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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
It's time once again to talk college hockey with the writers from Inside College Hockey. We'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes, so go ahead and send 'em along.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
Of course, the NCAA Tournament gets underway this weekend at four regional sites, and all 12 games will be shown live on the ESPN family of networks, including triple-headers Friday and Saturday on ESPNU. Other games will air on ESPN 2 and ESPN Classic.
What do you think the chances are of UMD getting to the Final 4? I am looking for some "expert" opinions as I am looking to book a hotel and flight today before the price increase :)
Jess Myers (2:32 PM)
I saw the Bulldogs lose to Minnesota and Alaska Anchorage a few weeks ago. Then I saw them win the Final Five and they looked like a completely different team. In other words, no idea, because it depends on which Bulldogs show up in Minneapolis. They've been streaky all year, so the question is whether the current streak can last for two more games. As for whether or not you should book flights to DC, we strongly encourage Frozen Four attendance, no matter which teams are playing there.
stuart wilkes from brooklyn ny
From hearing the selection show everyone picking BU to win the whole thing but notre dame got an excellent shot to win the whole thing to because they have jordan pierce who leads in shutouts, wins, and goals against average plus they play a shutdown defensive style. AS a fan I'm getting little nervous. Do you agree with me?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
My pick to win the whole thing is Notre Dame. I think their depth and versatility stand out, and I like the fact that they've got some positive tournament experience from winning three games last year. BU might have better overall talent when you match the rosters up against each other, but Notre Dame has something going for it right now, and has played better than BU over the last few weeks.
Josh: (Ann Arbor, MI)
With the fluctuation in Michigan's play in the NCAA tournament, how likely are they to fight through Yale (assuming they can first pass through Air Force) and make the Frozen Four again?
Mike Eidelbes (2:36 PM)
No doubt that Michigan is the favorite in the Bridgeport region, but the matchups with Air Force and either Yale or Vermont are not sure things by any stretch. I, too, like Michigan's chances. Air Force might be the toughest test because of its tournament experience, especially in goal, and it can score quickly and put the Wolverines on their heels.
Who is your pick for the Hobey Baker? Do the tournament's games factor in the voting or is it done before this weekends game?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:37 PM)
The final Hobey voting by the committee takes place next week, after the regionals are played. The INCH Hobey Tracker has had BU's Colin Wilson atop the list for most of the second half of the season and I'd be stunned if he didn't win the award this year.
Do you think Priceton has a shot to upset UMD Friday night? A hot goalie can do some damage in single elimination.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:38 PM)
Absolutely ... but what team is going to have the hot goalie? UMD's Alex Stalock did at the Final Five almost exactly what Princeton's Zane Kalemba did at the ECAC Hockey championship weekend one year ago. Both are excellent and can steal a game. This is actually the most intriguing first-round game for me. Can't wait to watch it on Friday night.
Bret Busakowski (Cloquet, MN)
Which region do you think will have the best atmosphere? I will be joining the fun in Minneapolis and hope that we can turn it into DECC South. That will depend on how many Gopher fans either show up to cheer for UMD or sell the tickets they bought when it looked like they were a sure thing.
Jess Myers (2:40 PM)
If you're asking specifically about the West Regional, I think it will be a far cry from the Bulldogs' last regional game -- when they played Minnesota in front of roughly 2,000 fans in Grand Rapids five years ago. Something like 7,000 of the 10,000 available tickets were sold ahead of time, and Gopher fans have been selling them to Bulldog fans all week. Add that to a few hundred or more fans from Denver, Miami and Princeton, and I don't envision a lot of empty seats at Mariucci.
Larry (Cleveland Ohio)
Ohio State has shown at time they can be an elite team. They beat ND, Michigan and Miami (Ohio, Away). Do you think that their defense led by Corey Toy can shut down BU, and maybe score on a few odd-man breaks, to win
Mike Eidelbes (2:42 PM)
Ohio State has elite talent, but categorizing them as an elite team is a bit of a stretch. In order for them to beat Boston University, the Buckeyes will have to play their absolute best game of the season and hope that BU keeps making mental mistakes (i.e. ill-advised penalties) that have allowed inferior teams like Maine and UMass Lowell to challenge them in recent weeks.
hockeyfan72, chelsea, ma
I read somewhere that Northeastern hasn't lost back to back games all year. Their last game was a loss.....does this bode well for the Huskies vs. Cornell?.... Which team do you think matches up better with Notre Dame in the Midwest Championship Game?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:45 PM)
Well, they did lose back-to-back games this year in the final game of the regular season and the first playoff game against UMass. However, their consistency has been pretty remarkable this year and every good playoff run starts with great goaltending. Unfortunately, starting with the Beanpot final, NU is just 6-5-2 in their last 13 games.
Dave from Quincy, MA
What do you think the chances of UVM advancing to the Frozen Four are?
Jeff Howe (2:47 PM)
I think the week off had to have helped UVM, and it's got a decent shot to get to DC if it cleans up its defensive issues. UVM has built its program in recent years with solid defensive play, and that has slipped in way too many ways in the last few weeks.
scottt, Boston MA
i think more people are picking Duluth then are picking the chalk in their bracket. Is that the feeling you are getting and do you believe that UMD deserve to be as trendy a pick as they are?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:48 PM)
I agree that they are a trendy choice because they're hot. But over the course of the season they've had huge swings from great to lousy play. When does the pendulum swing back toward lousy after winning the Final Five?
Ted (Tampa, FL)
Probably a week premature, but how awful is the ice going to be in DC? The NHL has made several trips this year because the players universally complain about the ice. With warming temps, the fact that the circus just left there and two games on the Thursday of the FF, the afternoon game could be a very bad scene -- what is college hockey doing to avoid major problems at a time when it should be showcasing itself?
Mike Eidelbes (2:49 PM)
I doubt the ice will be a problem. The last Wizards home game prior to the Frozen Four is April 4, which means the ice surface will be uncovered for a full five days. It'll give the maintenance guys plenty of time to work on the rink. The increase in activity on the ice sheet actually helps it. What makes it bad is the constant conversion from a hockey rink to a basketball court or something else.
steve (glouster ma)
After watching Schaus bury trivino of BU, I guess Howe was right, that kid is a human torpedo.
Jeff Howe (2:50 PM)
Schaus is an extremely fun play to watch. I wanted to see him and Eric Gryba get into it a little bit more Saturday night. They're definitely the two toughest guys in Hockey East.
Woody, Columbus, OH
Does Tyler Bozak at U of Denver project as a top six forward, and is he a kid who could end up on an NHL playoff roster after the Frozen Four?
Jess Myers (2:52 PM)
If you'd have asked me that question on Christmas Day, the answer would have been a definite yes. But like everyone who follows the Pioneers, I have some questions about how strong he'll be this weekend upon returning from injury and an extended layoff. If he were to sign when the Pioneers are done for the year, I could see him getting inserted directly into a playoff lineup, as many NHL teams like to do that as a kind of "trial by fire."
Joe Cubicle Hell
Gentlemen - Who was snubbed? I find it hard to stomach that NMU was not included. They went 3-1-1 in Miami the last month; gave Notre Dame a tougher game then Michigan then beat a Hobey Finalist in the 3rd place game. Other than not start slow, what else can they do? Thank you.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:54 PM)
The NCAA tournament criteria are pretty clearly laid out and strictly adhered to. A bad couple of months can put a team in a real hole when it comes to the end of the season, and that's what happened to Northern Michigan. Even with the great play in the second half, you have to consider October, November and December too.
UNH has not had much success in NCAA's in the recent past. I realize after Michigan they have made more consecutive appearances than any other team. I wonder if they lose to North Dakota in first round if their might some pressure on coach Umile? Can they beat North Dakota?
Jeff Howe (2:56 PM)
They can beat North Dakota, but I'm still picking the Sioux to win that game. van Riemsdyk has to be a catalyst for that offense, and Brian Foster has to play at the level he displayed earlier this season when he was dominating. I can't imagine they put any pressure on Umile if they lose. Regardless of UNH's recent NCAA tournament issues, he's one of the best in the business.
Aaron (Houston, TX)
Which #1 seed do you feel is the most vulnerable? Do you see any candidates to make a surprise run like N.D. did last year or Michigan St the year before?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
The most vulnerable No. 1 is Denver because of their injury issues and three dangerous opponents in their region. As far as surprise run, (and I'm counting 3 and 4 seeds as surprises) it might be Vermont. If they can regroup from a week off after being bounced from the Hockey East playoffs and get things together, they're certainly dangerous enough to win a couple games in Bridgeport and get to DC.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
... and Jess Myers chimes in and mentions Air Force as another answer to that previous question. A good call there. They grabbed everyone's attention in the first half of the year and are poised for a good run.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:02 PM)
Thanks for the great questions, and thanks for stopping by to talk college hockey. Check out INCH for tons of tournament coverage, and previews of every region. Enjoy the games this weekend. They should be great.