Thursday, March 22, 2012

NCAA Hockey Preview: Midwest Region

These games will be played in Green Bay.

Friday 5:30pm
#2 Ferris State Bulldogs vs. #3 Denver Pioneers
The Bulldogs won the CCHA regular season title then were quickly knocked out of the CCHA tournament. Denver made a dramatic run in the WCHA tournament, winning the first round in overtime, the quarterfinals in OT, and the semifinals in double OT before losing the finals to North Dakota. Both these teams can score, so this should be a shootout. Ferris State is good but they were 4-5-1 against the other CCHA teams that made the NCAA tournament. And they lost in the CCHA quarterfinals. I'll take the team that grinded their way through multiple elimination games. Denver wins 5-3.

Friday 9:00pm - ESPNU
#1 Michigan Wolverines vs. #4 Cornell Big Red
As someone who went to school in Ithaca, and as a passionate hater of the University and state of Michigan, I would love to see Big Red triumph over blue and maize. However, I don't see this as possible. Michigan scored 3.25 goals per game this season. Cornell didn't allow many goals, but the ECAC was an offense-poor league. Cornell can score a bit, but Michigan has goalie Shawn Hunwick (Matt's little brother. Very little brother. He's 5' 7"), a Hobey Baker (college hockey's Heisman) finalist. Michigan wins 5-2.

That would give us a Denver/Michigan regional final. And I think Denver would struggle to score on Hunwick, and wouldn't be able to keep up with Michigan's scoring. Michigan wins 4-2.

The Midwest finals will be Saturday at 9:00pm on ESPNU.

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