Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Final Five Starts Tomorrow

Two "Play-in" Games on St. Patrick's Day

The eve of the Final Five has me scrambling tying to get ready for the games, including a preview, albeit brief.

It is difficult to remember that UMD is declared in the NCAA Tournament, so says USCHO. Final Five is an excitement time, and the Bulldogs should keep honing their skill getting ready for the next tourney. At the same time, they can lose, rest and reload for next weekend. But let’s wait until at least Friday.

As much as wonks have said Sadelin is a coach who gets his team playoff ready, the same can be said for Serratore, coach for Bemidji State.

The bottom line of this game is UMD has the scorers and the depth to win this one. The Beavers have the defense and that is usually important this time of year. In case, the Bulldogs have too much experience and fire power and will win. And let’s not put overtime out of the picture here, it is very likely.

In the second game, a surging Anchorage team faces a resurrected Colorado College.

CC is resurrected because they took the best-of-three series against Wisconsin after losing the first game. CC’s feat is a highly unlikely scenario for the WCHA playoffs, but they did it. Does it give the Tigers a lift? No, it wears on them.

In juniors, playing multiple games a week is normal, but in college that is very rare. CC playing three last weekend and coming back on Thursday will sink them. Not to diminish the Seawolves who are on their own 5-0-0 streak. UAA win in the late game.

This will be an interesting Final Five with the new six team format and the absence of UMTC and UW. What we do know is the hockey will continue to be good.

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