Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2013 Frozen Four is Set

Wow, who would have thought the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Tournament would have played out like it has. My bracket certainly was way off in what I had expected to happen, but that really shows the parody in NCAA hockey and how any team can win on any given night. Here are the results from the road to the Frozen Four, and a look into the Frozen Four tournament.

East Regional: Providence, Rhode Island
Quinnipiac vs Canisius- I did have Quinnipiac winning, but didn't expect the game to be as good as it was. Canisius had a 3-1 lead in the game before Quinnipiac came back to win 4-3.
Peca after one of his three goals
Boston College vs. Union- What a game by Union. The Dutchmen scored five goals to take a 5-0 lead over the heavily favored Eagles until they scored with 3:58 remaining in the game to make it a 5-1 game. Boston College was expected to walk through this region with ease, and weren't able to make it to the final.

Qunnipiac vs. Union- Matthew Peca's natural hat-trick in the first period got this game off and running for Quinnipiac, who ran away with this one in a 5-1 victory, their first Frozen Four appearance in school history.

Northeast Regional: Manchester, New Hampshire
UMass-Lowell vs. Wisconsin- I had Wisconsin winning this one as they went on a WCHA playoff run. However, UMass made it 3-0 before Wisconsin punched one in. They then went on to score three third period goals to make the final a 6-1 game.
Denver vs. New Hampshire- New Hampshire my pick to win this game, and they did so fairly easy cruising to a 5-2 victory over the Pioneers.

UMass-Lowell vs. New Hampshire- Shutting out the Wildcats, UMass-Lowell advances to the Frozen Four for the first time in school history with a 2-0 win.

West Regional: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Minnesota vs. Yale- Minnesota was a heavy favorite here, and my pick to win the National Championship. A slow start got the Gophers down 2-0 before tying things up in the third period. An overtime goal by Jesse Root nine seconds into the extra period  propelled the Bulldogs into the West Regional Championship game. The goal was also an NCAA Men's Hockey record for quickest goal into an overtime period.
North Dakota vs. Niagara- I expected North Dakota to handle Niagara a little better, but they came away with a win regardless, and with Minnesota losing, looked like they would walk into the Frozen Four in 2013.

North Dakota vs. Yale- North Dakota held a 1-0 lead for much of the game. Yale didn't quit, however, and scored four goals in the final eight minutes of the game to win 4-1, stunning North Dakota and making their first appearance in over 60 years.

Midwest Regional: Toledo, Ohio
St. Cloud State vs. Notre Dame- Notre Dame were another team who were expected to make the Frozen Four, but St. Cloud handled them just fine. After a no-goal call on Anders Lee for the Irish, the Huskies went on to control play and walk away with a 5-1 victory.
Minnesota State vs. Miami (Ohio)- A very back and forth first period, the majority of quality scoring chances belonged to Miami. 1-0 headed into the third period, Miami turned things up a notch and shutout the Mavericks to win 4-0.
St. Cloud State advancing to their first Frozen Four

Miami (Ohio) vs. St. Cloud State- Huskies forward Joey Benik had his second straight two-goal game to bring his playoff total to five. The Huskies didn't give up much in the defensive zone, and
finished off with an empty net goal to cap a 4-1 victory and St. Clouds first ever Frozen Four appearance.

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