Tuesday night was Prediction Night on The Pipeline Show as we went through all three CHL leagues as well as the NCAA National Tournament bracket with our no holds barred predictions. Joining us for each segment was another TPS regular who closely follows the league in question and not surprisingly, each of them contributed tidbits that we'd overlooked.
How'd we do? More importantly, do you agree with us? Click, find out and then let us know.
We began with the Q and Kevin Forbes from Hockey's Future basically agreed with us that this was Saint John's year. All of us feel that the Sea Dogs are going to be representing the QMJHL at the Memorial Cup but while Dean and I felt that their toughest competition along the way might be Montréal, Forbsey dropped another team name on us.
Forbes believes that Gatineau, depleted for much of the year by injuries but back to full strength and hotter than hell, it might be the Olympiques coming out of the 5th seed that gives Saint John the biggest run for their money.
We also discussed Lewiston vs Moncton in the first round but in the end we all felt that the Maineiacs would take out the Wildcats.
Our regular visit from Sam Cosentino was used to go through the Ontario Hockey League. Here is a breakdown of our picks:
Mississauga vs Belleville: Unanimous sweep for the Memorial Cup host St. Mike's Majors.
Ottawa vs Sudbury: We all took the 67's although as Sam pointed out, the Wolves can be counted on for playoff suprises.
Niagara vs Brampton: Sam suggested the Battalion would use their defensive system and challenge the IceDogs but lose in 6. Both Dean and I see Niagara winning in a short series.
Oshawa vs Kingston: A lot of discussion with this one. While we all chose Oshawa, Sam pointed out that the Frontenacs are a better team than their record over the last two months would indicate. With netminder Phillip Grubauer coming down with mono and choosing to return to Germany, Kingston has been in a tailspin ever since. Both Dean and I argued that Oshawa has better coaching.
Owen Sound vs London: Sam and Dean agreed that the Attack would prevail rather quickly although i argued that the experienced Hunters would have a trick or two up their sleeve and make it a bit more interesting but still lose.
Saginaw vs Guelph: Dean and I took the Spirit in this one based largely on netminder Mavric Parks. While Sam spoke highly of the job Guelph's coaching staff has done with the club, he eventually came around to our way of thinking and agreed that Saginaw would win a potentially long series. Sam thinks this will be the best series in the first round of the OHL playoffs.
Windsor vs Erie: We all agreed that the Otters, one of the hottest teams in the CHL right now, are poised to take out Windsor. Sam went so far as to suggest that they could potentially play giant killer through the OHL. Dean and I both acknowledged the experienced Spitfires will be tough but Sam pointed out that off ice issues will haunt the team during the first round.
Kitchener vs Plymouth: Sam suggested that Plymouth GM/Head coach Mike Velluci is underrated and his team will give the Rangers a lot of trouble. Dean and I picked the Rangers in 6 and Sam almost reluctantly agreed.
OHL Champions: We ended the segment picking the two teams we think will represent the OHL at the Memorial Cup. Obviously Mississauga is one as the host but to go with the Majors, Sam chose the Erie Otters... I held fast to my pre-season prediction and chose Kitchener but Dean went out on the limb and took Niagara to go in as OHL champs, predicting they'd beat Mississauga along the way.
The voice of the Edmonton Oil Kings, Corey Graham, joined us to go through the Western League...
Saskatoon vs Prince Albert: Dean and Corey feel that the Blades will steamroll the Raiders while I gave P.A. an upset win before bowing out. Simply too much fire power in Saskatoon for the Raiders to cope with.
Red Deer vs Edmonton: As you would expect, Corey chose the Oil Kings in a 7-game marathon. Dean and I both said the Rebels will win but that Edmonton would win at least one game, quite possibly two.
Medicine Hat vs Brandon: I was the only one who felt the #3 seeded Tigers would prevail over the red hot Wheat Kings. Corey and Dean took Brandon in a long series but felt their offence would offset a potential weakness in net.
Kootenay vs Moose Jaw: As Corey pointed out, these are two teams with a lot of similarities. We all took the Ice to win a close, multi-overtime series in 6 games.
Portland vs Everett: We all expected more from the Silvertips this year but think they'll need stellar netminding and more offence to beat the Winterhawks. We unanimously chose Portland to win the series.
Kelowna vs Prince George: Corey and I took the Rockets based largely on the play of goalie Adam Brown but also because of the late season slide of the Cougars. Dean looked at the way PG avoided the US Division in the first round and feels it's the perfect draw for them and that guys like Brett Connolly and Martin Marincin will get back to form and win in 6.
Spokane vs Chilliwack: We all took the Chiefs in 4-6 games, Corey suggested that home ice would be a major asset for Spokane throughout the post season. James Reid is a guy we all look to as being a difference maker.
Tri-City vs Vancouver: Another unanimous choice here as we all expect the Americans to slay the Giants. I pick Tri-City in 5 games which Corey agreed with but Dean insisted that Don Hay behind the bench was worth at least one game to Vancouver.
I took Portland to beat Spokane in the West while Saskatoon will beat Red Deer in the Eastern final. The Blades are my WHL champions.
Corey had Tri-City and Spokane in the West with the Chiefs winning there and again in the final over Saskatoon who he thinks will beat Kootenay in the Eastern final.
Dean predicted Spokane to beat Portland in the West but then losing to Saskatoon in the final after the Blades eliminated Red Deer.
Dean's Memorial Cup foursome: Saint John, Niagara, Mississauga and Saskatoon.
Guy's Memorial Cup foursome: Saint John, Kitchener, Mississauga and Saskatoon.
NCAA National Tournament
Brad Elliot Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald helped us go through our bracket for the NCAA tournament.
Yale vs Air Force: Dean and I opted for the Bulldogs in this one but Brad suggested Air Force would pull off the first round upset.
Duluth vs Union: All three of us think that Duluth will overpower the Dutchmen.
East Regional Winner: Brad and I believe that the Duluth Bulldgos will get to the Frozen Four while Dean, invoking karma law against me, thinks that Yale will be waiting for me in Minnesota and that I'll be force to eat a lot of crow.
Merrimack vs Notre Dame: Dean and Brad believe the Irish will prevail against Merrimack but I stuck with my pre-season dark horse and took the Warriors to move on.
Miami vs New Hampshire: The RedHawks were the consensus choice in this one based on depth and experience despite the fact that, as Brad pointed out, UNH will be playing at home.
Northeast Regional Winner: We all have Miami as the team that will get to Minnesota and the Frozen Four.
Boston College vs Colorado College: The defending champs were picked by all three of us as the team that will advance here.
Michigan vs Omaha-Nebraska: Dean and I chose the Wolverines but Brad suggested that Omaha would pull one over on their old CCHA opponent and get past Michigan.
West Regional Winner: Again, all three of us have Boston College getting to another Frozen Four this year.
Denver vs Western Michigan: The Pioneers appear to be too deep and too strong in all position for the Broncos and we all took DU to win in the first round.
North Dakota vs RPI: No one thinks the Engineers can survive a head to head game with the the Sioux although I took a second to praise RPI goalie Allan York. We all have UND advancing.
Midwest Regional Winner: Again, all three of us think another DU/UND collision could be epic, we all chose the Sioux to eventually win the Region and get to the Frozen Four.
Frozen Four and National Champs: Dean chose Yale to beat Miami, UND to overcome Boston College with the ECAC champions taking home the National Title in the end. YALE
Brad hedged his bet in the semi by saying Boston College will win but believing his reverse curse will help North Dakota. However, he has the Miami RedHawks finally claiming the National crown. MIAMI
I chose North Dakota as Nation Champs beating Miami in the final, BC and Duluth losing their Thursday games at the Frozen Four. NORTH DAKOTA
So now it's YOUR turn... tell us what your predictions are!
But if you want to hear the more more in-depth discussion on each series and match up, click the archive!