What to Watch: Feb. 12

Looking to clinch
All four conferences could be won outright by the end of this weekend, and two of the leaders have that objective entirely within their own control.

No. 1 Boston College can wrap up Hockey East with two wins. First is a rematch of the Beanpot final when the Eagles host No. 6 Northeastern, Friday, 2 p.m. EST. On Tuesday, BC took control early and put the game out of reach with a five-goal third period.

Sunday, BC travels to Vermont for another 2 p.m. start. The Catamounts own a two-game win streak for the first time since winning on both sides of the holiday break, as they attempt to break the Boston College victory string that has grown to 30. If it stretches to 32 on Sunday, the Eagles will have their third straight season title.

No. 2 Wisconsin can earn the WCHA trophy with a sweep of Minnesota State when the Mavericks visit LaBahn Arena for contests Saturday and Sunday at 2:07 p.m. CST. The Badgers outscored MSU by a 13-0 margin when they made a trip to Mankato in October. This will be UW’s first season crown since 2012. If Ann-Renée Desbiens adds two more shutouts, she’ll tie the NCAA season mark.

In ECAC Hockey, No. 4 Quinnipiac claims at least a share of the championship with a pair of victories. The Bobcats welcome St. Lawrence Friday at 5 p.m. EST. Quinnipiac cruised to a 5-0 triumph over the Saints in November in Canton. Saturday brings No. 5 Clarkson, the second-place team in the ECAC, for a 4 p.m. faceoff in Hamden. The Bobcats have won the last three meetings over the Golden Knights, all shutouts.

Ironically, either St. Lawrence or Clarkson can help Quinnipiac clinch an outright title if they can take points at No. 8 Princeton. The Golden Knights and Tigers drop the puck Friday, 7 p.m. EST. On Saturday at 3 p.m. EST, its the Saints’ turn in Hobey Baker Rink.

Mercyhurst, with only a two-point lead over Syracuse, needs help from Robert Morris if its going to lock up the CHA. The Lakers head to RIT for games Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, the Colonials will be in Syracuse to square off with the Orange, Friday, 7 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 3 p.m.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Weird. Another week of Paula really going out on a limb and picking split series except for the obvious pick against the worst team. How about you use your so called expertise and make an actual pick instead of splits. If the results went the way of your picks then every team in the ccha would end up .500. Want some picks? WMU and Lake State will take 5 of 6 points in their respective series while your beloved Wolverines will sweep ND and take 6.

    • Really, BenAL18?  Would you NOT call splits in this league?  And have you seen the standings?  Three teams are at .500; three more are between .500 and .600 and one more is just below .500.  That’s the way this season has been. 

      I don’t get any credit for calling a split in a given weekend when teams do split but win on nights opposite of what I’ve called.  I do take losses for both of those games.  
      Four points separate the third-place team from the eighth-place team in this league going into this weekend.  I’d say that splits are the norm, not the exception. 

      • Anyone can sit here and pick the norm but you’re supposed to be the expert so I would expect more then just picking split series every weekend. I haven’t looked very closely and don’t plan on doing so but I would venture to guess you also pick the home team in your series splits. After years of reading but never commenting I’m more then sick of watching you make picks that anyone who looks at the standings can pick. I’d also love to see just once you pick a national “mid major” program such as a NMU, WMU or Lake State over a ND, Michigan, MSU or OSU. I know it’s not the “norm” but who would watch a game if the “norm” always proved true. The fact that you still have ND ranked above WMU after WMU just swept ND is laughable just like the poles.

        • You want her to give an expert opinion, but complain she doesn’t go out on a limb and picks sweeps. Seems to me an expert opinion means she needs to tell you how it is, which she is. By the way, she is 4-0 so far this weekend going 4 for 4 on Friday night. Also, if you knew anything about the CCHA, I think you’d realize that none of the series are home and home – the CCHA doesn’t have too many of those anymore since they fell to 11 teams. You complain that she isn’t picking mid-majors to win, yet I see her picking LSSU to win at LSSU (which LSSU hasn’t won in East Lansing in 16 years – going 0-18-3 now in their last 21 games in East Lansing). And she picked Ferris State to beat Ohio State in Columbus. Seems to me you’re looking rather dumb right now, and Paula is looking spot on – like an expert.

          • That should be LSSU winning in East Lansing – where they haven’t won in 16 years. That’s going out on a limb (one that I hope proves to be wrong).

          • Bravo…  it’s always nice to see someone put people in their place.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve disagreed with some of Paula’s posts in the past, but if I’m going to make a post – I usually try not to sound like a fool.  Anyone who readily admits they haven’t fully investigated an issue, but will make broad conclusions and assumptions, well that just speaks for itself.  If you’re bitter because she picked ND over WMU despite the sweep – that’s fair (I would tend to agree), but unfortunately you lost all of your credibility before that.  Polls are perception, and perception is reality.  So the reality is people (and not just Paula) think that ND is better than WMU.  If you disagree, fine.  But why do you insist on such destructive criticism?

    • Western Michigan taking 5 of 6 points?  Miami is have an off year but they are still the class of the CCHA playing at home.  Try Miami takes 6 points.

  2. Weird. Another week of Paula really going out on a limb and picking split series except for the obvious pick against the worst team. How about you use your so called expertise and make an actual pick instead of splits. If the results went the way of your picks then every team in the ccha would end up .500. Want some picks? WMU and Lake State will take 5 of 6 points in their respective series while your beloved Wolverines will sweep ND and take 6.

    • Really, BenAL18?  Would you NOT call splits in this league?  And have you seen the standings?  Three teams are at .500; three more are between .500 and .600 and one more is just below .500.  That’s the way this season has been. 

      I don’t get any credit for calling a split in a given weekend when teams do split but win on nights opposite of what I’ve called.  I do take losses for both of those games.  
      Four points separate the third-place team from the eighth-place team in this league going into this weekend.  I’d say that splits are the norm, not the exception. 

      • Anyone can sit here and pick the norm but you’re supposed to be the expert so I would expect more then just picking split series every weekend. I haven’t looked very closely and don’t plan on doing so but I would venture to guess you also pick the home team in your series splits. After years of reading but never commenting I’m more then sick of watching you make picks that anyone who looks at the standings can pick. I’d also love to see just once you pick a national “mid major” program such as a NMU, WMU or Lake State over a ND, Michigan, MSU or OSU. I know it’s not the “norm” but who would watch a game if the “norm” always proved true. The fact that you still have ND ranked above WMU after WMU just swept ND is laughable just like the poles.

        • You want her to give an expert opinion, but complain she doesn’t go out on a limb and picks sweeps. Seems to me an expert opinion means she needs to tell you how it is, which she is. By the way, she is 4-0 so far this weekend going 4 for 4 on Friday night. Also, if you knew anything about the CCHA, I think you’d realize that none of the series are home and home – the CCHA doesn’t have too many of those anymore since they fell to 11 teams. You complain that she isn’t picking mid-majors to win, yet I see her picking LSSU to win at LSSU (which LSSU hasn’t won in East Lansing in 16 years – going 0-18-3 now in their last 21 games in East Lansing). And she picked Ferris State to beat Ohio State in Columbus. Seems to me you’re looking rather dumb right now, and Paula is looking spot on – like an expert.

          • That should be LSSU winning in East Lansing – where they haven’t won in 16 years. That’s going out on a limb (one that I hope proves to be wrong).

          • Bravo…  it’s always nice to see someone put people in their place.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve disagreed with some of Paula’s posts in the past, but if I’m going to make a post – I usually try not to sound like a fool.  Anyone who readily admits they haven’t fully investigated an issue, but will make broad conclusions and assumptions, well that just speaks for itself.  If you’re bitter because she picked ND over WMU despite the sweep – that’s fair (I would tend to agree), but unfortunately you lost all of your credibility before that.  Polls are perception, and perception is reality.  So the reality is people (and not just Paula) think that ND is better than WMU.  If you disagree, fine.  But why do you insist on such destructive criticism?

    • Western Michigan taking 5 of 6 points?  Miami is have an off year but they are still the class of the CCHA playing at home.  Try Miami takes 6 points.

  3. Single-elimination games at the top eight seeds one weekend, then at the top four remaining seeds the next, then neutral-site Frozen Four. If that’s not feasible to host one game apiece per site, then best-of-three the first two rounds – just not two-game total goals series or tiebreaking “mini-games”

    • The big problem with the 3 game series is injuries, and that’s coming from the Coaches. Plus it also takes the excitement out of lower seed moving forward. But I do agree on campus sites for first round of 16 and campus sites for the second round of 8.

  4. I guess it’s just coincidence that the committee chair floating this idea happens to be AD at a school with one of the largest campus arenas in college hockey. It’s not like his school would benefit from concession revenues or anything like that.

    Certainly from the fairness perspective, I am opposed to on-campus sites if this means the top seeds get to play at home, which would seem the primary reason for the proposal. I would be less opposed if campus sites were used as neutral sites.

    I would rule out sites with international-sized ice. I actually prefer the larger ice but since most college teams do not play on this, I think it is an unfair advantage that those few that do.

    I think the ideas regarding super-regionals and packing lots of games into a short period of time overlook some important issues. Once is ice quality. I’ve seen some suggestions of four games in a day, which is absurd considering how difficult it is to keep good ice for just two games. On TV, the ice for the second game in Fargo last night looked pretty bad. I would think you would want the best possible conditions for a national tournament. Add to this not only heavy use of the ice but also the time of year, where in many places it is no longer cold outside, making more difficult to keep good ice (not all rinks have air-conditioning).

    The other issue regarding super-regionals is ticket pricing and attendance. Regionals are already expensive. If you double the number of games from three games in two days to six games in four days are you going to double ticket prices? Are you going to sell separate packages for the Thursday-Saturday and Friday-Sunday games? If the latter, how does this help attendance, or do you really expect people to show up for all four days? Regardless of how many teams/games there were, Manchester would still have been empty for UMN-UMD last night.

    Am I the only one who would go to all the games even if my team lost in the first game of the first day? How much of a fan are you really if you only watch your team’s games?

    Speaking of UNM-UMD, I was very surprised by the sparse attendance for that game after all the talk on these boards about how well the Minn fans travel. OTOH, if the game had been played at a tiny rink like the one in Fargo it would have looked a lot more full. :)

    I agree with the other comments that it was idiotic to make the BU-Yale game the early game. It’s not as if most of the folks who attend these games are students, and having the local team play on a weekday afternoon is stupid if you are concerned about attendance. No doubt ESPN wanted the boring UNM-UMD game in the evening so folks in Minnesota could be home from work to watch. In fairness, ESPN couldn’t have predicted how uninteresting the late game would be.

    I’ve only ever been to just one regional myself, in Worcester in the ’00s. Attendance was really quite good—the teams were BU, BC, North Dakota, and Mercyhurst (UND won the region). There was a good contingent of UND fans. In terms of travel, Manchester is a lot easier than Worcester because the airport is just a few miles from the arena, whereas you pretty much need to fly into Boston to get to Worcester (as far as I know the is no commercial service into the Worcester airport).

    I’m interested to see what the crowd is like in Providence this afternoon. Only one of the schools has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 10,000 (Miami). I’m hoping BC can find some scoring and get past Denver so they can knock Miami out of the tournament once again (but I don’t expect this to happen).

  5. Why not go East/West? Why move teams around so much? Essentially HE and ECAC in East with NCHC and WCHA in West with BT and AH as swing leagues. You would get shorter commutes for fans and more rivalry match ups.

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