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Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
It's one of the most exciting times of the year, and we're here to talk all about it. Conference championship weekends are upon us. The 10 Hobey Baker finalists are announced later today, and of course the NCAA field will be announced Sunday morning.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
Inside College Hockey writers will be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes.
Chuck (Durham, NH)
Will UNH still make the NCAA's or has their weekend against BC ended their season?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:33 PM)
I think they're in good shape to make the field, but things can obviously change once the results start coming in from all of the games this weekend. One of the positives of the NCAA selection criteria (in my opinion) is that it evaluates teams based on their entire body of work, not just how they're playing at a particular point in the season.
Hound208 (Boston, Mass)
Northeastern has played in the Garden during the Beanpot twice every year, think that might give them any edge over Lowell, most of whom will be skating there for the first time ever?
Jeff Howe (2:35 PM)
Yeah, it definitely provides a good edge for Northeastern, which really handled the pressure well on the big stage. The Huskies won't face the initial shock factor that Lowell will have to overcome.
How in the world does Jeff Lerg make All-CCHA over Jordan Pierce, Riley Gill or Brian Stewart??
Joe Gladziszewski (2:37 PM)
Postseason awards are chosen by people, not by computers. Jeff Lerg's outstanding season was worthy of recognition, but it also had to help that he's been one of the great goalies in the league for his entire career and is also a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. Besides, think of where Michigan State would've been without him.
Rahn (Pgh. Pa.)
So what's this junk about Bowling Green possibly canning it's hockey program? And if it survives, answer why they can't turn it around to what it once was, even in the early '90s? Bad barn or is there more to it?
Mike Eidelbes (2:38 PM)
A lot of factors in play at BGSU. The building is in need of serious upgrades, other CCHA schools have caught up (and surpassed) the Falcons on and off the ice, and, most importantly, they've had a few good players, but not enough. Sure, they can rebound -- Denver and Colorado College re-emerged after lengthy droughts -- but it won't be easy.
steve (glouster ma)
I read Jeff Howe's article on Nick Schaus,. Does he really hit as hard as advertised?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:39 PM)
Yes. If Jeff Howe wrote it, it must be true.
Josh, St. Paul
Not sure I understand your 4x4, some ECAC team has to lose twice and only Yale has the PWR to survive that...
Mike Eidelbes (2:41 PM)
Call it a hunch, but when I put the 4x4 together last night, I picked Yale to lose twice. If an ECAC team other than Yale loses twice in Albany, you're looking at an Ohio State or Minnesota Duluth sneaking into the last at-large spot.
Derrick, Fargo, ND
You guys have seen alot, what would have to happen to throw a wrench into your preconveived ideas as to how you think the Ncaa's will go down? Would it be something like BC winning Hockey East Playoffs? UMD winning Wcha, etc. Go Sioux!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:43 PM)
I don't think we have any preconceived ideas about what's "going to go down" during the NCAA Tournament and its bracket. We'll watch how things go this weekend, enjoy it, and be ready for a great NCAA Tournament.
Bob (Tampa, FL)
Am I crazy -- I think Wisconsin getting Denver is perfect for them -- that recent series the Badgers blew at home still in their mind. Redemtion on their mind.
Jess Myers (2:44 PM)
I spoke to the Badgers' Cody Goloubef, and he noted that it's revenge time for both teams. Denver won four in the regular season, but the Badgers won last year in the NCAA playoffs. Plus, Denver is beat up, so the time might be right for Wisconsin.
Steve (Greenwich, CT)
If you could only watch one game this weekend (include potential match-ups on Saturday) -- what game would it be? Why?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:46 PM)
For me, it would probably be a Michigan-Notre Dame final at the Joe in the CCHA Tournament. I think Notre Dame is the best team overall, and I think Michigan is playing the best. Should be a very high level of hockey.
Mike Eidelbes (2:47 PM)
Minnesota-North Dakota in a possible WCHA semifinal Friday night. When the Gophers and Sioux get together on a big stage, it's typically memorable.
Sully (Green Line)
BU has been playing carelessly lately -- thinking they can just throw on the sweater and other teams will wilt because, well they're BU. Since they're so talented, it's actually worked for the most part. I suspected it'd bite them this weekend, but will the Maine experience coupled with a BC match-up put the work-ethic and focus back in their game?
Jeff Howe (2:48 PM)
I think the BC matchup is a great thing for BU because the Eagles will instantly grab their attention. You won't have to worry about the Terriers looking past this matchup.
If North Dakota wins to tourney, we should overtake Denver for the #one seed and get to play in Minneapolis if the gophers are out. What scenario eliminates MN, a loss to Duluth, or a win and two loses...ps just one more reason to root against the gophs, what fun...hmmm
Jess Myers (2:48 PM)
According to our 4x4, the Gophers would be better off losing tonight than winning versus UMD, then losing the next two. Either scenario puts the Gophers in danger. As for the Sioux overtaking Denver, two wins this season and they'd have a strong case.
Luke(St Paul, MN)
I'm trying to figure out your 4X4. You have Denver as a one seed and Sioux as a 2, yet in your power rankings you place the Sioux ahead of them, the Sioux won the McNaughton and didnt lose to denver this season(One dominating game one tie). How do you figure that?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:50 PM)
The INCH Power Rankings and the NCAA Tournament selection criteria are two entirely different things. Denver ranks slightly ahead of North Dakota in the tournament criteria heading into this weekend.
John, Ann Arbor
Hey guys after reading your 4x4 I have some serious doubts about putting ND in Grand Rapids for attendance concerns. If you put Michigan there, the draw becomes bigger. Also, how concerned are you for upsets in the CCHA semifinals?
Mike Eidelbes (2:51 PM)
Second question first, Northern Michigan has played well and could test Notre Dame, but it's doubtful. Alaska will not beat Michigan. As for the seeding, the NCAA is pretty good at keeping the higher seeds closer to home if possible. Attendance takes a back seat. Attendance is considered, but not the top priority.
Can you comment on consolation games? They seem to have a big impact this weekend (sometimes perversely). Moreover, some conferences have them, some don't. I suspect coaches and players dislike them. Has there been any discussion in the WCHA, ECAC or CCHA to get rid of them?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:54 PM)
I don't mind them, and as much as people say that it could hurt teams in contention for an at-large berth, it also helps other teams in the same situation. It gives teams an opportunity to get that one last win that might make a difference, and I'm all for that. Plus, more hockey is better.
Chris (Boston, MA)
Any shot Bradford gets a look as a Hobey darkhorse with 25 goals and his hot streak if he can continue to score and get BC a HE title?
Mike Eidelbes (2:55 PM)
We think he'll be one of the Hobey Top 10, which will be named later today. He's had a great year, but he won't end up as one of the top three.
Garret Kollin: Bemidji,MN
So how do you think the chances of the Beavers winning are in the tourney? Do you think with them getting in the tourney that it will for sure get them into the WCHA next year?
Jess Myers (2:56 PM)
There's no connection between them getting in the tourney and getting in the WCHA. They still need eight WCHA member schools to vote for them, and from what I hear, there's not a lot of support for an 11-team league. They need a partner to get in (paging Omaha).
Dustin (Grand Forks)
3 Things to Say, Do what you want with them: 1. How special was Ryan Duncan's last game in Engelstad Arena? 3 points (at first thought to be a hat trick, with showers of hats raining down to the ice) in 3 minutes to put the Sioux up for good. Then the senior captain is the first player to hoist the MacNaughton Cup. This guy DESERVES a National Title to add to his prestigious resume. Oh yeah, he also will have played more games than any other NCAA hockey player by the time he's done. 2. I don't think more than 2 sentences were uttered regarding the WCHA Final Five in this week's podcast. We've got 3 NCAA bubble teams fighting for their playoff lives in front of 18,000 fans. Should be a great weekend. 3. If your INCH 4x4 is correct, it would mark the third time in 4 seasons that North Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan all ended up in the same region. With Miami as the fourth team, that region would be the toughest for any team, let alone the top seed, to come out of.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:56 PM)
1. - Awesome 2. - Sorry 3. - Amazing
David (Boston, MA)
Any chance Lowell pulls the upset and beats NU? If they beat NU, any chance of an at-large bid or would they need to win the Hocket East?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
Sure, there's a chance. I am actually more impressed with UMass Lowell's wins at Vermont than I am with BC's wins at UNH. They're playing well, and they've got good depth. Should be a good, physical, competitive game to get the weekend started in Boston.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions and thanks for stopping by to hear what we had to say.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
Plenty of coverage of all of this week's conference action is available at INCH, plus a national perspective with the 4x4, Hobey Tracker, podcast and Power Rankings.
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