Posts Tagged ‘Frozen Four’
The college hockey season begins in a month and something puzzles me. This season’s Frozen Four will be played at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, yet the overlords at the NCAA have yet to choose any destinations after that. It’s unusual that the NCAA would delay this announcement so long — they’ve planned well in advance in the past — so maybe they have a cool idea to try out.
Hopefully it’s not another attempt at playing in an indoor football stadium.
The folks in Indianapolis will supposedly make their selections in November, but to help them decide, I’ve compiled a list of destinations that would be great hosts for college hockey’s premier event. Midwestern and Western areas since the FF has been on the East Coast the past three years.
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Everything was setting up so perfectly. The top-seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats had support from its campus, a veteran-laden squad, a number-one ranking in the nation the majority of the season, some love from ESPNU, and several articles about them in publications around the country.
They had come from behind to beat Canisius, dominated conference rival Union, barely broke a sweat in the Frozen Four semifinal against St. Cloud State, and their Hobey Baker finalist goaltender was 39 minutes into a shutout against Yale, a team the Bobcats had beaten three times during the season.
Last week, I tried predicting who would make the Frozen Four next week in Pittsburgh. I did OK, getting two of the four teams correct, while missing terribly on the other two. The good thing is I don’t think anybody predicted that the field of Quinnipiac, Yale, St. Cloud State and UMass Lowell would be heading to the Steel City, so I take solace in that.
A lot of storylines came out of last weekend.
Follow along as we preview each round of the 2013 NCAA tournament and pick a champion.
In two weeks, Pittsburgh will be hosting its first Frozen Four.
The Steel City is ecstatic about the NHL’s Penguins and it will be interesting to see if the natives will turn out in droves to watch college hockey. The only local team is Robert Morris, a small school that plays in Atlantic Hockey. The next-closest team geographically is fellow Atlantic member Mercyhurst. They play in Erie. Some locals are skeptical about the crowds.
At the same time, people thought having Tampa as a host last year would be a disaster and it ended up being a big success. I’m thinking everything will be okay. Pennsylvania loves hockey and when you have a host that enjoys and follows the game, you can’t go wrong.
As for the field, the national championship is completely up for grabs. No teams clearly stand above the rest in terms of talent. Everybody is playing on an equal level. Without further ado, here are my 2013 Regional predictions.
Frozen Four Schedule:
Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Fla.
Thursday: Ferris State (25-11-5) vs. Union (26-7-7), 3:30 p.m.; Minnesota (28-13-1) vs. Boston College (31-10-1), 7 p.m.
Saturday: National Championship Game, 6 p.m.
Previewing the Field:
The nation’s number one team Boston College heads to Florida as the clear national title favorite, having not lost in its prior 17 games. The strength of coach Jerry York’s Eagles lies in its defense and transition game. Goaltender Parker Milner (27-5-0, 1.70 goals against average, .935 save percentage) played a big part of that defensive success, as the junior rides a personal 18-game winning streak. Milner owns five shutouts in that span (including two in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament) and has allowed more than two goals just once (Jan. 21 vs. New Hampshire) since December 2. Read the rest of this entry »