Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gophers Head to Grand Forks For WCHA First Round Playoffs

The Gophers will head to Grand Forks to start the WCHA first round playoffs next weekend. North Dakota's victory over Michigan Tech clinched at least fourth place, a position which was solidified once St. Cloud State and Minnesota State tied at St. Cloud. Therefore, SCSU clinches third place and will play either Alaska-Anchorage or Minnesota State (UMD and UAA play in Anchorage later tonight for the final spot UPDATE: MSU gets the eighth spot) and the Gophers will get the Sioux at the Ralph.

So, next weekend's first round matchups are as follows:
  • #10 Michigan Tech at #1 Denver
  • #9 Alaska-Anchorage at #2 Wisconsin
  • #8 Minnesota State at #3 St. Cloud State
  • #7 Minnesota at #4 North Dakota
  • #6 Colorado Collega at #5 UMD
We'll have much more on these matchups later in the week.

It's hard to see how this could have worked out worse for the Gophers. Grand Forks has been extremely unkind for the Gophers for many years and most followers would have given just about anything to stay away from that matchup. The teams last met in the first round playoffs in 2001-02 in Minneapolis, with the Gophers winning the series on a dramatic OT goal by Keith Ballard (after a stupid-ass penalty by Matt DeMarchi set up a late power play which led to the tying goal). The Gophers would go on to win the national title that season.

That ain't happening this season.

The final home game is Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis. The hockey team and basketball will honor its seniors within hours of each other. To say that each season was a complete disappointment would be a gross understatement.

UPDATE #2: The Gophers won the regular season finale 6-1 over Wisconsin to finish 17-17-2 overall and 12-14-2 in regular season WCHA play. Mike Carman came out of hiding and notched 2-2-4 for the Gophers and fellow senior Tony Lucia chipped in with 2-1-3. Jacob Cepis (1-1-2), Mike Hoeffel (0-2-2), and Cade Fairchild (0-2-2) had multi-point games and Alex Kangas picked up the win with 26 saves. Minny hit on five of eight power play opportunities.

The standings and PairWise have been updated below.

Elsewhere Around the League:

No comments:

Post a Comment