Quarterfinal picks, March 11-13

Shane here …

The playoffs are here, and, as I’ve thought throughout the year, it’s a wide-open race for the Broadmoor Trophy. Based on the way teams have defended and tended goal this season, as well as the vast number of low-scoring, one-goal games (not to mention the ties, dear God, the ties!), it would not shock me if any of these eight teams somehow get to Grand Rapids and keep things rolling from there. Having said that, yeah, I picked all the home teams to move on, but I also picked three of the series to go to a third game on Sunday. Honestly, there are few outcomes that would truly surprise me this weekend. On to the picks!

Alaska at Michigan Tech

Shane: Congratulations, Huskies, on your first MacNaughton Cup title in 40 years and the No. 1 seed for the league playoffs! Your reward? Only the team that mounted a furious comeback against you in one game and took you to overtime in your barn two weeks ago. Sure, you won those games, but now the Nanooks have their best player, Tyler Morely, back from injury. I can’t pick against Tech here, but something tells me these teams might be playing on Sunday. Huskies 4-1, Nanooks 3-2, Huskies 6-2

Jack: I agree that Tyler Morley’s return gives the Nanooks a huge advantage and a much better chance than they might have had. But I think Tech is going to take care of business this weekend. The Huskies want to get back to the NCAA Tournament and the best way to do that is to go 2-0 this weekend. I think this is going to be close, and maybe we’ll go to overtime first, but the Huskies win two. Huskies 5-6, 3-2 

Lake Superior State at Minnesota State

Shane: This is a rematch of last year’s first-round series, one in which the Mavericks rolled. They haven’t been quite as prolific scoring-wise this season, except when they played Lake. Superior State in January when the outscored the visitors 13-1 in the two games. This is a good matchup for the co-champs, not so much for the young-and-improved Lakers. Mavericks 5-1, 4-2

Jack: The Lakers are a much better team than they were last year when the Mavericks outscored LSSU 13-4 in a sweep. But like you said, Shane, this was probably the worst matchup the Lakers could have gotten for a first-round playoff matchup (I’m sure they would have much preferred potential series against Tech and BG, both of which they played very closely this season). Alas, this isn’t the case. The Mavs are going back to the Final Five with relative ease. Mavericks 6-1, 4-1

Bemidji State at Bowling Green

Shane: This is an interesting matchup, as the home team has been very good in its own rink this season (10-4-5), while the road team has been very good away from home (9-5-2). There’s no other series in which the first goal of the game carries more weight. If the Beavers can get an early lead, as they did last Saturday in Mankato, look out; they know how to defend. It may not be pretty, but it’s effective. I think the Falcons eke out the win in three very physical games. Falcons 4-3, Beavers 2-1, Falcons 3-2

Jack: Not sure which team has the advantage here. The Falcons play incredibly well in their own rink and the Beavers are excellent on the road. The game could be crowded and rowdy: Although BG is on spring break, Falcon great Rob Blake is going to be paying for free student tickets to the game. Bowling Green played well against the Beavers earlier this season, but BSU is playing much better hockey right now. I think this is going to go the distance and BSU will get the win. Beavers 2-1, Falcons 3-2, Beavers 5-3

Northern Michigan at Ferris State

Shane: Who smells overtime? And lots of it? These two teams each played in 11 overtime games this season, including one against each other. This series is going to go deep into the Big Rapids night at least once, if not two or three times! With the Final Five being played just down the road, I think the Bulldogs get the slight edge, but they won’t get it until late Sunday (maybe early Monday). Bulldogs 4-3, Wildcats 3-2, Bulldogs 2-1

Shane: WCHA detractors are going to hate this series, but in the defense of Ferris and NMU, the Bulldogs did score 13 goals against the Wildcats in four games this season. They split the series (including, yes, one OT game), but I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up going the other way in that bandbox of a rink in Big Rapids — a bunch of weird bounces and fluke goals in three high scoring (for the WCHA, anyway) games. Bulldogs 6-4, Wildcats 5-3, Bulldogs 3-2

5 COMMENTS

  1. It’s so foolish to avoid NCAA regionals in college rinks. These spectacles deserve to be held in famous/timeless venues like Conte, Mariucci and especially Yost.

    The college hockey postseason is among the best in sport, yet it needlessly suffers in terms of public awareness, ticket sales and atmosphere. But this problem is merely one decade old. So go back to the old system already! College arenas with the best reputations deserve to apply for–and routinely hold–the first weekend of the tourney.

    Put the Frozen Four at a national site and set a rule to keep all #4 seeds from the unfair luxury of a home regional (by sending them elsewhere) and in an instant the tourney will be far better than it is now and slightly better than it was a decade ago when the NCAA neutered the old system into this. For an organization so reputedly hellbent on chasing revenue streams and the bottom line, either that thinking is wrong or it couldn’t be more obvious that the NCAA’s people in charge of college hockey spend far too little time actually thinking about college hockey.

  2. The NCAA has consistently, and without fail, turned this event into a disgrace and a joke by its choice of venues, more often than not. It is the worst managed NCAA Championship in this country, by a mile.

  3. Please not the Barclay’s arena! What a logistic nightmare, fighting Brooklyn hipsters to watch college hockey. You wouldn’t be able to tell if someone had “an ironic Mullet” or was a hockey player. Seriously, stay out of NY all together. . . I’d say Chicago it’s a nice compromise for travel. What I’d really like to see is deeply discounted tickets for students so you can still have a college hockey atmosphere. It’s lame watching a game with empty seats because the organizers never took an intro to economics class.

  4. .
    While games were close two weeks ago, putting a little scare on all us, I am not sure if Tech rather play anybody else – for weird as they may sound.

    Here’s hoping this match-up brings out the seriousness needed to be ready, go out there, and be executionally cold!

    These two (or three) games are extremely important for Tech’s chance of making it to the NCAA tournament hovers at around 57% before this series.

    100% agree that any of these teams can make it to G.R. Keeping in mind that LSSU is scrappy and at times a little dirty. If the winds are blowing their way, with a little bit of luck they can steal this series from MSU. I say they win at least one game.

    GO TECH GOLD!
    .

  5. .
    While games were close two weeks ago, putting a little scare on all us, I am not sure if Tech rather play anybody else – for weird as they may sound.

    Here’s hoping this match-up brings out the seriousness needed to be ready, go out there, and be executionally cold!

    These two (or three) games are extremely important for Tech’s chance of making it to the NCAA tournament hovers at around 57% before this series.

    100% agree that any of these teams can make it to G.R. Keeping in mind that LSSU is scrappy and at times a little dirty. If the winds are blowing their way, with a little bit of luck they can steal this series from MSU. I say they win at least one game.

    GO TECH GOLD!
    .

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here