WCHA weekly preview: March 18-24

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Review of last week

The first round of the WCHA playoffs was fairly predictable, with the higher seed winning in five of six series:

  • #1 St. Cloud State swept #12 Alaska Anchorage
  • #2 Minnesota swept #11 Bemidji State
  • #3 North Dakota beat #10 Michigan Tech in three games
  • #4 Wisconsin swept #9 Minnesota Duluth
  • #8 Colorado College beat #5 Denver in three games
  • #6 Minnesota State beat #7 Nebraska Omaha in three games

WCHA Final Five bracket

The six winning teams have been reseeded 1-6 based on their regular season records to form the bracket for the WCHA Final Five, which takes place March 21-23 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn:

WCHA Playoffs Bracket

Quarterfinal matchups

Both quarterfinals feature teams that split their regular-season series. Wisconsin and Minnesota State each swept in each other’s buildings. Colorado College and North Dakota split the two games in Colorado Springs and the two games in Grand Forks.

Thus, anything can happen, even though North Dakota clearly looks better on paper than Colorado College. The Final Five is single elimination, so teams that would win in a three-game series might be eliminated after having an uncharacteristically bad game.

# 5 Minnesota State vs. #4 Wisconsin (March 21, 2:07 p.m. CT)

  • Regular Season Records:
    • Minnesota State – 16-11-1 WCHA (T-4th), 22-11-3 overall
    • Wisconsin – 13-8-7 WCHA (T-4th), 17-12-7 overall
  • Last Ten Games:
    • Minnesota State - 7-3-0
    • Wisconsin - 7-3-0
  • National Rankings:
    • Minnesota State - 8th USA Today, 8th USCHO, T-9th PairWise
    • Wisconsin - 15th USA Today, 14th USCHO, T-16th PairWise
  • Head to Head:
    • 11/23/12 – 4-2 Minnesota State win (at Wisconsin)
    • 11/24/12 – 4-2 Minnesota State win (at Wisconsin)
    • 1/11/13 – 4-3 Wisconsin win in OT (at Minnesota State)
    • 1/12/13 – 2-1 Wisconsin win in OT (at Minnesota State)

#6 Colorado College vs. #3 North Dakota (March 21, 7:07 p.m. CT)

  • Regular Season Records:
    • Colorado College – 11-13-4 WCHA (8th), 14-17-5 overall
    • North Dakota – 14-7-7 WCHA (3rd), 19-10-7 overall
  • Last Ten Games:
    • Colorado College - 6-4-0
    • North Dakota - 6-3-1
  • National Rankings:
    • Colorado College - Unranked USA Today, Received votes in USCHO, 25th PairWise
    • North Dakota - 6th USA Today, 6th USCHO, T-6th PairWise
  • Head to Head:
    • 11/30/12 – 5-3 Colorado College win (at Colorado College)
    • 12/1/12 – 3-2 North Dakota win in OT (at Colorado College)
    • 1/11/13 – 4-3 Colorado College win (at North Dakota)
    • 1/12/13 – 5-3 North Dakota win (at North Dakota)

Semifinal matchups

The winner of the Minnesota State and Wisconsin matchup will face #1 St. Cloud State, who received a bye for the quarterfinals. Minnesota State lost two games in St. Cloud in October, while Wisconsin split with St. Cloud in Madison earlier this month.

The winner of the Colorado College and North Dakota matchup will face #2 Minnesota, who also received a bye for the quarterfinals. Colorado College lost to and tied Minnesota in Colorado Springs in December, while North Dakota lost to and tied Minnesota in Minneapolis in January.

What’s at stake

According to Jim Dahl of siouxsports.com, Minnesota and North Dakota are locks to make the NCAA tournament, no matter what happens at the WCHA Final Five and in the other conference tournaments. Minnesota also looks to have locked up the #2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

Minnesota State (99.7% chance), Denver (98.0%), and St. Cloud State (94.1%) are all likely to join them in the 16-team field.

Wisconsin needs to at least make the championship game to have a shot at making the NCAA tournament. An appearance in the championship would give Wisconsin a 6.6% chance of making the tournament. If Wisconsin wins the WCHA, it automatically qualifies for the tournament.

Colorado College can only make the NCAA tournament as an automatic bid for winning the WCHA.

All other WCHA teams have been eliminated from contention.

And oh yeah, there’s one more thing at stake, the Broadmoor Trophy:

Broadmoor Trophy

Will North Dakota win the Broadmoor for the fourth consecutive year, or will another team end the streak? Tune in to the games Thursday through Saturday on Fox Sports North to find out.

12 thoughts on “WCHA weekly preview: March 18-24

  1. How pathetic you at to have a stupid blog that no one reads on und hockey. #1 you’re at NDSU, if anything you cheer for Minnesota gophers. #2. You ge awkward looks according tontracy Briggs because you wear that racist stuff on NDSU campus and they think you are a moron for doing so. It’s not awkward it’s stupidity.

    #3. You’re probably a nice girl, so I’d quit with this if I were you and perhaps life would be more enjoyable, if not enjoy being laughed at

    • No big deal…I used to work at UND and saw several students wearing NDSU national football championship shirts and jackets. As for the Gophers…they’re evil. EEEEEEEVVVVViiiiillllll!!

      • That’s really interesting since both schools have football, and though NDSU has won more championships and has been much better than UND lately, UND has had a pretty good football program themselves.

        Yep, no Gopher loving for me. Hence, the “heck no” response to the negative comment.

  2. “How pathetic you at to have a stupid blog that no one reads on und hockey.” – It’s gotten a lot of views this past week (many not because of being featured), so false. Plus, it’s for a class, so I’m required to do it even if I didn’t get a single view.

    “you’re at NDSU, if anything you cheer for Minnesota gophers.” – Heck no.

    “You ge awkward looks according tontracy Briggs because you wear that racist stuff on NDSU campus and they think you are a moron for doing so. It’s not awkward it’s stupidity.” – It’s not racist, no matter what the NCAA says. The people fighting the hardest to keep the nickname are Native Americans, so yeah, they must be really offended. And I’m a moron because I wear it on campus? Really? It’s not like we have a big rivalry with UND anymore anyway.

    “You’re probably a nice girl, so I’d quit with this if I were you and perhaps life would be more enjoyable, if not enjoy being laughed at” – And you sir are the first person who has even said anything negative (except for one guy I know who was joking around). Life would not be more enjoyable if I stopped being a Sioux hockey fan because I’m passionate about it and to give up on a passion because some people have to be jerks about it would not make my life more enjoyable.

  3. I have 4 season tickets. Look at next year’s schedule and we’ll put together a game night for you and a guest.

    • Really? That would be awesome. It’s hard to know this far in advance what dates I’ll have open since I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing outside of class as far as a job or internship, but chances are I can make most dates work no matter what.

  4. As a fellow female NDSU student and huge Sioux hockey nut, I understand! I wore my Sioux clothes on campus last week before going to the Final Five and got a few strange looks. If you ever need a hockey buddy to watch or go to games with, I would love to!

    • You got to go to the Final Five? Lucky! Too bad the result wasn’t better. CC’s goalie was playing out of his mind.

      I’d love a hockey buddy to watch or go to the games with. My friends at NDSU respect that I like Sioux hockey, but many aren’t hockey fans, so I don’t have anyone here to share my passion for Sioux hockey with. I went to two games this season by myself, and one game and Fan Fest last season. It’s still a blast, but it’s strange not having anyone to talk too. Though, funny story. Last time I went, I ended up sitting by a couple who have Bison football season tickets. One of them (the husband I think) went to NDSU for undergrad and UND for grad, and the other just went to UND. It was awesome.

  5. I would just like to say that you do a wonderful job with this blog. I am also a UND hockey fan who attends NDSU. You are definitely not alone, I know a lot of Sioux hockey fans at NDSU who don’t wear UND gear around campus. So go Bison and go Sioux!

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