A few weeks ago i told you the College Hockey Playoffs are the appetizer for the NHL Playoffs. I hope everyone enjoyed the chips and dip but now its time for the shrimp cocktail.
CLOUD STATE VS AMERICAN INT.
St. Cloud State gets the number one overall seed in spite of the fact they lost to Duluth in the NCHC Championship game… Which upsets me but moving on! They are in a serious miss match against American Int. coming off winning their first Atlantic Hockey Championship. AIC is a good team, but they won’t hold a candle to St. Cloud. Not to mention St. Cloud will be ready to smash any opponent after their loss to Duluth.
OHIO STATE VS DENVER
The second pairing in the east bracket is OSU vs Denver. This matchup is interesting. Ohio State was incredible for most of the season but has had a tough run in the last few weeks. They lost in the Semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament to Penn State. They just haven’t seemed to be the same in the final stages of the season. Denver on the other hand is doing the exact opposite. They are on the rise and playing great hockey. This will be an interesting matchup, but no matter who wins they have to play St. Cloud in the next round, which is a tough matchup for either team.
MINNESOTA DULUTH VS BOWLING GREEN
The true number one seed, and NCHC Champions Minnesota Duluth take on the WHCA runner up Bowling Green. I think Bowling Green will keep this game closer than most people think. They had some big wins over ranked opponents this year, they took Minnesota State to OT in the WCHA Championship Game. Most importantly they have been consistently winning all year. They have not dipped at any point this season, and they deserve credit for that.
ARIZONA STATE VS QUINNIPIAC
The Hockey Gods are kind gods. As Arizona State has qualified for their first NCAA Playoffs. But they didn’t just qualify they drew a winnable game. Quinnipiac got bounced early from the ECAC tournament, and have not looked good as of late. Arizona State has been sitting and waiting hoping for their shot. They have been given it, and I like the Sun Devils to show out on a big stage.
MINNESOTA STATE VS PROVIDENCE
How much do you love the run the Mavericks are on right now? The little school that could won the WCHA and are poised to make a run in the tournament. Their first test is no pushover as Providence will but up a big fight. This is the battle of two smaller traditional hockey schools. Should be a fun one.
CORNELL VS NORTHEASTERN
Northeastern won the Hockey East. But both teams have been studs all year, and match up favorably. There isn’t much to compare these two team against each other. They did not play this year, and both teams were ranked all year. The only team that both teams played was Union. Northeastern played them earlier in the year and lost both games. Cornell has beaten up on Union all year. So if you want to go off that then tip the hat to Andy Bernard’s Big Red.
NORTH EAST SEED
MASSACHUSETTS VS HARVARD
First thing can we just say this is a group of death. Any one of these four teams could make the Frozen four. So UMass as the top seed is literally just a formality. Harvard plays in a tougher conference, against tougher opponents. UMass didn’t even win their conference tournament. You smell that? Smells like an upset.
NOTRE DAME VS CLARKSON
The battle of Conference Champions. Notre Dame winning the Big Ten and Clarkson winning the ECAC. This is one is anybody’s guess. These teams have been in the middle of the standings all year and both these teams won their conference tournaments.
So that’s the breakdown of the first round. Games start on Friday so I will have a video up for everyone by the end of the week. Giving my predictions for the regionals all the way to who I think will be this year’s NCAA Champion.