Weekend wrap: Jan. 29

No. 7 Robert Morris at Syracuse
On Friday, Robert Morris scored twice in the second period and Maeve Garvey added an empty-netter, her second goal of the game, to lead the Colonials to a 3-1 win. On Saturday, the teams were tied heading into the second period, but Syracuse scored four unanswered goals to cruise to a 5-1 win. Stephanie Grossi scored twice for the Orange.

No. 8 Cornell at Dartmouth
The Big Red outshot Dartmouth 29-13 and a goal from Kaitlin Doering was all it took to earn Cornell the 1-0 win.

North Dakota vs. Bemidji State (home-and-home)
On Friday, Amy Menke became the seventh North Dakota women’s hockey player to reach the century mark with a first period goal. Sarah Lecavalier and Charly Dahlquist also scored for the Fighting Hawks en route to the 3-1 win in Bemidji. On Sunday, Emily Bergland scored for Bemidji just five minutes into the game and the Beavers controlled the game until the third period, when Dahlquist got the equalizer and forced overtime in Grand Forks. North Dakota earned an extra conference point with the shootout win.

No. 8 Cornell at Harvard
Harvard’s Briana Mastel scored a power-play goal with less than four minutes to go in the game to earn the tie for the Crimson. Haley Mullins opened the scoring, putting Harvard up 1-0 in the first. Kaitlin Doering extended her scoring streak to three games and Sarah Knee gave Cornell the lead before the end of the second.

Boston University at Merrimack
Freshman Mikyla Grant-Mentis tallied her first career hat trick to lead Merrimack to its first-ever win over Boston University. Victoria Bach scored on the power play for Boston University, but it was all Merrimack after that.

Vermont at Connecticut
On Friday, Vermont  earned its first win over Connecticut since November 2, 2014. Catamounts goalie Madison Litchfield recorded her 28th career win, a UVM D-I program record. Alyssa Gorecki, Eve-Audrey Picard and Kourtney Menches gave the Catamounts a 3-0 lead before Leah Lum and Briana Colangelo brought the Huskies in striking distance. Cassidy Campeau scored for Vermont in the third to secure the 4-2 win. On Saturday, two goals from Lum helped the Huskies snap a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 win.

No. 1 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota State
The Badgers kept rolling with an relatively easy sweep of Minnesota State, 5-0 and 6-1. Ann-Renée Desbiens made 15 saves in recording her 11th shutout of the season. Saturday, Sam Cogan had three assists in the 6-1 win.

No. 2 Minnesota Duluth vs. Ohio State
The Bulldogs looked impressive in sweeping a tough Ohio State team, 6-1 and 3-0. Friday, Duluth broke open a 1-1 game with five unanswered goals in the third. Katherine McGovern scored at 2:34 to get it started, and then Duluth got goals from Jessica Healey, Sidney Morin, Maria Lindh, and McGovern again in a 1:40 span starting at 7:55 to break the game open.

No. 4 Minnesota at St. Cloud State
No. 4 Minnesota swept St. Cloud State, 2-1 and 5-0. Friday, Madeleine Dahl got the start for St. Cloud instead of Janine Alder, and made 22 saves, and Nicole Schammel broke a 1-1 tie with a goal at 7:29 of the third. In Saturday’s 5-0 win, Schammel had a goal and assist while Lee Stecklein had a goal and two assists. Saturday, Maddie Rooney made 18 stops to earn her fourth shutout of the year.

Rest of the top 10
No. 3 Clarkson 4, RPI 2
No. 3 Clarkson 3, Union 1
No. 5 St. Lawrence 8, Union 1
No. 5 St. Lawrence 5, RPI 2

118 COMMENTS

  1. I have played around with the predictor and found that the following three teams look like locks to be number one seeds (Quinnipiac, Minnesota and Miami). If there is a path for Miami not be a number one seed, I could not find it nor did I see anyone else that had one.

    The fourth number one seed seems to be between BC/Lowell based on the Hockey East tournament, North Dakota if HE has a BU/Providence final or even Yale. Yale might also get a number one seed if they win ECAC, especially against Quinnipiac in the final.

    • Mankato can pull a 1 seed, even up to the #3 spot, if they win out the WCHA. Miami can get bumped out of a 1 seed if Notre Dame wins CCHA (and ND will get a 1 seed then) and certain combos of the HE tourney.

      Lowest I was able to push Miami was 7th overall. behind QU, MN, BC, Yale, Mankato and Notre Dame.

      • I could not see a way Providence does not get in without winning Friday night. I thought someone came up with a way for them to get in with a Friday win and a Saturday loss.

  2. It seems like no matter the scenario, Minnesota and North Dakota are always on a crash course. Games with North Dakota are always entertaining, but come on…It’s the national tourney, I want to see them play other teams they don’t play multiple times every season. Assuming they take care of business first of course.

      • with the current setup its by home distance.

        should unh fall to 4th seed with BC/UML number 1. in this scenario, the committee may decide to move QU to manchester to avoid a first round conference matchup and send BC/UML to providence while keeping them east.

      • If 1 seeds are always placed closest to home, then the 4 seeds should be placed farthest from home. WMU should not get to play in Michigan if they sneak into an at-large.

    • The committee will keep Quinnipiac as the one seed in Providence unless Brown wins the autobid. Quinnipiac and Brown (or any other ECAC school) are covered by the desire to separate conferences. Brown is the host school.

      Personally, I hope Yale potentially faces Q in the Providence final with the Frozen Four berth on the line.

      • So they can get spanked again? Grew up a Yale fan and went to both games this year and Yale was awful both times…….

        • They played Yale when Yale was without Malcolm and played their third-string goalie. Give Qpac credit, i think they are a strong team and could beat Yale with Malcom, but your statement does is a little far-fetched. They are 18-4 with Malcolm, 0-6 without him. The second game also saw Yale dominate after that abysmal first period by the Yale third-string goalie.

          • At NO point in either game did Yale dominate. And playing backup goalies doesn’t absolve the 18 skaters for not showing up for 2 big games. Yale had a chance at the Whale but turning point was taking penalty while on pp after going up 2-0 early. The game at Q was over before the puck dropped….

          • scoring chances for second game were 15-9 in favor of Yale (per Qpac game stats). It looked a lot worse due to 3 first period goals (2 that were VERY weak goals).

      • This is too funny. So if Providence and Brown qualify for the tournament (presumably both as #4 seeds), Brown would get to stay in Providence as host while Providence has to go elsewhere? Hilarious.

  3. Man the really want to set up last season again, Minnesota gets a bye (after winning the McNaughton Cup) and will most likely play North Dakota and then try to set it up for them to play in the regional…again. Seriously we dont want to play each other.

    • Because everyone in the WCHA makes the Frozen Four, right? Six WCHA teams in the NCAA Tournament, really? The last time that happened (2008), no WCHA teams made the Frozen Four.

      • What are you talking about? It has nothing to do with the WCHA. Qunnipiac is the weakest #1 in a decade. Then Lowell at #6, though certainly not a “bad” team, is softer than #7, #8, and #9.
        The point has nothing to do with #16 being WCHA (not sure where you got that from). Whoever you are, if you backed into the tournament, and all that stood between you and the Frozen 4 was Quinny and Lowell, you’d have to like your chances compared to what normally happens to #16.

        **EDIT** North Dakota made the Frozen 4 in 2008.

          • Open up the schedules/results for Lowell, North Dakota, New Hampshire, and Notre Dame. Look over their losses and big wins.

            The point isn’t about Lowell being bad (they aren’t); they’re the most likely team to win this region if this is how the bracket ended up. The point is how this region as set up in this week’s bracketology, would be the easiest path to the Frozen 4 for a #16, possibly ever.

            An example would be that the #10 seed would have to go through Boston College and New Hampshire. In this case I’d much rather be the #16 than the #10. As another poster mentioned, #16 has it easier than the #2 spot!

          • I did open up the schedules. See my reply to Pat above. Can’t call Lowell “soft” compared to those other 3……

          • Lowell had two season’s this year. One with Carr in net, one with Hellebuyk. Ask BU fans about this kid and then you might understand why Lowell is the hottest team in the nation.

          • A quick breakdown off the top of my head to help answer your question.

            #7 NoDak – Always strong, especially tourney time. Storied program. Plays in what appears to be this years strongest conference.

            #8 – New Hampshire – Weakest of the 3, but only finished 2 points off of sharing a portion of the regular season title.

            #9 Notre Dame – Formerly ranked as high as #2. In a little bit of a slump since the Gophers pummeled them, but you can never count out a team that has been ranked that high.

            Umass-Lowell – Strength of schedule is 37th. They also lost both games to #8 New Hampshire. They have been playing much better of late, and that is why you always play the game.

          • Agreed. You play who you play and let the best team win. I just don’t get how anyone can say Lowell is “softer” than UND, UNH or ND. (I’m a BC guy). And they actually lost all 3 games to UNH this year. But since that last loss to UNH on Dec 1st, Lowell is 20-3-1. And their goalie is 16-2 with 1.5 gaa and big save pct, better than those other 3 teams’ goalies…..

    • That “soft” Lowell team is a 20-3-1 since December 1, has lost once since February 1, and has given up 3 goals just once in their last 10 games. They really need to step up their game.

    • In a 16 team tournament this should always be the case as 8 should play 9. Gotta remember that 9 is the first team in the bottom half.

    • Four perfectly aligned brackets by math
      1-8-9-16
      2-7-10-15
      3-6-11-14
      4-5-12-13

      If there are 16 teams, the sum of each pair of seeds add up to 17. In fact, for any balanced bracket, n being the number of teams, then each the sum of the seeds in each game is n+1 when the bracket goes “chalk”, e.g. no upsets.

  4. That Toledo bracket looks so weak…

    I played around with the PWR Predictor and I can’t find a way that SCSU doesn’t make it into the tourney. In most scenarios they are guaranteed a 3 seed.

    • SCSU loses to UW who then wins the WCHA tourney
      Michigan wins the CCHA
      Providence wins HE
      non-Niagara team wins AHA…etc.

      That type of scenario would knock them out of the tournament, and apparently 1/6 of the scenarios fit that description if SCSU loses this afternoon.

    • I’ve been able to run a scenerio where they could land a #4, but that would require a ton of upsets which is highly unlikely.

      • Very slim shot at #3 overall, slightly less ridiculous chance at #4. They have a crazy amount of possibilities with regard to seeding as does Notre Dame.

        Jim Dahl does a great summation of the probabilities at the siouxsports site.

        Interestingly, there’s about a 20% chance SCSU misses the tourney with a loss to wisconsin.

  5. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong; 2 or 3 years ago, BC was the overall #1 seed and was sent out west to St. Louis largely because of the foolish host school rule, and secondly because of the (somewhat sensible) non conference match up rule. I think number 1 (though unlikely) can end up anywhere particularly if The Committee chooses to be a little partial (as I believe they periodically are) though not consistently in the same vein.

    What is indisputable, is that the present Pairwise formula is irreperably warped.

    • Yes. BC went out west due to the host rule (UNH again). Same year Yale was a 1and a host and got Bridgeport.Dislike it as well. I’ve said it before: Why can’t conferences be hosts? Would eliminate the host school problem. And I would have no problem with intra-conference 1st round games if the numbers called for it. If BC is #8 and BU #9 and they have to play round1, so be it. Bracket integrity should take precedence…..

      • The reason BC got schooled that year was Colorado College was a terrible matchup for them. I could see that happily from the opening whistle. The team speed and forechecking turned a dominant Hockey East team into a quivering mess. The same team that won in three of the past five. Only Minnesota Duluth and Boston University could grab titles.

          • Well, I am biased like that when it comes to BC!

            Seriously, however, we all know that there are times when you score first early and it means very little five minutes later. Colorado College roared back in that game. Also, it was a few years back and my mind does wander…

          • They did roar back. Got in my car leaving Bridgeport regional for 45 minute ride home and received message BC scored to go up 1-0. By the time I got home, it was 4-1 CC and went to bed. Saw the final score the next morning and deleted the recording without watching. BC had more shots, but CC had 2 pp and 2 sh goals…..

          • I watched that game on one of the ESPN channels and it was a rout in the truest sense. One of the few times in the past few years I have seen BC dismantled. I know that Minnesota did it this year over the break, but I did not see it.

          • I did and it wasn’t pretty. I posted somewhere else that BC played 5 frosh D that night, 2 whose first college games were the night before against Alabama. And one of those two was a forward they moved back. Gaudreau wasn’t there, either. Late in the game announcer made crack like “Now we can forget about Tampa!”. Would love for BC to get another crack at them……

          • BC is better than that score indicated, just like MN was better than their 6-1 loss in last year’s frozen four. With that said, in both cases, it’s fairly obvious which team is better (BC last year, MN this year).

          • I’m not ready to concede who the better team is this year. Minny certainly was in that game earlier this year, but I think there were extenuating circumstances from a BC point of view. Give me one more game on neutral ice……

          • MN shared their conference title, a conference that is sending the most teams to the dance. MN has a far better record, ran the table in its non-conference slate, and beat the crap out of BC in the middle of the season. Pretty apparent based on all games played to this point MN is the better team… which is why they are locked in as the #2 overall.

      • To further your point, meeting your rival in the tournament at any juncture is a great thing for the game.

        BU/BC for the title at Providence was great, so was BU/Maine. But if they had met one round or two rounds earlier, what would be the harm? BU/Vermont in 2009 was also great, being a national semi-final made little difference. In 2009, if I had my way, BU would have faced Lowell in the finals and not Miami, setting up a rematch of the Hockey East finals. And BC would have been the 16th seed and played BU in the first round.

    • It is part of the natural progression of the sport. We are about 40 years behind NCAA Basketball in terms of the tournament growth and its size.

      For example, Georgetown is a host for the East Regional for basketball at the Verizon Center. They got moved to the South Region because they cannot play the round of 16 and 8 at “home”, as they are too close to home. If Kentucky made the tournament, they could not have played at the site they are hosting at, their home court of Rupp Arena.

      Today, we need to ensure that enough tickets will be sold at each venue and hope for attendance. Even today, however, basketball holds some sub-regional sites in places like Boise ID, Albuquerque NM, Spokane WA, Lexington KY and others to spread exposure, forgoing some revenue for great television. Loud crowds always look good on the tube.

      Just because a St Louis or Green Bay may struggle does not mean NCAA Hockey should not try. Even the Frozen Four in Anaheim or Tampa should be seen through that lens. Just no more Ford Field-style Frozen Fours, please.

  6. Don’t like the conclusions the author makes, if the NCAA is concerned about attendance, then put the regionals in a locality that it is supposed to represent, my prefrence is the #1 seed would host regionals. To call Grand Rapids Michigan a Western regional site is absurd. The idea of loading Western teams in Western regionals and Eastern teams in Eastern regionals for the sake of attendance/travel takes away impartiality and the excitement of playing teams that are seldom seen or played. A perfect example was highlighted by the Womens NCAA tourney where ND and MN played for the 6th time in one season…..pure unadulterated garbage decision by the selection committee.

    • Well, if they didn’t play each other last week and both won, they would have played a 6th game this weeked anyway, right? And why are we talking women’s hockey??………I don’t care about attendance. Bracket integrity should trump everything (including the bs “host school” rule and intra-conference matchups in first round). Give me 1v16, 2v15, etc. all the way through and I’m good…….

      • The women’s tournament shows that the NCAA cannot rank teams. The women’s Frozen Four starts this Friday, but the national championship has already been played. No one will take the Minnesota women to 3 OTs this weekend, they will walk to a national championship. If the NCAA knew how to rank teams, UND and Minnesota would not have met as the 1 vs 8 matchup.

        • Minnesota/North Dakota was a one/eight matchup based on Women’s Pairwise.

          One of these years, a non-WCHA will win the women’s Frozen Four. This year, it would only take one hot game from a BC/BU/Mercyhurst goaltender. BC and BU can score, as can Mercyhurst.

          The Gophers are heavy favorites and got the first scare of the year.

        • Ok. This is the last I comment on the women’s game. There is PWR for them. By the looks of it, UND shouldn’t have even been there! There was a tie for 8th with Wisco, Northeastern and UND and after the tiebreakers, UND was 10th……..

          • This was actually covered in the womens blog. There is very valid reasoning as to why NoDak was chosen over WI.

          • Ok, I don’t know anything about that. Maybe you can address patm and Rtn2 above as to why it was correct in Minny and Dakota playing each other last weekend…….

  7. This North Dakota Minnesota always being put in the same Regional is getting crazy. In Basketball, if Duke played North Carolina every year in the second round both schools would scream bloody murder. Let them play each other in Pittsburgh

  8. Oh yeah it looks good, except of course for the loss of bracket integrity. This is such a joke, and all these writer for USCHO are a joke.

    • How is the writer a joke? He is dead-on with his brackets just about every single time. Clearly he understands the process. You can hate the process all you want, but it’s idiotic to hate on the writer for CORRECTLY summarizing and explaining it to you.

      • You obviously didn’t read my statement…..I’m criticizing him for encouraging the poor way the NCAA puts each team in pairings. 1 should always play 16 and 8 should play 8………like I said bracket integrity. NCAA treats college hockey like it’s a joke, and the funny thing is….IT IS!! I’m sick of seeing empty arenas in regionals and poor attendance in the FF. Understand what I’m saying before you respond next time.

        • You called the writer a joke after griping about the system. The writer has nothing to do with the NCAA’s implementation of its criteria; he is merely communicating what it is to all of us and has been very accurate over the years in doing so. You’re the joke, not the writer. That much is clear. Now go cry to mama about your allowance and leave the discussions to the grown-ups, please.

        • Why are you upset about attendance? Does it affect your enjoyment of the games? Makes no difference to me and actually makes it easier to get tickets. Hockey has a small (compared to other sports), loyal following. Would be nice if more people were interested, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. I like it and I enjoy the games in person and on TV no matter how many people are in the arena. You may be right about regional attendance, but I think the FF is usually very well attended…..

          • I’m sorry that hockey isn’t well respected in your area. In Grand Forks we are proud of the fact that we sellout the greatest hockey facility in North America during every home game…..not to mention many opponents home games. My gripe once again is about bracket integrity. Teams should be pitted against their equal opposite rank…….it’s like speaking to a child.

          • Hockey IS well-respected in my area, northeast. But I’m not naive enough to think the rest of the country (for the most part) gives a rat’s a** about college hockey. It’s just the way it is. I enjoy it and don’t really much care if it’s just here and the midwest. And most of what I’ve posted has been that the tournament should be 1-16, 2-15, all the way through. Don’t care about attendance or intra-conference matchups, bracket integrity should be the ONLY consideration. And I also suspect the main reason Grand Forks sells out all the time is that the best alternative is cow tipping…….

  9. As I read through this latest piece, Manchester went from ‘OMG! I have to get tickets!’ to ‘Meh…they’ll probably be giving them away.’

  10. Jayson has explained his reasoning above. This is the same process the NCAA goes through. On Sunday when all the info is in and Jayson does his final Bracketology, you will know what the NCAA brackets will look like. Jayson has been nearly 100% the last several years. These may be his opinion, but he uses the same breakdown the NCAA does, whether you agree with his predictions or not, they are extremely accurate.

  11. If it is all about marketing the frozen 4 to make more money and put college hockey in the spot light to bring in more fans for the best sport out there why not put the gophers and the no names in different regionals a gopher no name championship would draw the best arena and tv audiences

  12. I’m having troubles finding a scenerio that would cause SCSU to be a bubble team. Although, if a lot of upsets occur in the tournaments, they could find themselves up to a #4 seed.

    • Only ways I can push the huskies out are with a fairly rediculous set of upsets. Managed to push Denver out as well with one combo. Basically lower seeds have to win every tourney. Mercy/Conn over Niagra, OSU or Mich, Union over QU, BU or Prov, CC or Wisconsin. In most, Denver and SCSU tie for 12th, but have 5 auto bid teams below them (12,13,14,15,16). So neither make it. One (Mich/Prov/Wisc) put SCSU down to 14th with 4 autobids below them.

  13. It is impossible for Michigan to not win the CCHA tournament, so please show them as the # 4 seed in Grand Rapids and adjust your bracketology picks accordingly.

  14. I love how there can’t be any Union or Niagara or Mass-Lowell in Minnesota’s region because of attendance. So, instead, they get to play all WCHA and CCHA teams, a couple of which they’ve already played. What’s the point of the tournament if a team finishing as perhaps the #1 team in the country isn’t rewarded for it by getting to play some eastern cupcakes???

  15. let’s just mix it up (NCAA) send low east seeds west low west seeds east and see what happens, Last years ECAC champ, got a cupcake bracket to get to Frozen…mix it up

  16. I love how the WCHA co-champions are ten spots apart in the Pairwise. Apparently we still value 7-8 non-conference games more than the 28-game league schedule. Why bother having conference play if this is how the system works? Just be an independent and schedule every decent team in the country. The system is broken and needs to be fixed!

    • The (an) issue is, that college hockey is in growth mode. For the good of the sport overall, one of the goals is to increase the league’s popularity beyond the CCHA/WCHA/HE fraternity. Sure, if they had a balanced schedule and sent the best 16 teams the tournament might be “higher quality” overall, but they’d never have an AHA or ECAC team. The way it’s set up is structured to give visability to teams that otherwise would never be on the national stage. (causing their teams to have even more difficulty getting recruits & building the program)

      As it is now, 3 – 5 teams a year “shouldn’t be there”; and there usually are double that number that “deserve it more”. If you’re a CCHA/HE/WCHA team, you need to aim for top 10, not top 16. I agree with their reasoning and support the status quo for the good of the sport.

      Hockey is a sport where superior teams can ,and do, lose in a single elimination format. Bemidji State (pre-WCHA) or Union’s runs to the Frozen 4 in recent years are exciting, and have helped those schools and college hockey in general.

      • I don’t disagree – I’m a huge fan of growing the game. I don’t want teams to get in based on reputation alone or based on which conference they play in, because that’s not fair. I want the system to reflect what’s happening on the ice, and too many times it does not.

    • I love how people don’t understand the system, nor do they understand the differences in scheduling / results.

      The WCHA schedule is unbalanced (12 teams, 28 league games). So, even a tie in the standings doesn’t mean much. For example, the only series MN and SCSU played was in St. Cloud. Had it been played in Minneapolis, MN could very well have won the league outright.

      Secondly, they played very different non-conference schedules and had wildly different results. SCSU got swept by two different teams in that batch of games. MN ran the table in its entire non-conference slate.

      Hence, they most certainly *should* be separated by a significant gap in the pairwise. The Gophers have shown themselves to be the better team over all games played.

      • We’re saying the same thing in different ways. You’re explaining how the system is set up, while I’m explaining why the system doesn’t work. It devalues 80% of the season and overvalues the other 20% of the season. That doesn’t make any sense.

        • Count your blessings. Be happy there is a 16 team tourney for the title. This system is far better than the football BCS. Imagine if we had that system, we’d be stuck with Quinny in the national championship game with a half dozen (or more) teams legitamately saying they “deserved it more”. Complain all you want about being a #3; at least you’re in the tournament with a chance.
          The system isn’t perfect (as evidenced by Quinny and Yale in the top 5), but I think it strikes a good balance between the power and weak conferences.

        • Your whining doesn’t make any sense because there is no solution to what you complain about – teams do not play enough non-conference games to get a very accurate picture of who is better between conferences. No matter how you tweak the system, the underlying problem isn’t going away, so it will just be skewed one way or another and anger some group or another.

          • The problem won’t go away because the system isn’t being changed. If a team’s 28 game league schedule was weighted proportionally, this wouldn’t be such a problem. Instead, they let a 7-8 game sample skew the entire season. Why is that so difficult to fix?

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