The greatest time of the year is finally here for college hockey fans, conference playoffs and the NCAAs. This year playoffs results, like past years, will have big implications in the Pairwise Rankings and NCAA playoffs seedings. Thankfully for Bulldogs fans UMD is a near lock to make the NCAAs.
The NCHC first round playoff matchups are very good and I think they will be some upsets. From top to bottom the conference is so close that any team could step up and make a run. I particularly like Colorado College and Nebraska Omaha as potential first round upsets. The Mavericks power play is so potent that if they get hot they could easily propel them for a trip to St. Paul. Like wise, the Tigers have developed some high ends players who if matched with some good defense and goal tending also have what it takes to get the upset. It should be some great hockey over St. Patrick's weekend in St. Paul.
#RV Western Michigan @ #8 Minnesota Duluth: The last time they played a couple weeks ago UMD won the two games with a combined score of 14-1. It will be different this weekend as the Broncos are healthier, but they won't be able to win two games at Amsoil. UMD wins in 3 games.
Miami @ #1 St. Cloud State: The Huskies have played like a #1 team recently and the Redhawks won't be able to change that, the Huskies sweep.
#13 Nebraska Omaha @ #14 North Dakota: Both the Fighting Hawks and the Mavericks are playing for an NCAA birth, winner likely goes and loser is done. I like the PP for the Mavericks to carry them to a playoff birth in three games even with their poor road record.
Colorado College @ #4 Denver: This years matchup is much closer than last years for these teams. My gut says the Tigers get the upset in three games, so I am going with it.