Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tigers Headin' To Green Bay

The NCAA tournament brackets came out today and Colorado College has been given a three seed in the Green Bay regional. CC will open with a game against Cornell, while top seed Wisconsin will face Bemidji State. Cornell has played only one game against a WCHA opponent this season - a 1-1 tie (which they won in a shootout) against Minnesota-Duluth. The Big Red also split a series against tough opponent Michigan State early in the season. Their most recent game was a 6-2 loss to Harvard in the ECAC championship. Cornell goaltender David McKee should be a familiar face to CC stars Marty Sertich and Brett Sterling, who joined him at the Hobey Baker award ceremony last year in Columbus.

The other brackets look like this:

Midwest Regional
No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 Bemidji State
No. 2 Cornell vs. No. 3 Colorado College

West Regional
No. 1 Minnesota vs. No. 4 Holy Cross
No. 2 North Dakota vs. No. 3 Michigan

East Regional
No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 4 New Hampshire
No. 2 Harvard vs. No. 3 Maine

Northeast Regional
No. 1 Boston U. vs. No. 4 Nebraska-Omaha
No. 2 Miami vs. No. 3 Boston College

You'll notice that the possibility of another all-WCHA frozen four has been squashed this year, with the four WCHA teams that made the tourney being placed in only two brackets. Minnesota, the overall number two seed, seemed to get the shortest end of the stick, being placed in the Grand Forks Regional with the hometown Fighting Sioux of North Dakota. The East Regional also has an intriguing rematch between Harvard and Maine. Some might remember the Black Bears epic third period comeback against Harvard two years ago, where Maine stormed back from a 4-1 deficit in the third period to win 5-4 and eventually advance to the national championship against Denver. The Northeast Regional, with hometown teams Boston University and Boston College, will be an interesting test for the two CCHA teams that they will face, Miami and Nebraska-Omaha.

As I've said before, CC would probably be in better shape being in a bracket with Boston University or Michigan State, both of whom they have already beat, but the Tigers still should have the ability to steal one in Green Bay. If CC can get past Cornell, they most likely will face a very tough game against the hometown Badgers. CC is winless against Wisconsin this season, including a 9-1 drubbing at the World Arena. It's not all bad though; aside from that contest, the Tigers games against Wisconsin have generally been close. Their first game resulted in a 2-2 tie on the road, and they lost a very close 3-2 game at home. The 9-1 loss can mainly be attributed to Brian Salcido's checking from behind penalty (five minutes) in the first period, and the subsequent power play in which the Badgers scored four goals.

Of course, I couldn't finish the update without mentioning defending champion Denver's absence from the tournament. Denver played a very solid WCHA regular season, but their atrocious play in out of conference games eventually came back to haunt them. The Pioneers kicked off their season with a suicidal series at Maine, losing both games at the very hostile Alfond Arena. Then, while out east, Denver beat non-TUC Massachusetts but lost to Boston University. The real killer, however, was the Denver Cup, where the Pioneers dropped two games to Princeton and Ferris State. Being knocked out of the WCHA tournament by Minnesota-Duluth didn't help either. Regardless of how it happened, it's time for the boys from Denver to break out the golf clubs and start preparing for next season.


At 10:16 PM, Blogger Badger Backer said...

You guys are definitely a team that I am concerned about because of the offensive talent. The Badgers will really have to be on their game if they beat Bemidji State to be ready for CC.

Best of luck against Cornell.

At 9:41 PM, Blogger satnu said...

GO CC! MN got the seed they had 2 months ago. HC first, then if they pull their heads out of their Final Five arses, UM! und is going down. 13-9 at home, Final Five champions. Big heads=LOSS! ESPN picked them to go all the way. KISS OF DEATH!


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