Thanks to the talent of USCHO message board member “Fighting Sioux 23” (we will withhold his actual name to protect his identity), we can present you with results from the multiple tournament championship/consolation games that would have been played on Saturday night, based on a computer simulation.
The teams participating in each championship game were also predicted using KRACH data to produce quarterfinal and semifinal winners. At the bottom of this story, we present the 16-team field for a simulated NCAA tournaments. Jayson Moy and Jim Connelly will have a simulated bracketology to produce the field for that tournament on Sunday afternoon.
Sacred Heart 3, Army West Point 2
After Army West Point rallied from a 2-0 deficit, Sacred Heart’s Jorden Kaplan scored a tie-breaking goal late in the third period to send the Pioneers to the NCAA tournament.
The Pioneers led 2-0 in the third until a major penalty for charging was whistled on the Pioneers where both Domenic Franco and Zach Evancho each tallied during the five-minute power play.
Penn State 5, Michigan 3
Aarne Talvtie’s goal late in regulation broke a 3-3 ties and Evan Barrett added an empty-netter as Penn State captured the Big Ten title, 5-3.
Despite falling behind, 1-0, early, Penn State’s potent offense roared back with goals by Sam Sternschein, Liam Folkes and Connor McMenamin to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
Michigan continued to battle back throughout and tied the game on a Jake Slaker goal in the second. The game remained tied at 3 until Talvtie’s late goal became the difference maker.
Cornell 3, Clarkson 1
Cornell avenged its overtime loss in last year’s ECAC tournament to Clarkson, jumping to an early 2-0 lead and holding on for a 3-1 victory.
Ben Berard and Morgan Barron scored early for the Big Red. But Nick Campoli shot late in the first ended up in the back of the net for Clarkson, sending the game to the first intermission with Cornell holding a 2-1 lead.
After a scoreless second frame, Alex Green’s shot from the point early in the third was the insurance goal that Cornell needed as Matthew Galajda shut down Clarkson the rest of the way giving the Big Red the title.
UMass Lowell 1, Maine 0
In one of the greatest goaltending duel in Hockey East tournament history, Tyler Wall earned a shutout and Andre Lee’s late goal was the only marker as UMass Lowell knocked off Maine, 1-0, to win the Hockey East title.
Maine’s Jeremy Swayman matched Wall save-for-save throughout the game before Chase Blackman won a puck battle and fed Lee who used his long reach to wrap the puck around the net on the forehand and tally the game’s only goal.
North Dakota 4, Denver 2
North Dakota rallied from a goal down, took a 3-1 lead through two periods and held on to knock off Denver, 4-2, in the NCHC title game.
Cole Guttman struck first for the Pioneers early in the first before North Dakota rattled off three straight goals by Jordan Kawaguchi, Jacob Bernard-Decker and Colton Pullman to give North Dakota a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes.
Bobby Brink brought Denver within a goal before Westin Michaud scored into the empty net in the final minute to send Fighting Sioux nation into a frenzy.
NCHC Consolation: Western Michigan 5, Minnesota Duluth 4 (OT)
Bemidji State 3, Minnesota State 2 (OT)
The underdog Beavers fell behind, 2-0, on the road but clawed back, forcing overtime on Adam Brady’s goal late in the third before Alex Adams struck early in overtime to give Bemidji State the WCHA title.
Parker Tuomie and Connor Mackey each scored in the first period to give the heavily-favored Mavericks a 2-0 lead.
But Charlie Combs’ goal early in the third period broke the shutout of standout goaltender Dryden McKay and gave the Beavers the confidence they would need to pull off the upset.
FINAL SIMULATED PAIRWISE TOP 16
1 North Dakota
3 Minnesota State
4 Minnesota Duluth
6 Boston College
7 Penn State
10 UMass Lowell
12 Bemidji State
13 Ohio State
14 Western Michigan
16* Sacred Heart
Simulated conference champions listed in BOLD.