Frozen Four Participants is Part 1 of the Process
Here we are again on the eve of the NCAA Hockey Tournament. This is our annual segment where the writers here, both of us, take a shot at prognosticating the Frozen Four.
We will start with the picks of the regional finals and have writers’ notes at the bottom. And as usual, feel free to comment below or even add your picks.
So without further delay the picks:
Andrew Craig (AC): Boston College defeats UMD
Andy Fiskness (AF): UMD over BC
AC: Miami defeats Union
AF: UMass – Lowell over Union
AC: Ferris State defeats Michigan
AF: Ferris State over Michigan
AC: Boston University defeats North Dakota
AF: UND over BU
AF: College hockey fans have been watching and waiting all season for the biggest and most exciting weekend of games. So many games have been played, trends have developed, conference championships won and lost. Now who will prevail in a one and done format? When it comes to evaluating the teams I have had a hard time deciding who will make it to the final four and the ultimate winner. I have changed my bracket so many times that I am sure I picked it right at one point, but maybe not the final version. Recent years have seen big underdogs advance to the final four and in many years teams that experts thought had no chance went far in the tournament.
So I will start with the a few thoughts about UMD. This year’s Bulldog team went 17 games without losing and during that time I don't think there was a team in the country that was better all around. Since then UMD has been just over .500, which team will show up Saturday? This year's team success in the tournament will come down to penalty kills. If they are good on the PK they will go far, if not they will be going home. Ever since Scott Sandelin took over UMD they have been a great underdog team and not as good of a team as the favorite. To me it seems that UMD will be able to get through Maine and then they will likely be the underdog and I think they will be win and keep playing.
AC: Hey, I might actually get some correct this year as Fiskness and my picks line up pretty well. I will take heat from friends and others over not picking UMD in the NE, but they have been so streaky this spring, I really don’t see them putting two games together.
As far as the Gophers, I was at the game against North Dakota and went to the press conference afterward. If those players can bounce back after those displays, I will be surprised. Players in the presser didn’t act or sound resilient at all and that was definitely what was observed in the game.