Three things, March 20

1. Save Ferris

As in, everybody’s out, save Ferris State. The Bulldogs knocked off both MacNaughton Cup co-champions and stole the Broadmoor Trophy and the WCHA’s auto-bid from under everybody’s noses. Coach Bob Daniels said after both games that the Broadmoor, a trophy the Bulldogs had never won before, was the team’s sole focus — nothing beyond Saturday night — and his team shut down two pretty powerful offenses. Ferris State shut out Michigan Tech, which scored more than 5 ½ goals per game over its seven-game winning streak heading into the Final Five. And then it held Minnesota State to just 14 shots on goal. The Mavericks’ previous season-low was 21 shots on goal.

2. Goalies galore

Goal scoring has come at a premium all season in the WCHA, and the Final Five proved just how tough goals have been to come by. A grand total of seven goals were scored in the three games. The goalies stoles the show so much that it was determined that Ferris State freshman Darren Smith, who allowed one goal on 44 shots, would be the Most Valuable Player and Minnesota State’s Cole Huggins, who allowed three goals (one a Gerald Mayhew penalty shot) on 53 shots, would get the goalie spot on the All-Tournament Team. Tech’s Jamie Phillips (32 saves) played one of his best games in the 1-0 loss to Ferris State, coach Mel Pearson said, and Bowling Green’s Chris Nell made 21 saves in the 2-1 loss to MSU.

3. One-bid conference

Pearson lamented the WCHA getting just one team in the national tournament this season, especially with his nine-loss team out. The league’s nonconference record hurt its teams this year, just as it helped them last year when Michigan Tech and Minnesota State went and Bowling Green barely missed out. The Mavericks saw their three-year NCAA run snapped. “I think the quality of the teams you see here (at the Final Five) says a lot about the league,” Pearson said. “I’d invite any team to come play in this league. … It’s a healthy league with great coaches and outstanding players.”

One more thing

More thoughts to WCHA referee Butch Mousseaux after the awful fall Friday that hospitalized him and put him in critical condition. As Mavericks coach Mike Hastings said after his team’s loss Friday: “It hurts to lose a hockey game, but at the end of the day it’s just a game. … Butchy’s been a beacon for our guys. (Former Maverick) Matt Leitner sent out a tweet today that he loved it when Butchy worked his games. Thoughts and prayers to him and his family.”

23 COMMENTS

  1. If you can’t get the facts in your story correct how are we suppose to take you serious. Spencer Abbott should win but it will probably be Jack C announced the winner tonight

    • a couple things.
      Abbott had more points in FEWER games, AND Abbott might be the guy to credit for bringing Maine to the NCAA tournament for the first time in years.
      Connolly was already on a team that has been there.  Connolly did not raise his team up, his team was stacked.  It was a little easier for Jack not to have to always go out against the top D and to[ checking lines all season long, than it was for Abbott, who had to face teams that were keying on him.

      • Duluth was stacked? Yeah right. They lost fontaine, mike connolly, which was 2/3 of J. Conn’s line, and their best 2 defense. Connoly spent most of the year playing with a freshman and whoever else they decided to throw in their, while their other 2 best guys Oleksiak and Brown played together. Furthermore, I know they just look at this year, but the award is for best player in college hockey and abbot had 1 big year. Jack has done this for four years.

        •  And Spencer Abbott lost Gustav Nyquist from his line from a year ago

          Both Maine & UMD have several quality players on this season’s squads

          Both Jack & Spencer are deserving of the award and great examples of what is good with collage hockey

          Clearly I am biased as a Maine fan and I never saw Smith play this year.

          I think Connolly will be your winner but am pulling for Abbott

  2. Id love to see Abbott win it, for playing 4 years of college hockey, and also coming back to be cleared a hour before his regional from a concussion….great season, national leader in pts, and a Deans List student for his 4 yrs and much more to the community in Orono, were proud of you Abbott….but the nod will probably go to Connolly, being on the list last year.  

  3. Abbott deserves the Hobey. Two more points in two LESS games than JC, he and line mates finished 1-2-3 in Hockey East Scoring….which hasn’t happened since a guy named Karyia played in Hockey East. This was done in a league with Cannata, Carr, Milner, Millan in goal.

    I disagree MD had a better season than Maine. Yes, they won head-to-head, against Maine, but Maine swept BC (the last time BC lost) and beat 2012 tournament member BU three times in Boston. Maine’s offense kept the team
    In the HE race, despite a pourous D and inconsistent goal tending. Abbot was the leader of the offense and deserves the Hobey.

    Best Wishes to all candidates.

  4. Abbott deserves the Hobey.  Two more points in two LESS games than JC.  He and his line mates finished 1-2-3 in Hockey East Scoring….which hasn’t happened since a guy names Karyia played in Hockey East.  This was done against goalies like Cannata, Carr, Milner, and Millan. 

    I disagree MD had a better season than Maine.  Yes, they beat Maine head-to-head, but Maine swept BC (the last time BC lost) and beat 2012 tournament member BU three times IN BOSTON. 

    Maine’s Offense kept the team in the Hockey East race, and into the tournament despite a porous D, and inconsistent goal tending.  Abbott was the leader of the offense and deserves the Hobey.

    Best Wishes to all candidates.

    • Yes finished with his line mates 1-2-3 meaning he had two great guys to help make assists with or give him the puck to score. JC had Brown on occasion on his line and TO on occasion not always. He made the plays and he helped create a “stacked” team by getting the points on the board. He had most of his “stacked” team leave him between last year and this year others just stepped up. 

    • everyone keeps going over this 2 more points in 2 less games-seriously? 2 points? I know I am bringing up a contentious topic here, but I do honestly believe that TOP TO BOTTOM (obviously excluding BC)  the defense/goaltending of the wcha this year was significantly better than hockey east. 9 of abbots points came in one weekend, against Vermont, who won a total of 3 CONFERENCE GAMES this WHOLE SEASON and finished with 6 TOTAL wins.

  5. If you don’t think Jack should win the award, then you’re opinion means nothing here.  Jack was and has been a beast all four years he’s been at UMD, and while you think that shouldn’t matter, it does.  Excluding BC, HE was not a hard conference this year, and Maine didn’t get passed the first game of the tourney.  Jack’s team was stacked?  He lost the other three best players on his team to the pros last year, and almost 50% of the teams scoring.  He got put on a line with two people he hadn’t really played with, and aren’t premier players, and STILL put up the second most point total in the nation.  He’s from Duluth and plays for Duluth.  I’ve seen the kid at 9 at night at an outdoor rink skating around and playing with 12 year old kids, teaching them the game.  He’s an outstanding citizen and athlete.  If you don’t think he is the most deserving candidate, then you obviously don’t understand what the award means.

    •  Hobey Baker is not a trophy based on career accomplishments. You seem pretty apprehensive about people having other opinions. Re-evaluate yourself, idiot.

  6. One of the Three will win tonight,BUT ask them and bet they’d say they wish they were playing on Saturday Night @ 7pm….Hobey Baker is a Honor and whomever wins The HB Award…congrats to them…

  7. Apparently there are only two players in the hobey HAT TRICK.  I figured hockey fans would know that there are three.  I am bias, however, not to even mention one of the candidates is just ridiculous.  Austin Smith has been the best at causing penalties, shorthanded goals, goals, etc.  At least put him in the discussion, come on.  

  8. To be sure, this is a very special young man, however only a signed National Letter of Intent is binding. Many things can and do happen between 7th grade and senior year of high school. I wish him (and his family) well both in the classroom and on the ice.

  9. The University of Wisconsin must be very proud of you. Should be an outstanding weekend of college hockey good luck to all the teams.

  10. Great stuff, Todd… Between game blogs here, and game coverage on NBCSN (HEA) and CBSSP (NCHC)… I’m psyched for some great match-ups!

    • I hope you are right. Last year they were in 1st place to start January and the wheels started to come off. Need a great game tonight to jump start the 2nd half. Go Chiefs..

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