Sunday, March 31, 2013

WCHA Downs Carry Into NCAA

Six Teams Start, One WCHA Remains with Chance of Frozen Four

Six teams must mean a good conference right?  Doesn’t seem like that barely into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The six WCHA teams, five of which will be with other conferences next season, were put into three regionals.  The NCAA will not take the chance of an all WCHA Frozen Four this season, but it wouldn’t have even come close this season.

Three teams were out Friday: Minnesota Twin Cities, Wisconsin, and Denver.  The only WCHA winner Friday was North Dakota, but they too lost Saturday along with Minnesota State Mankato.

The only WCHA left standing is Saint Cloud State who will be playing today against Miami  for a trip to the Frozen Four.  The two teams will be playing together in the NCHC next season.

The way this column was headed when I sat down the first time was the believed lack of effort and care at the WCHA Final Five.  Top seeds went down playing lackluster games without a sense of urgency.  I was questioning if there was a reason to have conference tournaments if the teams didn’t come to play and play well.  It seemed to be rampant around the country.

In fact it was Don Lucia who flat out said Colorado College who took his Gophers out of the Final Five came out like they had something to play for, that they had no tomorrow if they lost.  But what about his team?  Didn’t the Holy Cross incident prove as a reminder?  I guess not.

But it wasn’t that the WCHA teams didn’t come out to play in the Final Five, it was that the teams just are not that good, at least at this point.  Hockey is a game that ebbs and flows, but that many teams playing poorly at the same time?  It would be highly unlikely which leaves one to think that it is a season of parody in the NCAA.

The only team left, Saint Cloud, is a team that was the most consistent in the league on their way to a share of the title and MacNaughton Cup.  What got The Huskies to a #4 seed is the very subpar 3-5-0 non-conference record. 

As of now, the Huskies are bettering their non-conference record and look to make their first trip to the Frozen Four with a win against Miami at 3:00pm CST.

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