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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
It's time to talk college hockey again with the writers from Inside College Hockey. We'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes.
Eric Fargo, ND
The Sioux have made another fabulous second half run. They have four lines contributing to the scoring. So what do the INCH guys think about UND chances to make the Frozen Four this year?
Jess Myers (2:33 PM)
If I were a betting man, I would not pick them to get to DC. Of the past five Sioux teams, this one is probably the deepest because the lack of a superstar (like Toews or Oshie) makes them harder to play, and kudos to them on a widely-expected MacNaughton Cup this weekend. But if I had to pick a WCHA team to get to the Frozen, I would pick Denver right now.
Rich (Providence, ri)
Prediction: Who will play each other in the ECAC quaterfinals next weekend? Secondly, Colgate tied the national record for overtime games this season, if they go into overtime in the playoffs does that break the record?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:35 PM)
I'll take Union, Dartmouth, Harvard and Colgate to advance this weekend. All of them will be close series - I think Union/Clarkson and Colgate/Quinnipiac will be stretched to three games. That leaves Yale-Colgate, Cornell-Union, Princeton-Dartmouth and St. Lawrence-Harvard as the quarterfinal matchups ... and the four top teams all advance out of those.
KS (Minneapolis-for now)
Since I'll be watching the next batch of stars tonight at Mariucci, I'll miss the UM/Tech game. Unless I ignore work-and watch the live scoring-I can only imagine what happens. Put me, and the rest of Gopher Nation at ease and tell me they get 4 this weekend and make some noise at the Final Five.
Jess Myers (2:36 PM)
I'm picking a split. The Huskies have not won a WCHA game since Halloween night, but they've been pesky at home lately, earning some nice ties with teams clearly more talented than them. Combine the emotion of senior night with the fact that not many of us are sold on this Gopher team lately and I see Minnesota bringing two points home on the long bus ride from the U.P.
Jack (Franklin, MA)
I have been a BU fan my whole life and this is the best team since the 95' squad. Is there any team in the country that can beat BU right now?
Jeff Howe (2:38 PM)
I'm sold on BU this season, and I think the only way they can truly call this season a success is if they win the national championship. They're just that good. However, Notre Dame isn't too shabby, either.
Everyone talks about how mediocre the WCHA is this year. Is this just a down year, or do you see the CCHA taking over as that dominate conference that we used to associate the WCHA with.
Mike Eidelbes (2:39 PM)
It's definitely a down year for the WCHA, but the league is still better than the CCHA from top to bottom, in my opinion. What you're seeing in the Dub comes from having so many top-tier players leave school early. You know the list. But look at this year's freshmen -- Schroeder, Wiercioch, Colborne, Eidsness, the Connollys, Stepan. If they stay in school three years, you'll see the WCHA return to form.
Dustin (Grand Forks)
If North Dakota clinches the cup with their game Friday, does Dave Hakstol give senior goalie Aaron Walski a start for Saturday?
Jess Myers (2:40 PM)
Yes. It makes sense to give Brad Eidsness a physical and mental break heading into what could be a tougher-than-expected playoff series with Michigan Tech.
Is Matt Gilroy the best defensman in college hockey? If not, who is?
Mike Eidelbes (2:42 PM)
He's among the best. But I don't think he's THE best. Michigan's Mark Mitera, when healthy, is better, and Wisconsin's Jamie McBain is better, too. Don't get me wrong -- Gilroy is very good, but just a tad overhyped.
Dennis (Quincy, MA)
Do you see NU making it to DC this year or will they be knocked out in a regional?
Jeff Howe (2:43 PM)
It really depends on where they're slotted. Under the scenario of the most recent INCH 4X4, I can see Northeastern getting out of Bridgeport and into DC. The only thing that could hold them back is choking early in the Hockey East playoffs and finding themselves in the same regional as BU.
Ryan (Grand Forks, ND)
Do you think Ryan Duncan is an underrated player this year? He wasn't on the ballet for WCHA player of the year, but he is near the top in most statistics. That doesn't even take into account his leadership and all the hard work he brings to every shift on the ice that helped him win a Hobey a few years back. Thanks and keep up the good work!
Jess Myers (2:44 PM)
Duncan has been a pure joy to watch on the ice and, as a member of the media, to cover. I agree with you that for a guy with a Hobey on his resume, he's surprisingly overlooked a great deal. Part of that is his size, and part of it is by his own design, as Ryan is always quick to proclaim there are no superstars on the Sioux roster.
Snooks, Chestnut Hill, MA
The defenders are on the outside looking in...would a split with Northeastern and an advance to at least the HE Semis get back to the dance?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:46 PM)
BC's NCAA hopes rest on their own performance down the stretch, but also on who wins the AQs in the other leagues, so it's tough to call right now. They are playing a little better lately and I think this weekend's games against Northeastern are a perfect tuneup for playoffs.
Scott, SB, CA
For the last 11 years, Maine, Minnesota or BC have been a part of the frozen 4. Your 4x4 predicts that not one of these teams will even make the tournament. Is this a sign of the apocalypse?
Mike Eidelbes (2:47 PM)
Not the apocalypse. But it is a sign that parity is the norm in college hockey just like it is in college football and basketball. There are more players, it's easier to find them, and kids are looking for opportunities to play just as much as being on a successful team. For every kid that says they want to go to BC, there's another who thinks, "I could go to BC and be a third-liner, but can also go to Northeastern and compete for time on the top line and special teams."
Robert in Denver
It looks like North Dakota will win the conference. The WCHA tourney is always wide open. I beleive six teams could win it. CC is due. My question is which WCHA team do you think will make the most noise in the run to a championship? I like North Dakota's experience. What say you?
Jess Myers (2:49 PM)
I never find it wise to pick against Denver when the league's five survivors gather in St. Paul. The Pioneers seem to play better consistently at the Xcel Energy Center than anyone, including Minnesota. But I agree that CC is definitely due, having not won an outright WCHA playoff title in something like 40 years.
Matt (Duluth, MN)
How are the Gophers chances of making the tournament?
Mike Eidelbes (2:50 PM)
Decent. Assume they'll win twice this weekend at Michigan Tech. Minnesota then gets a first-round WCHA playoff series against a fairly tough opponent (UMD, SCSU, etc.) If they can get out of the first round and win a game at the Final Five, I think they're in.
What are your thoughts on the Hockey East tournament? Is NU going to be ready to go all the way given their past history in this event, or have they finally turned the corner and proven they can excel even when we hit the postseason?
Jeff Howe (2:51 PM)
I've got Northeastern slotted to beat UMass in the first round, which would set up a semifinal matchup with UNH. I think that's a winnable game for the Huskies, but I see them falling in overtime to BU in the final.
No one is talking about New Hampshire right now, but they've been solid for the last three months. What do you think about UNH's postseason chances?
Jeff Howe (2:55 PM)
Brian Foster has been playing back up to form, and the forward lines are starting to jell and find their identity. There's no question this is the least anyone has ever talked about UNH at this point in the season, so it's definitely weird on that front. I just think it's going to be tough for them to get out of Manchester when either BU or Northeastern will be up there with them.
Doug (Thornhill ON)
You've talked about Colgate's David McIntyre on the podcast, saying he should be ECAC Player of the Year even though he plays for a 10th-place team. Do you think it can happen? And will he be among the 10 finalists for the Hobey?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:58 PM)
He is definitely in both conversations - player of the year and Hobey Baker. What makes him stand out in my opinion is that he gets his goals and assists at important times. Third period, overtime, first goals of the game. He's the leader up front for the Raiders, but there are some nice complements on board in Austin Smith, Tom Riley, Brian Day, Peter Bogdanich, etc. Many of the other coaches and players in the league rave about McIntyre.
Anthony (Avon, CT)
Should BU retain the top overall seed, is there anyway they play in Bridgeport rather than Manchester? (Other than UNH being a 4 seed...)
Mike Eidelbes (2:58 PM)
Sure, there's a way. The committee can put teams anywhere they so desire. But ManchVegas is closer to the BU campus than Bridgeport, so that's why we have the Terriers there.
Jeff (Watertown NY)
Clarkson and Union ended the regular season against one another and now they play again in the opening round of the league tournament. Is Union due to advance?
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
Some people get jammed up about Union's past playoff history, but they've played very well in many of those series they've dropped. It's a really evenly matched series against Clarkson this weekend (the teams split the regular season games in one-goal games) and I think that if Union can slow down the Guthrie-Beca-D'Alvise line for the Golden Knights, Union goes through in three games.
I think I'm the only one that thinks CC is going to beat Denver this weekend. They were very impressive against NoDak last weekend. What do you think about that game?
Jess Myers (3:00 PM)
Yes, you are the only one. I picked Denver, but I got a report from a friend in Grand Forks impressed by how the Tigers played last weekend. So maybe I'll whimp out and pick a tie.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:02 PM)
Thanks for the great questions, and thanks for stopping by to talk college hockey with us. Playoffs get underway in the CCHA, Atlantic Hockey and ECAC Hockey this weekend. Lots to be decided still in the WCHA, Hockey East and College Hockey America. Check out all the latest news, plus a podcast, 4x4 tournament bracket projection and more at Inside College Hockey.
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