their own rules. Always have. Also, there is no such thing as every year unless you’re from AIC or your perspective is the past couple of years. Why isn’t Minnesota in your list?

          You are right that using winning% would be absurd given much better methods. I contend that your respect for others, me in this case, is unjustified, inappropriate, disrespectful, and off topic. Maybe I know a lot and don’t write well; maybe you don’t fill in the blanks so well? Say “Hi!”to Coach Jimmy for me. Good guy.

  18. Could someone explain how Yale is the 10 seed? Yes, I know about the PWR but lack of wins, only seven games against tournament teams and 0-2 in ECAC playoffs!!!!

    • Take a look at the PWR details and they win the common opponents categories against all of the teams below them. that seems to be how they are ranked higher and thus in.

    • probably the good record against HE plus going 1-0-1 v. Harvard had a lot to do with it. While they did not end up with a lot of games against tournament teams, the middle of the ECAC had some respectable teams and interconference records. 2d in the regular season in what looks like the 3d best conference probably helps in PWR. Also, they were the 2d to last at-large team to qualify (would have been knocked out if UMD and the Gophers won), so what we are arguing about is almost whether they are a tournament team. Hard to see the ECAC only deserving 2 teams this year given the interconference records.

  19. You’ve been predicting the Northeast Regional in Albany for 2 months… Why the change now? Attendance? Quinnipiac didn’t even travel to Lake Placid (nobody did), and never has to Albany. Yale doesn’t travel either. RIT, UML maybe? You have two bombs… Cinci and now Albany.
    Living in Albany, I for one am thoroughly disappointed given past projections.
    Oh well… Kudos to both NU and UMD for getting in… They both earned it.

  20. Huh, too funny. I’ll take this bracket alignment over any of the previous concoctions Moy has thrown out. The CH playoff system is a joke. However, until the playoffs are based on reality, I’m happy with the Cincy group. Attendance be damned.

          • A 1pm central start time? Ridiculous. I’m sure someone will blow the results for me before I can even get home to watch it.

        • I fully appreciate how NE is playing…..believe me. I did not mean to impugn any of the teams in the Cincy regional. In earlier renditions of the NT, I did not feel it was fair to put UMD, DU and UND in the same regional bracket. Remember, these conference tourney’s can be a little misleading…..compared to a full season’s worth of results. In the NCHC, it is common for these teams to split, or at least split over two weekends (i.e., DU and UND swept each other at home). I give credit to UMD and SCSU for their success this weekend, but we need to keep in mind these are one-game affairs. With this being said, I feel like UND is in an appropriate location and seated with 3 very good teams.

      • Hey, you should be able to find a decently priced flight to MSP….or even drive. Pretty easy 12-14 hour drive….have done that one a few too many times.

        • Found flight on Frontier for $323 each, for round trip. Got hotel (Hotel 340) at $335 for 3 nights. Booked them both already for the six of us. Too bad my friend in Minneapolis took his family to Disneyland, could have saved my wife and I some bucks. Total cost with taxes and charges is about $1100 for both of us, not terrible. Decent all-session tickets in lower sections are $85 each, booked them also. At least there will be six DU fans at the X. Getting there early Friday so we can catch Sioux game on ESPNU.

          • Was really hoping to be there. Real strenuous 40 miles drive over to the X. Glad there will be some DU fans there though. Hopefully DU comes out of that regional….still dont like seeing SCSU win, even if they are NCHC.

    • Because of competitiveness or lack of it? Just kidding. NE is the toughest regionaI think… But this one may rival it. NU, Michigan are both playing really well.

    • Moy is following set rules. He is usually right. Things change because as positioning changes, like SCSU passing ND in Pairwise.

      With that said, be very happy. You have a cakewalk to the Frozen Four :)

      • Cake walk? Northeastern has been just as hot as Denver and maybe more against arguably equal tough sch. I think St. Cloud has an easier first round matchup, just my opinion.

  21. I think we all need a reality check regarding fan support…..and the state of CH. Fan support for CH is down everywhere….even with UND fans. Support for CH is in decline; until this admission is made we are just peeing in the ocean. If the status quo is maintained further decline will continue. CH needs to create passion for the fans. For example, the fact MN and UND do not play each other twice each year is crazy. But, there is more to this. After DU or UND would play the Gophers, it set up a more critical game the following weekend when these teams faced yet another stiff challenge. The old WCHA created an intensity that was palpable…..for fans and players alike. This is how and why fan support was strong. I know far less about the Eastern schools, but Western hockey is in trouble if the B10 continues. CH needs the B10 schools split into other conferences if the sport is to regain its previous health. Just my $0.02.

    • Crappy sites for regionals doesnt help. This year and next in Cincinnati? Not much of a hot bed for hockey. Most places have outrageous ticket prices.

    • Eastern school wise we do okay for the schools serving alcohol, that’s the big thing. UML (wooo!), BU, and UConn are all big arenas that have liquor licenses and serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks. In addition to having strong downtown areas supporting them. UML’s had a handful of actual sellout standing room only games this year.

      Want attendance? Nix the ban on alcohol.

  22. Moy has been using Tech and Minnesota for weeks now because he uses winning percentage as the autobid in each conference. Well, now things look way difference because Tech, Minnesota, and Robert Morris all missed out. You need a new way of placing teams in bracketology Moy.

    • You don’t seem to realize that projecting the bracket any earlier than after all the games have been played is really just for fun.

      • Its half for fun and half to show different thought processes. Moy doesn’t pick the sixteen teams that make it in, he is just playing with numbers until the last conference game is played. I thought this was pretty common knowledge, but I guess you and I are among the few

  23. RIT should be moved to the St. Paul and Ferris State to Albany. Teams that are that far BELOW the top 20 in Pairwise PWR should not get a benefit of being close to home for their fans. Quinny should be as close to home as they can be since they did EARN the #1 seed in a “quite powerful” ECAC this year and had a number of other impressive wins against non-conference top 20 teams.

    • The 16th seed (RIT) should play the best team, or have a very good reason for moving. RIT in Albany isn’t a benefit as much as “maximize the experience” … more fans and more attendance.

  24. It is a shame how they adjust the bracket integrity for perceived attendance reasons, but all of the regionals will still end up with poor attendance. Two years ago, the Gophers played St. Cloud at the Xcel center in the Region final and there were 9k people there. Why? Because tickets are $75+ and most of the fan base is college kids. If they are really that focused on attendance, understand that 16k tickets at $40 is better than 8k tickets at $80

    • The committee and NC$$ doesnt understand simple economics. West regional tickets this year, with ridiculous ticketmaster fees are a little over a 100. They just dont understand about lower price, higher demand.

  25. Northeastern is on fire, but got to remember they played a umass team that basically played two games on Friday night. Umass to me is the scarier team!

          • is UMass not in their name? and the actual UMass didnt play Friday night….so everyone knew exactly who he was speaking about.

          • In the context that was used, I knew EXACTLY what team was being talked about. Wasnt that hard. people type ND for north dakota all the time……why shouldnt I think its notre dame and fly off the deep end?

          • Not every college hockey fan simply calls your team UML. Since they are officially University of Massachusetts Lowell, it is no crime to shorten it to UMass without thinking Univ. of Massachusetts. Don’t be so thin skinned on an honest mistake. Little insecure to “like” yourself, isn’t it?


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