TMQ: Season finale with reflections on action, excitement of regionals

 (Tim Brule)
Boston University and North Dakota went to double overtime Friday night with BU coming out on top in the opening game of the West Regional (photo: Melissa Wade).

Each week during the season, we look at the big events and big games around Division I men’s college hockey in Tuesday Morning Quarterback.

Paula: Well, Jim, here we are at last, with the Frozen Four field set following an incredible weekend of NCAA playoff hockey.

I can’t remember when I’ve found so many of the individual games as entertaining as what we saw last weekend. Seven of the 12 games were decided by a single goal, three in overtime and one in double overtime. In the other five games, the winner was completely dominant and two teams earned shutout victories. Even in a couple of the lopsided games there was some interest late in the game.

The only team that emerged from the field that looked absolutely commanding was Denver. The Pioneers scored 11 goals total, six of those in the first period of their games. They scored first in each of their contests and went 3-for-8 on power plays for the weekend. They also limited Penn State to fewer than 30 shots in Sunday’s deciding game, something that hasn’t been easy for opponents to do this season.

And three of the top four seeds are heading to Chicago!

All of this sets up a Frozen Four that should produce some excellent, high-level hockey.

Jim: I certainly felt like we had it all, from great comebacks to extensive video reviews, even a delay caused by an exploding wall of glass after a crushing check in the tournament’s first game between Boston University and North Dakota.

I agree with what you said about Denver. They looked like they were in complete control of both of their games. A 4-0 lead against Michigan Tech was never really threatened. And versus Penn State, which was coming off a 10-goal explosion (a regional record) against Union, the Pioneers jumped out early, 2-0, and had plenty of responses every time the Nittany Lions struck. I feel like as we head to Chicago, despite having three number one seeds, that this tournament might be Denver’s to lose.

On the other hand, in the national semifinal, Denver will face a Notre Dame team that is beginning to seem like a team of destiny. The Irish, hosting next week’s Frozen Four in Chicago, overcame a 2-0 deficit to Minnesota late in the second with three goals. Then in the regional final fell behind UMass Lowell with eight minutes left, but found an answer to force overtime and eventually win it.

We’ve seen these types of teams in recent years. Think of Minnesota in 2002, Wisconsin in 2006 and Minnesota-Duluth more recently in 2011. All three played close to home, brought vocal crowds and found ways to win the national titles. Do you think it could happen for the Irish this year in the Windy City?

Paula: If Notre Dame were playing any team other than Denver, I would say that the Irish had a great chance in Chicago. Frankly, I was surprised by the way Notre Dame played in the regional, as I thought the Irish had some serious consistency problems throughout the season. In both games, Notre Dame looked really unified, focused, and complete. They certainly could pull off the upset, because we both know that anything can happen in single elimination.

But Denver. Holy moly.

It wasn’t just that they were dominant over Michigan Tech, a team they outmatched on paper. As you said, they also answered every time Penn State threatened, and Penn State was very good in postseason. If you’re invoking destiny, maybe that belongs to the Pioneers – regardless of Notre Dame’s advantage.

Besides, we’ve seen other teams of destiny lose before. I remember well the 1998 Frozen Four in Boston and the 2010 Frozen Four in Detroit. Sometimes, destiny is in the eye of the beholder – and what looks like a sure thing can change within the span of mere seconds.

Jim: I agree that in these single elimination games, just about anything can happen.

Going back to the Irish, I thought one of the biggest pieces to their success was the fact that their top players played like top players in crunch time. Cal Petersen not only made big saves throughout but he had a huge assist on a goal that got the offense going against the Gophers. And possibly most impressive was Anders Bjork, who scored twice on Saturday and then set up all three goals on Sunday. He was named Most Outstanding Player of the regional.

One thing that certainly did was help his stock heading into today’s final Hobey Baker voting. I’ve always contended that the NCAA regionals often have the biggest factor in determining a winner, particularly in a season where there isn’t a standout player.

Who else do you think may have helped make a case to the Hobey voters this weekend?

Paula: Without question Denver’s Will Butcher. He had Denver’s fourth goal in the first period of the Michigan Tech game, scoring 35 seconds after Emil Romig’s goal that held up to be the game-winning tally. But it was really what Butcher did with his overall game that made him stand out. He was plus-2 in each of the contests and played notably solid defense all weekend. He was the kind of guy who elevated play when he was on the ice. He got my attention, for sure.

Then there was Harvard’s Alexander Kerfoot with his three assists and great two-way play all weekend.

I agree that the NCAA regionals contribute quite a bit to Hobey voting, and I would be very surprised if they didn’t this past weekend when the tournament provided a great showcase for three finalists, especially.

Jim: I already had Butcher on my short list for the Hobey Hat Trick. I’ll be interested to see if he or others make it when the top three are announced this Thursday.

With this being our last edition of TMQ this season, I (and I’m sure that I speak for Paula) want to thank all of the readers. This is one of the most read stories on our site each week, as evidenced by the plethora of comments and responses and comments on responses at the bottom every week. I have enjoyed having the chance to communicate back and forth with some of the more regular readers who comment. And even when you’re tearing us apart, it’s always a lot of fun.

We hope to see you in Chicago!

255 COMMENTS

  1. Wouldn’t that be something if Denver and Duluth met for the national title. They’ve both been ranked 1 and 2 most of the season and they were arguably the two most consistent teams all season long. Plus, they play in the same conference too. They played in one series back in November in Denver and split.

  2. Wouldn’t that be something if Denver and Duluth met for the national title. They’ve both been ranked 1 and 2 most of the season and they were arguably the two most consistent teams all season long. Plus, they play in the same conference too. They played in one series back in November in Denver and split.

  3. Other than saying that Alexander Kerfoot had a good weekend, neither Paula nor Jim had anything to say about Harvard.

      • Crap 7 in a couple of weeks. Keep up the good work, though, calling attention to the B1G all year like you have. Thanks for the PR. I know you meant it to be negative, but it helps people pay attention to the growing conference.

        Your narrative has been busted. OSU, PSU, Minny, and ND were all great teams. Wisconsin is up and coming, Michigan ready to bounce back, and MSU beginning a retooling.

        So keep up the trolling, it only makes the B1G look bigger.

        • ND isn’t in the crap 6……..There are ZERO teams in the FF from the little 6. 1-2 in the tourney. Yeah, looking yuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.

          • Like I said, no one can possibly take your viewpoint seriously at this point. So your negativity only shines positive light on the conference. Keep up the good work!

          • No one can take the crap 6 seriously. They were supposed to be the best of the best of the best. Yeah….they’ve done amazing things. Pretty bad when your conference winner from 2016 doesn’t even make the national tourney. Slow clap for you. Go ahead and glad hand yourself.

          • You know what, you are right. Next season, when the puck drops in October, it will be embarrassing to know that 4 of the 7 teams in our conference went to the NCAA tourney. That didn’t include powerhouses Michigan and Wisconsin, who will be better.

            We should all cower in shame!

          • NCHC. Adding in ND, when they aren’t in the conference is what stupid people do to try and make it appear like it is something else.

          • Was it offside? Who knows, angles were bad. Games over anyway. Got over that about 10 mins afterward when I cracked a beer.

          • One would only think when you were talking offsides, you were talking about UND. Not that easy to tell through typed words.

          • And Wisco is no ones buddy…..he’s his own best friend with his multiple personalities.

          • Offsides? When logic and common sense are thrown out the window and we’re only dealing with emotion and prejudice, I think it’s legitimate to bring in reinforcements.

          • By your stupid logic, everyone that made the tourney this year could create a conference for next year and say so and so conference had all 16 spots in the tourney.

          • No, your “we have this many teams in the tourney but that team isn’t in our conference in 2017” talk makes you sound like an idiot.

          • So what other sports do the NCHC teams all compete against each other in? I don’t recall Denver or North Dakota being part of the NSIC (Northern Sun ) for football, Baseball, Basketball…Hockey is niche and decisions are made because so few schools compete at the D1 level. Notre Dame makes sense for the Big Ten on many levels.

          • Clump 6 makes zero sense for hockey as half the teams have never been “rivals” in hockey anyway. Mix that with the fact that they don’t give a crap about hockey in general because it doesn’t have football or basketball in the title.

          • I just think it was better before all the realignment. I think fans of any team would say the same. Pretty sure MN fans really couldn’t care less about going to a game when Michigan is in town. All the empty seats can attest to that.

          • This is 100% accurate. Mariucci during WCHA times was a hot ticket. I went to the SCSU games this year…half full at best. Moving to the B1G sucked the fun out of going to the games.

          • Is being part of the Northern Sun some sort of big deal? So any school that does not field a football or baseball team should not be considered worthy of anything else? I guess sixty teams that compete at the D1 level is “so few”. Talk about elitist……

          • The point is that with so few D1 programs every conference is cobbled together from multiple conference affiliations. Nothing elitist at all. As a matter of fact the 2018 Big Ten conference will have 5 of the original WCHA teams represented. The conference has tradition and rivalries. One of MN biggest Rivalries has always been MI. It will get back to that again. And Notre Dame is recruiting a ton of Twin Cities kids right now. Hill Murray, Cretin and St Thomas Academy will fuel that bus for years to come.

            1973-74 wcha standings
            1 Michigan Tech
            2 Minnesota
            3 Denver
            4 Michigan State
            5 Wisconsin
            6 Minnesota Duluth
            7 Michigan
            8 Notre Dame
            9 Colorado College
            10 North Dakota

          • And then Mich and Mich State left and it was 34 years with zero rivalry. I wouldn’t call ND a rival either. After 25 years out of the WCHA.

          • Uhhhh, you *do* remember that ND moved to the CCHA *along* with UM, MSU, and MTU (who later moved back to the WCHA)? You’re saying that those rivalries ceased to exist in the CCHA? Egad, boy. You’re embarrassing yourself more and more by the moment.

          • And if you were smart enough to know that I was talking about the teams that moved to the CCHA keeping rivalries with the WCHA, you’d understand.Nice job, you’re embarrassing yourself more and more by the moment.

          • The clump wants everyone to think they will all be rivals, just like with football and basketball, but it will just never happen. Not enough people from these schools care about hockey. That’s why everyone was just fine right where they were.

          • Avg per game attendance for the B1G is 6,870. Does any other conference compare? Interest is there.

          • Look at the percentage total of capacity for these schools. Wisconsin and Ohio State have HUGE stadiums and they’re both under 60% capacity.

          • But its not like they are ever really selling out. Goof fans used to pack marihoochi…..now I can throw a baseball and not hit someone on most nights. My favorite excuse with that is the “we have many other things to do down here that 4+million people in the twin cities couldn’t fill a 10K seat arena.”

          • Does any other conference have the fan base to draw from? Can you imagine if NCHC or HEA teams had 46K enrollment, this 6,870 would seem paltry. No offense but if all things were equal it would be no contest.

          • The problem is that fb and bb rivalries dont and haven’t translated to hockey. It isn’t being overly critical to admit that it was a bad idea. Nobody cares about OSU vs Michigan in hockey. They did care about Minnesota vs UMD or Note Dakota.

          • But you can also say no one in the State of Minnesota really cared about the DU/CC series or DU/MT in the old WCHA.
            MN and WI had big rivalries with MI and MI St until they left for the CCHA. College hockey has constantly shifted conferences. It is amazing that the WCHA held together as long as it did.
            Over time the Big Ten conference will get stronger. Next year its top 4 teams will be very good based on returning class. MN, WI, Penn State and ND. MI will be improved, Ohio State rebuilding and MI State scraping the bottom.
            What the addition of Notre Dame does for the Big ten is provide a marquee university that will siphon more of the top MN metro players. Given the choice between going to one of the NCHC or WCHA schools or going to Notre Dame…based on post grad potential…not even close. Especially for a Catholic kid in the Twin Cities.
            No offense meant but I am sure it will be taken. ☺

          • in the 70’s there was a team made up of Catholic Priests from Windsor who would play fundraising games around the Windsor / Detroit area. They were called the Flying Fathers. It was pretty cool.

          • I agree that as a Catholic kid, yourself and others, you would prefer ND for post grad potential. The problem is, this is a hockey blog. If you were a star hockey recruit, would you prefer a B1G school or an NCHC one? Do you think many would choose the B1G, my opinion is not. I took no offense to your post, just thought you were deflecting the hockey angle.

          • I’m not offended. Just don’t agree. And of course they will get stronger. There is nowhere else to go. Doesn’t the overall weakness of a league made largely of formerly very strong programs support the argument that creating it was not a success?

          • One of the reasons these leagues are “cobbled together” is due to the formation of the B1G. It is only your opinion that the conference has “traditional” rivalries. Suggest you investigate some real “traditional” and “long term” rivalries. I won’t give you an out by mentioning them.

          • Thanks for the respectful responses.
            U of MI AND u of Mn go back further than even the nodak rivalry. It used to be a tough choice for iron range hs hockey players to choose between the 2 schools because u of mn did not offer scholarship for hockey and u of MI did. U OF MI AND U OF MN have had a great hockey rivalry all the way back to even before the 1950’s. Then there is WI. Just those two rivalries alone are enough to build on.

          • Suggest you check out CHN list of Top 10 rivalries. Realize this is only their writers opinions, but it is worth reading. They explain why these teams made the list. Michigan v. Minnesota is not even on the list. I believe CC-DU started play in 1949, and I totally agree with their #1 choice. Just my opinion, a league can be successful without “rivalries” especially if the teams are somewhat equally matched.

          • Thanks for the tip. Most of the current conferences seem to be well represented. I am biased but I would choose the MN/NDak as the all-time best…just based on venomous hatred! I am planning on going to Vegas to catch their game this year. I went to college in Boston and agree that Rivalry is “wicked awesome” too.

          • Still think they got it right with BC/BU. My reasoning on rivalries is that some “fade” when one team hits hard times and the other dominates. We always go down to World Arena to see games when DU plays CC. Since CC hasn’t been as competitive the past four, or five, years there has been a real downtrend in attendance in the Springs. Seems like the DU-AF games are much better attended, especially at the Academy.

          • True. But the Gopher/Nodak relationship may better be described as a feud. ☺ Air Force has built a nice program. They play good hockey.

          • Agree, that is why it is halfway up the list. AF has had a “nice” program for a while. Think back to the 2007 Regional in Denver, Minnesota was very lucky to beat them 4-3. The local fans in attendance, like myself, were not surprised at all. They are just under the radar with DU and CC in the region. Hardest game this year for DU, they never ever quit. Truly an “All-American” team, too.

          • Wisco lost their best player…..Michigan state will be in the toilet for years. We all know the Goof U will follow the same suit they have been for the past decade.

          • I agree with olamon. There are times when negative comments are appropriate and deserved. But … to make multiple negative comments weekly for an entire season? That’s just an obsession — it’s funny after a while. Not funny like Wisco, mind you — but funny none-the-less.

          • Well, it *is* duly noted that PSU had one more victory in the tournament than UND and WMU combined…

            BTW, the B1G actually went 1-3 this weekend. You of all people screwing *that* up?

        • Choker might exaggerate a bit sometimes, but there is some truth to what he says. The big 10 has been a pretty big failure so far. 3 teams in the NCAA’s is certainly better than 1, but their overall record was 1-3. Maybe you should just admit that its not as good as everyone hyped it up to be.

          • No. Wisconsin lost in the title game, missing out just barely as an at-large team. You should do the admitting of wrong. Four of 6 teams were in the top 17.

          • Fair enough. That’s exactly true. But why the Big Ten hate? How can you ignore that they had a great year and are poised to do well next year? It just doesn’t make sense.

          • I wouldn’t call it a “great” year. I would call it better than it has been. I’m not hating on the big ten. I just think you over hyped it. I try to look at it from a statistical stand point. There’s no way you can say they’re poised to do well next season. I could easily see it getting worse. Notre Dame is a good addition and makes the conference better as a whole.

          • PSU are led by underclassmen. Wisconsin is on the rise, clearly. Minnesota is Minnesota. Michigan is Michigan. OSU loses a bunch of seniors, I expect them to take a step back. But that’s still a pretty good conference, adding ND. No over-hype. What did I say that wasn’t true?

          • If you are looking at U20 players the Big Ten is about as good as it gets. Especially blue chip players. Kunin from Wisconsin is at the top of the list. I am not a Badgers fan and even I can see that. Sheehy and Pitlick from MN are going to be stars at the next level too.

          • You just named three U20 players from the B1G, do you really believe that’s “about as good as it gets? Boston University has five U20 players (Keller, Greenway, Fabbro, Bellows, McAvoy) that are probably better than any of those you named. I realize you think the B1G is fantastic but it’s time for a reality check.

          • Unfortunately, recruiting higher end talent on paper like that doesn’t mean much for results on the ice otherwise most teams in D1 would not have much of a chance. This is why Don Lucia and the Big 10 wanted to push through the age rule without approval from everyone else in college hockey.

          • Nothing stopping Lucy Lu from recruiting older players. Funny he’ll just sit and whine about it. Isnt he due for an extension since he choked again?

          • They did! Read about it. They tried pushing it through and all the other coaches found out about it AFTER they proposed it.

          • So they proposed it without notifying other coaches. There was no attempt to ‘push through the age rule without approval from everyone else in college hockey’. No single entity in CH has that ability.

          • Wow, top 17. Surprised you didn’t say all of the Soft Six was in the top 37. I like your “missing out just barely”. If you call this a “great year”, that speaks volumes. I am not a B1G hater, just don’t believe your “alternate facts”.

          • What has anyone debated in here of my comments other than my opinion. It’s not a ‘fact’ that the Big Ten had a great year, it is my opinion. If you disagree with that, fine, but I have said nothing that isn’t factual.

          • Is it factual that ND is now considered part of the B1G? If they win the title is will be as part of HEA. I guess you have said something that is not “factual” after all.

          • Nope. My very first line of the very first statment (see above) acknowledges that ND is not currently in the big ten. Try again.

          • They had a better year. I wouldn’t say great. Penn St. and Wisconsin are on the rise but that’s it.

          • MIssing and making the tourney is clear cut. So just missing we might as well just include them in? Lets put SCSU and Omaha in there as well then. They just missed. Add BC in there as well.

          • If you want to dedicate your life to making fun of the Gophers and the B1G, I guess that’s your prerogative. Hopefully you have enough sense in your head to realize that not everyone in the world is going to agree with the venom you relentlessly spew. The intent of this comment forum is to allow these point counter-point conversations to take place, but … I must say they become repetitive and tiring after a while.

          • Just like North Dakota not winning this year — they should win every year to hear you describe their talent coach, fan base, quality shots on goal, strength of schedule — they never lose ever.

  4. Other than saying that Alexander Kerfoot had a good weekend, neither Paula nor Jim had anything to say about Harvard.

      • Crap 7 in a couple of weeks. Keep up the good work, though, calling attention to the B1G all year like you have. Thanks for the PR. I know you meant it to be negative, but it helps people pay attention to the growing conference.

        Your narrative has been busted. OSU, PSU, Minny, and ND were all great teams. Wisconsin is up and coming, Michigan ready to bounce back, and MSU beginning a retooling.

        So keep up the trolling, it only makes the B1G look bigger.

        • ND isn’t in the crap 6……..There are ZERO teams in the FF from the little 6. 1-2 in the tourney. Yeah, looking yuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.

          • Like I said, no one can possibly take your viewpoint seriously at this point. So your negativity only shines positive light on the conference. Keep up the good work!

          • No one can take the crap 6 seriously. They were supposed to be the best of the best of the best. Yeah….they’ve done amazing things. Pretty bad when your conference winner from 2016 doesn’t even make the national tourney. Slow clap for you. Go ahead and glad hand yourself.

          • You know what, you are right. Next season, when the puck drops in October, it will be embarrassing to know that 4 of the 7 teams in our conference went to the NCAA tourney. That didn’t include powerhouses Michigan and Wisconsin, who will be better.

            We should all cower in shame!

          • NCHC. Adding in ND, when they aren’t in the conference is what stupid people do to try and make it appear like it is something else.

          • Was it offside? Who knows, angles were bad. Games over anyway. Got over that about 10 mins afterward when I cracked a beer.

          • One would only think when you were talking offsides, you were talking about UND. Not that easy to tell through typed words.

          • And Wisco is no ones buddy…..he’s his own best friend with his multiple personalities.

          • Offsides? When logic and common sense are thrown out the window and we’re only dealing with emotion and prejudice, I think it’s legitimate to bring in reinforcements.

          • By your stupid logic, everyone that made the tourney this year could create a conference for next year and say so and so conference had all 16 spots in the tourney.

          • No, your “we have this many teams in the tourney but that team isn’t in our conference in 2017” talk makes you sound like an idiot.

          • So what other sports do the NCHC teams all compete against each other in? I don’t recall Denver or North Dakota being part of the NSIC (Northern Sun ) for football, Baseball, Basketball…Hockey is niche and decisions are made because so few schools compete at the D1 level. Notre Dame makes sense for the Big Ten on many levels.

          • Clump 6 makes zero sense for hockey as half the teams have never been “rivals” in hockey anyway. Mix that with the fact that they don’t give a crap about hockey in general because it doesn’t have football or basketball in the title.

          • I just think it was better before all the realignment. I think fans of any team would say the same. Pretty sure MN fans really couldn’t care less about going to a game when Michigan is in town. All the empty seats can attest to that.

          • This is 100% accurate. Mariucci during WCHA times was a hot ticket. I went to the SCSU games this year…half full at best. Moving to the B1G sucked the fun out of going to the games.

          • Is being part of the Northern Sun some sort of big deal? So any school that does not field a football or baseball team should not be considered worthy of anything else? I guess sixty teams that compete at the D1 level is “so few”. Talk about elitist……

          • The point is that with so few D1 programs every conference is cobbled together from multiple conference affiliations. Nothing elitist at all. As a matter of fact the 2018 Big Ten conference will have 5 of the original WCHA teams represented. The conference has tradition and rivalries. One of MN biggest Rivalries has always been MI. It will get back to that again. And Notre Dame is recruiting a ton of Twin Cities kids right now. Hill Murray, Cretin and St Thomas Academy will fuel that bus for years to come.

            1973-74 wcha standings
            1 Michigan Tech
            2 Minnesota
            3 Denver
            4 Michigan State
            5 Wisconsin
            6 Minnesota Duluth
            7 Michigan
            8 Notre Dame
            9 Colorado College
            10 North Dakota

          • And then Mich and Mich State left and it was 34 years with zero rivalry. I wouldn’t call ND a rival either. After 25 years out of the WCHA.

          • Uhhhh, you *do* remember that ND moved to the CCHA *along* with UM, MSU, and MTU (who later moved back to the WCHA)? You’re saying that those rivalries ceased to exist in the CCHA? Egad, boy. You’re embarrassing yourself more and more by the moment.

          • And if you were smart enough to know that I was talking about the teams that moved to the CCHA keeping rivalries with the WCHA, you’d understand.Nice job, you’re embarrassing yourself more and more by the moment.

          • The clump wants everyone to think they will all be rivals, just like with football and basketball, but it will just never happen. Not enough people from these schools care about hockey. That’s why everyone was just fine right where they were.

          • Avg per game attendance for the B1G is 6,870. Does any other conference compare? Interest is there.

          • Look at the percentage total of capacity for these schools. Wisconsin and Ohio State have HUGE stadiums and they’re both under 60% capacity.

          • But its not like they are ever really selling out. Goof fans used to pack marihoochi…..now I can throw a baseball and not hit someone on most nights. My favorite excuse with that is the “we have many other things to do down here that 4+million people in the twin cities couldn’t fill a 10K seat arena.”

          • Does any other conference have the fan base to draw from? Can you imagine if NCHC or HEA teams had 46K enrollment, this 6,870 would seem paltry. No offense but if all things were equal it would be no contest.

          • The problem is that fb and bb rivalries dont and haven’t translated to hockey. It isn’t being overly critical to admit that it was a bad idea. Nobody cares about OSU vs Michigan in hockey. They did care about Minnesota vs UMD or Note Dakota.

          • But you can also say no one in the State of Minnesota really cared about the DU/CC series or DU/MT in the old WCHA.
            MN and WI had big rivalries with MI and MI St until they left for the CCHA. College hockey has constantly shifted conferences. It is amazing that the WCHA held together as long as it did.
            Over time the Big Ten conference will get stronger. Next year its top 4 teams will be very good based on returning class. MN, WI, Penn State and ND. MI will be improved, Ohio State rebuilding and MI State scraping the bottom.
            What the addition of Notre Dame does for the Big ten is provide a marquee university that will siphon more of the top MN metro players. Given the choice between going to one of the NCHC or WCHA schools or going to Notre Dame…based on post grad potential…not even close. Especially for a Catholic kid in the Twin Cities.
            No offense meant but I am sure it will be taken. ☺

          • in the 70’s there was a team made up of Catholic Priests from Windsor who would play fundraising games around the Windsor / Detroit area. They were called the Flying Fathers. It was pretty cool.

          • I agree that as a Catholic kid, yourself and others, you would prefer ND for post grad potential. The problem is, this is a hockey blog. If you were a star hockey recruit, would you prefer a B1G school or an NCHC one? Do you think many would choose the B1G, my opinion is not. I took no offense to your post, just thought you were deflecting the hockey angle.

          • I’m not offended. Just don’t agree. And of course they will get stronger. There is nowhere else to go. Doesn’t the overall weakness of a league made largely of formerly very strong programs support the argument that creating it was not a success?

          • One of the reasons these leagues are “cobbled together” is due to the formation of the B1G. It is only your opinion that the conference has “traditional” rivalries. Suggest you investigate some real “traditional” and “long term” rivalries. I won’t give you an out by mentioning them.

          • Thanks for the respectful responses.
            U of MI AND u of Mn go back further than even the nodak rivalry. It used to be a tough choice for iron range hs hockey players to choose between the 2 schools because u of mn did not offer scholarship for hockey and u of MI did. U OF MI AND U OF MN have had a great hockey rivalry all the way back to even before the 1950’s. Then there is WI. Just those two rivalries alone are enough to build on.

          • Suggest you check out CHN list of Top 10 rivalries. Realize this is only their writers opinions, but it is worth reading. They explain why these teams made the list. Michigan v. Minnesota is not even on the list. I believe CC-DU started play in 1949, and I totally agree with their #1 choice. Just my opinion, a league can be successful without “rivalries” especially if the teams are somewhat equally matched.

          • Thanks for the tip. Most of the current conferences seem to be well represented. I am biased but I would choose the MN/NDak as the all-time best…just based on venomous hatred! I am planning on going to Vegas to catch their game this year. I went to college in Boston and agree that Rivalry is “wicked awesome” too.

          • Still think they got it right with BC/BU. My reasoning on rivalries is that some “fade” when one team hits hard times and the other dominates. We always go down to World Arena to see games when DU plays CC. Since CC hasn’t been as competitive the past four, or five, years there has been a real downtrend in attendance in the Springs. Seems like the DU-AF games are much better attended, especially at the Academy.

          • True. But the Gopher/Nodak relationship may better be described as a feud. ☺ Air Force has built a nice program. They play good hockey.

          • Agree, that is why it is halfway up the list. AF has had a “nice” program for a while. Think back to the 2007 Regional in Denver, Minnesota was very lucky to beat them 4-3. The local fans in attendance, like myself, were not surprised at all. They are just under the radar with DU and CC in the region. Hardest game this year for DU, they never ever quit. Truly an “All-American” team, too.

          • Wisco lost their best player…..Michigan state will be in the toilet for years. We all know the Goof U will follow the same suit they have been for the past decade.

          • I agree with olamon. There are times when negative comments are appropriate and deserved. But … to make multiple negative comments weekly for an entire season? That’s just an obsession — it’s funny after a while. Not funny like Wisco, mind you — but funny none-the-less.

          • Well, it *is* duly noted that PSU had one more victory in the tournament than UND and WMU combined…

            BTW, the B1G actually went 1-3 this weekend. You of all people screwing *that* up?

        • Choker might exaggerate a bit sometimes, but there is some truth to what he says. The big 10 has been a pretty big failure so far. 3 teams in the NCAA’s is certainly better than 1, but their overall record was 1-3. Maybe you should just admit that its not as good as everyone hyped it up to be.

          • No. Wisconsin lost in the title game, missing out just barely as an at-large team. You should do the admitting of wrong. Four of 6 teams were in the top 17.

          • Fair enough. That’s exactly true. But why the Big Ten hate? How can you ignore that they had a great year and are poised to do well next year? It just doesn’t make sense.

          • I wouldn’t call it a “great” year. I would call it better than it has been. I’m not hating on the big ten. I just think you over hyped it. I try to look at it from a statistical stand point. There’s no way you can say they’re poised to do well next season. I could easily see it getting worse. Notre Dame is a good addition and makes the conference better as a whole.

          • PSU are led by underclassmen. Wisconsin is on the rise, clearly. Minnesota is Minnesota. Michigan is Michigan. OSU loses a bunch of seniors, I expect them to take a step back. But that’s still a pretty good conference, adding ND. No over-hype. What did I say that wasn’t true?

          • If you are looking at U20 players the Big Ten is about as good as it gets. Especially blue chip players. Kunin from Wisconsin is at the top of the list. I am not a Badgers fan and even I can see that. Sheehy and Pitlick from MN are going to be stars at the next level too.

          • You just named three U20 players from the B1G, do you really believe that’s “about as good as it gets? Boston University has five U20 players (Keller, Greenway, Fabbro, Bellows, McAvoy) that are probably better than any of those you named. I realize you think the B1G is fantastic but it’s time for a reality check.

          • Unfortunately, recruiting higher end talent on paper like that doesn’t mean much for results on the ice otherwise most teams in D1 would not have much of a chance. This is why Don Lucia and the Big 10 wanted to push through the age rule without approval from everyone else in college hockey.

          • Nothing stopping Lucy Lu from recruiting older players. Funny he’ll just sit and whine about it. Isnt he due for an extension since he choked again?

          • They did! Read about it. They tried pushing it through and all the other coaches found out about it AFTER they proposed it.

          • So they proposed it without notifying other coaches. There was no attempt to ‘push through the age rule without approval from everyone else in college hockey’. No single entity in CH has that ability.

          • Wow, top 17. Surprised you didn’t say all of the Soft Six was in the top 37. I like your “missing out just barely”. If you call this a “great year”, that speaks volumes. I am not a B1G hater, just don’t believe your “alternate facts”.

          • What has anyone debated in here of my comments other than my opinion. It’s not a ‘fact’ that the Big Ten had a great year, it is my opinion. If you disagree with that, fine, but I have said nothing that isn’t factual.

          • Is it factual that ND is now considered part of the B1G? If they win the title is will be as part of HEA. I guess you have said something that is not “factual” after all.

          • Nope. My very first line of the very first statment (see above) acknowledges that ND is not currently in the big ten. Try again.

          • They had a better year. I wouldn’t say great. Penn St. and Wisconsin are on the rise but that’s it.

          • MIssing and making the tourney is clear cut. So just missing we might as well just include them in? Lets put SCSU and Omaha in there as well then. They just missed. Add BC in there as well.

          • If you want to dedicate your life to making fun of the Gophers and the B1G, I guess that’s your prerogative. Hopefully you have enough sense in your head to realize that not everyone in the world is going to agree with the venom you relentlessly spew. The intent of this comment forum is to allow these point counter-point conversations to take place, but … I must say they become repetitive and tiring after a while.

          • Just like North Dakota not winning this year — they should win every year to hear you describe their talent coach, fan base, quality shots on goal, strength of schedule — they never lose ever.

  5. UMD not mentioned at all? I mean all they do was came out of the region of death and have the hottest tender in the tournament. No BIG DEAL

    • I totally agree on UMD not being mentioned, obviously a ridiculous oversight. With these 4 teams, no such thing as a hot goaltender though. Every single team has a goaltender capable of carrying their team to the title.

      • I agree, but Miska was special. I don’t think UMD makes it through without Miska, not sure you can say this with the other FF teams..? I don’t know, I was not overly impressed with UMD’s play in Fargo. They won, so this is all that matters. Still, they looked a bit sluggish. Not sure what UMD fans think..??

        • Especially the OSU game. Can’t believe I am alone when I say OSU outplayed UMD in the 3rd period and OT session.

          UMD is one heckuva resilient team, all season. They never quit and play excellent in the neutral and D zone.

          • UMD is, by far, the most rugged team in the country. WMU is up there, but UMD plays a very tenacious game. They knock the rebel right out of you. They remind me of the old WCHA teams from the 70’s-80’s…esp DU and UND.

            I want to give some congrats to PSU and UML. Two very good teams….size, speed, toughness, and great coaching. Both teams lacked high-end goal scorers (Iafallo, Terry, Borgstrom, Jost, etc.), but this is all they were missing. I was impressed with their play.

          • I would agree with you there, I was surprised on how well Ohio State played. Still glad that UMD won though, pulling for them to pull it off now the gophers are out.

  6. UMD not mentioned at all? I mean all they do was came out of the region of death and have the hottest tender in the tournament. No BIG DEAL

    • I totally agree on UMD not being mentioned, obviously a ridiculous oversight. With these 4 teams, no such thing as a hot goaltender though. Every single team has a goaltender capable of carrying their team to the title.

      • I agree, but Miska was special. I don’t think UMD makes it through without Miska, not sure you can say this with the other FF teams..? I don’t know, I was not overly impressed with UMD’s play in Fargo. They won, so this is all that matters. Still, they looked a bit sluggish. Not sure what UMD fans think..??

        • Especially the OSU game. Can’t believe I am alone when I say OSU outplayed UMD in the 3rd period and OT session.

          UMD is one heckuva resilient team, all season. They never quit and play excellent in the neutral and D zone.

          • UMD is, by far, the most rugged team in the country. WMU is up there, but UMD plays a very tenacious game. They knock the rebel right out of you. They remind me of the old WCHA teams from the 70’s-80’s…esp DU and UND.

            I want to give some congrats to PSU and UML. Two very good teams….size, speed, toughness, and great coaching. Both teams lacked high-end goal scorers (Iafallo, Terry, Borgstrom, Jost, etc.), but this is all they were missing. I was impressed with their play.

          • I would agree with you there, I was surprised on how well Ohio State played. Still glad that UMD won though, pulling for them to pull it off now the gophers are out.

  7. Why not count Harvard, that would make it 5-3. Might as well take credit for every non-NCHC team. They might join B1G in 2045.

  8. Why not count Harvard, that would make it 5-3. Might as well take credit for every non-NCHC team. They might join B1G in 2045.

  9. Here are some fun facts, plagiarized from nailheadtom. Shows how “great” a year B1G really had.

    BIG demonstrated its strength in numbers. The total undergraduate enrollment of the three schools in the regionals is over 136,000. The total undergrad enrollment of their four opponents, three of whom won, not quite 27,000. Tiny Union College, with 2300 students, was routed by Penn State, with a student body over 46K.

  10. Here are some fun facts, plagiarized from nailheadtom. Shows how “great” a year B1G really had.

    BIG demonstrated its strength in numbers. The total undergraduate enrollment of the three schools in the regionals is over 136,000. The total undergrad enrollment of their four opponents, three of whom won, not quite 27,000. Tiny Union College, with 2300 students, was routed by Penn State, with a student body over 46K.

  11. All I know is Notre Dame’s comeback on Sunday cost me a perfect bracket. Now the best I can finish is 2nd. So much for the prize T Shirt (I think that’s the prize, anyway) :)

  12. All I know is Notre Dame’s comeback on Sunday cost me a perfect bracket. Now the best I can finish is 2nd. So much for the prize T Shirt (I think that’s the prize, anyway) :)

  13. Two teams that will be in next years final…. Michigan Tech and Penn state..
    By far I thought they had the most talented freshmen and sophmores.. Only problem is the Pro’s raid college hockey so you never know what you got…

  14. Two teams that will be in next years final…. Michigan Tech and Penn state..
    By far I thought they had the most talented freshmen and sophmores.. Only problem is the Pro’s raid college hockey so you never know what you got…

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