Monday, March 31, 2008

Days 2 and 3 of the Tournament

This is belated, but I thought I'd say a few things on the other games this past weekend.

North Dakota 5 Princeton 1
Princeton actually had chances in this one. North Dakota wasn't that impressive 5-on-5 and had a few defensive breakdowns that led to nice chances for Princeton. UND's powerplay was excellent and J-P Lamoureux played great in goal though.

Miami 3 Air Force 2 (OT)
Apparently AFA goalie Andrew Volkening played the game of his life. Not bad for a kid that couldn't make 3rd team all-star in Atlantic Hockey.

Wisconsin 6 Denver 2
Denver fell a game shy of setting the record for most consecutive tournament wins. A lot of people felt this justified putting Wisconsin into the tournament. They'd be wrong. Tournament berths are given out based on who had the best season, not who is most likely to win in the tournament. If they were based on predicted tournament performance, St. Cloud would never get a bid. The Badgers did a nice job regrouping after some time off to come back and get a win in the tournament.

Boston College 5 Minnesota 2
BC did manage to build a lead on the Gophers, and Minnesota could never recover. BC also looked like the much, much faster team here. I must have heard about how much this Minnesota team lacked talent in about a dozen different places. Minnesota dressed 12 NHL draft picks, including 3 first rounders in this game. How much talent do they need to be successful?

Michigan 2 Clarkson 0
Michigan manages to make it through the easiest regional. Kevin Porter locked up the Hobey with a hand in 6 of Michigan's 7 goals, but the real story was the play of Billy Sauer, who played a great game in the final to get a shutout and get Michigan back to the Frozen Four.

Notre Dame 3 Michigan State
The Irish are going to the Frozen Four for the first time in school history. It's just one of the weird things about college hockey that teams seem to have the most success in the years you wouldn't expect it. Notre Dame looked like a lock last year and got knocked off by Michigan State in the regional final, and they looked like they were dead at the end of this year, and somehow pulled it together for a nice tournament run.

Boston College 4 Miami 3

North Dakota 3 Wisconsin 2 (OT)
I spent most of Sunday on the road, so I don't have too much to say about these games.

It's got to be a heartbreaker for Miami to get so close to the Frozen Four and fall short, especially after really outshooting BC in overtime.

It looks like North Dakota had a huge third period comeback against Wisconsin. On one hand, it's surprising to see UW give up a two goal lead in the third. On the other hand, you have to expect that two goals won't be enough to beat North Dakota.


Anonymous said...

Off topic, but this is becoming a running joke online. Alaska Fairbanks has ANOTHER recruit!

Anonymous said...

Denver would have spanked Mankato in the tourney.

Anonymous said...

Would have, would have. Instead they got spanked, live in the now, SPANKED!

blah blah blah said...

I thought Denver would spank UW in the tourney. Doesn't mean that it happened...

I also thought UNH would blow Notre Dame out of the water.

Then I thought there would be no way Notre Dame would be Michigan State.

I also thought Miami would lose to AFA for a while.

Catch the trend here? It's not what you think will happen, it is what happens that makes everything so interesting.

Anonymous said...

Not if Denver played the way they did against Becky.

As for the Gophers, they got better defensively, but never produced on the offensive side.

A little like last years Michigan team which had a potent offense, but was embarrassing on the defensive side despite all the high draft picks.

Anonymous said...

Home ice was worth 6-7 goals? Because Denver didn't just lose to Wisconsin, they got pimp-slapped. To turn a round a four-goal rout into a "spanking" of a better team seems like a tall order.

How about just that DU was over-rated?

Anonymous said...

Miami totally outplayed BC for most of the game and especially the OT. Miami was the better team, but BC won the game.

On another note, we had Shepard from the WCHA as the referee and I thought he did a nice job.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Badgers for their performance in the regional. For a team that supposedly "backed in," they sure as hell didn't play like it. While I don't think they are a top 5 caliber team this year, they are certainly better than their record indicates. Seems like they just ran out of gas against ND.

stickboy1956 said...

"I must have heard about how much this Minnesota team lacked talent in about a dozen different places. Minnesota dressed 12 NHL draft picks, including 3 first rounders in this game. How much talent do they need to be successful?"

Great observation. This program is good at lowering expectations, unlike others in the same conference. The fact is that they had enough talent to be a top 10 all year - it's just that it took them until March to start playing that way. Good coaching job for the strong finish or bad job for the miserable Oct - Feb?

Anonymous said...

Chris, quite bitching about Wisconsin getting in. It's done with move on!!! I think most Mankatoa fans have. You're favorite team is in. Quite whining.

Anonymous said...

How many national titles did all that wonderful UND talent with names like Parise, Toews, Stafford, Bochenski, Zajac, etc. bring home for the Sioux these past five or six seasons? Better yet, how many titles of any sort did they win? Maybe one or two Broadmoor trophies? Look a bit more carefully and you will notice UND appears to be the team that doesn't fully capitalize on the talent it has. In contrast, Minnesota has actually achieved far more with their talent since 2000 than UND has. At least they have if you care about winning actual hardware and don't bother with moral victories.

Of course, UND does have those Frozen Four participant banners they like to brag about.

Anonymous said...

Arbitrary starting points for stats are fun I guess.

If you go back to 97 its two titles each for UND and Minnesota. Its 7-4 UND overall.

In the entire history of the two programs there were maybe 5 years you could have picked to start at where Minnesota had more titles than UND....well played.

Anonymous said...

We at UND don't hang participation banners

Anonymous said...

a lot of comparisions of UND and Wisc. UW under Eaves has developed into a program that spits out players rather than develops them. Bearson and Gorowsky being called busts is an example of Eaves not using the talent he has to the teams advantage, which may hurt the team chemistry. How did Bearson and Gorowsky become busts? From the outside it looks like from the start they and others are pegged by Eaves as players to spit out and be replaced. They truly never were given a chance and Eaves seems to have created his own culture of pushing players out. These two were top recruits who obviously have commitment to the program, otherwise they would have been long gone. If a coach is looking for mortar for a program players like these seem to fit that role, someone who wants to be at there and doesn't leave when pushed but tries to fight for a spot day in and day out. UW may have everything in place to be successful in the future if the players they have are used and developed.

Anonymous said...

to: anonymous sioux fan.

not that it matters because the sioux have championships, but don't sound so arrogant and say that the sioux hold the edge 7-4, when it really is 7-5. once again not that it is more than the sioux