Another exciting day of the NCAA tournament came and went yesterday, and two teams have already punched their tickets to the Frozen Four.
North Dakota won an overtime thriller over Ferris State to win the Midwest Regional and advance to Philadelphia, while Union was the first team to advance to the Frozen Four with a 3-1 afternoon win over Providence.
In other action yesterday, Boston College trounced Denver 6-2, Minnesota eventually prevailed over Robert Morris 7-3, UMass-Lowell beat a tough Minnesota state team 2-1, and St. Cloud State scored an overtime goal to cool off sizzling Notre Dame 4-3.
Conference Records through two days:
Atlantic Hockey: 0-1, (RMU loss to Minnesota)
Big Ten: 1-1 (North Dakota over Wisconsin, Minnesota over RMU), one game today (Minnesota vs St. Cloud State)
ECAC: 2-2 (Union over Vermont, Providence over Quinnipiac, Ferris State over Colgate, Union over Providence)
Hockey East: 3-3 (Providence over Quinnipiac, Union over Vermont, Providence loss to Union, BC over Denver, Lowell over Minnesota State, Notre Dame loss to St. Cloud State), one game today (BC vs Lowell)
NCHC: 3-1 (North Dakota over Vermont, North Dakota over Ferris State, Denver loss to BC, St. Cloud State over Notre Dame), one game today (St. Cloud State vs Minnesota)
WCHA: 1-2 (Ferris State over Colgate, Ferris State loss to North Dakota, Minnesota State loss to Lowell)
I did a little better yesterday in my predictions, going 4-2 to push my record to 5-5 so far. Only two games left in the regionals to predict today, and here they are. As usual, all times Central:
4:00 PM - Northeast Regional Final: (2) Boston College vs (7) UMass-Lowell, TV: ESPNU, Stream: WatchESPN - A game of two different styles. Boston College brings the nation's highest scoring offense to bear against All-World goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and UMass-Lowell's nation leading defense. Prior to last night's rout of Denver I might have picked Lowell in a tight one, but I think BC's high-octane offense will just be too much for the RiverHawks to handle. The winner of this one goes on to play Union in the Frozen Four. Prediction: BC wins 4-2
6:30 PM- West Regional Final: (1) Minnesota vs (9) St. Cloud State, TV: ESPNU, Stream: WatchESPN - Minnesota certainly didn't play their best in a 7-3 win over Robert Morris, but they did well enough to win. More importantly for a team that struggled scoring goals, they got on the scoresheet - a lot. St. Cloud State prevailed over Notre Dame in overtime, and although SCSU is a good team I think they're a good match-up for the Gophers - SCSU likes to play an uptempo offensive style that Minnesota will be more than willing to follow. When the two teams met earlier this year, the Gophers came away 4-1 victors. The winner of this game will face North Dakota in the National Semifinals. Prediction: Minnesota wins 5-3