Friday, March 17, 2006

Underdogs Advance To WCHA Title Game

No. 4 North Dakota and No. 6 St. Cloud State advanced to the championship game of the WCHA Final Five tonight with wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota. North Dakota edged Wisconsin 4-3, while St. Cloud State and Minnesota went to overtime before the Huskies could win the thrilling 15 goal game. Hobey Baker candidate Ryan Potulny notched four goals for the Golden Gophers, including one with 15 seconds left to send the game to overtime. He also had one assist. The Huskies' Chris Harrington set up four goals, and Minnesota's freshman phenom Phil Kessel had three assists as well. Meanwhile Jeff Frazee, Kellen Briggs, and Bobby Goepfert teamed up to produce one of the uglier defensive games I've ever seen played in the WCHA. Goepfert allowed an incredible seven goals after holding Minnesota-Duluth to one, and our own Tigers to five in three games. Briggs was pulled after allowing five goals on 22 shots. Frazee allowed three goals on 16 shots and just plain looked like a freshman. After he allowed St. Cloud State's seventh goal on a missed poke check/five hole shot, I found myself wondering, "Is this guy really drafted? Who drafted him? It must be the Knicks. Isiah Thomas has gotta be behind this."

Potulny's four goals and assist may have killed Matt Carle's Hobey Baker hopes. While Carle is still my pick, the voters will now have an even tougher time overlooking Potulny's gaudy statistics and big game heroics. Potulny now has 63 points on the season - one less than Marty Sertich had last year when he won the Hobey. The results may have also killed Denver's hopes for the NCAA tournament.

Colorado College now sits at 9th in the Pairwise Rankings. The biggest change tonight was Miami's shift from a comfortable No. 3 ranking to a three-way tie for 5th. The Redhawks will likely need to win the CCHA to secure their number one seed. Meanwhile, out east, Maine is likely out of the tournament after losing to Boston College, and Boston University annihilated New Hampshire 9-2. The Wildcats remain tied for 12th in the Pairwise Rankings. St. Cloud State and North Dakota will meet tomorrow night to decide the WCHA champion - the Huskies could earn an autobid to the tournament with a win. Wisconsin and Minnesota will meet in the consolation game.

2 Comments:

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous gmf1a said...

Nice work

You are doing a great job with this site

Do you plan on doing any recruiting features?

 
At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey gmf1a, thanks for the kind words. I do have an article ready on CC's incoming recruits but I want to save it until our season is over (no need to get ahead of ourselves).

 

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