An absolutely crazy weekend in NCAA hockey has produced an impossible to predict Frozen Four where just a single #1 seed is still alive while a pair of #4 seeds will face off with a birth in the National Title at stake.
Tomorrow night we're going to be presenting a lengthy frozen four round table with a couple of NCAA gurus in DJ Powers (Hockey's future) and Paula Weston (USCHO.com) so I'm not going to preview the teams too much here. There is plenty of time to break everything down over the next ten days or so anyway.
For now, let's just take a second to reflect on the weekend that was.
A couple years ago Holy Cross pulled off a ridiculous upset over Minnesota, a stunning outcome that produced such a memorable call from the Crusaders broadcast that we used a snippet of it in our Season 3 show intro. Here's the big goal and the resulting jubilation:
This past weekend saw a number of upsets including a pair by Bemidji State who shocked everyone with a dominant performance against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and followed that up with a 4-1 win over Cornell.
"They clog it up pretty good, they don't give up any opportunities and then thry bury their chances when they get them," Cornell foward Riley Nash told The Pipeline Show on Monday. "I watched their game against Notre Dame and they totaly deserved to get that win."
The Beavers advance to the Frozen Four to take on another #4 seed in the Miami RedHawks who took out both Denver and then Minnesota-Duluth to reach the big stage. The RedHawks were a pretty good #4 seed though, they had been in the top 10 national polls for much of the year so i can't really say i'm stunned that they are still alive.
We know a lot about Boston university, they've been ranked #1 or #2 pretty much since Halloween. In the last month we've spoken with goalie Kieran Millan and defenceman Matt Gilroy on the show, I for one would be very surprised if they don't end up as the champs but if I've learned anything this week it's that predicting the NCAA right now is near impossible.
BU's semi-final opponents are the Catamounts of Vermont, the same program that produced Patrick Sharp, John Leclair and Martin St. Louis. Rob Madore has been very strong for Vermont, a team that has been hovering between 6-12 on the national polls this year. The fact that they are a Hockey East rival means they've got a lot of familiarity with BU and that might help them more than a non-conference team... of course, that could also work the other way around in BU's favor too.
TV coverage of the Frozen Four... last year it wasn't available up here but the year before I was able to watch Michigan State beat Boston College on the NHL Network (I think). I have not been able to find if these games will be shown north of the border so if anyone knows... please tell me.
Don't forget tomorrow night's Frozen Four round table on TPS, we'll kick that off at 8:00 PM Mountain time.