Day 2 Reflections From WCHA Final Five

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota – WCHA FINAL FIVE LOGOAfter winning three consecutive Broadmoor Trophies in a row, UND saw their hopes of winning a fourth come crashing down when they lost in 4-3 overtime yesterday to the upstart Colorado College Tigers.

This isn’t how the UND hockey team had planned it, according to senior forward Danny Kristo.

“I have never felt like this before,” Kristo said. “Obviously we won the last three [Final Fives]. That was our goal coming in this year. Obviously, we wanted to four peat, or what not. You just go day-by-day. I thought we took about 20 minutes off there, between the second and third period and kind of got lulled to sleep, maybe we deserved to win the game, but we didn’t play to our potential, so at this time of the year you’re not going to win games. You can’t leave the game to a bounce of the puck.”

In college hockey, much like other sports, you have to have a short memory. UND Coach Dave Hakstol agreed, “Tough ending tonight, that’s our fate, we’ll regroup and get back to Grand Forks and work on our next project.”

No matter how you slice it, UND had a good season, however, UND is going to have to tighten it up defensively a little bit if they want to advance in the NCAA tourney. There have been times when UND’s been a bit shaky on defense, but most of their miscues appear to be ones that are easy to fix.

One area that I think they’re are lacking in; they need to have forwards that are going hard to the net and getting to the blue paint. More greasy goals and forwards getting to the greasy areas.

“We kind wanted to wear out their D; we found out that they weren’t the fastest, Tiger forward Rylan Schwartz said.

I found these comments by Tiger forward Rylan Schwartz to be interesting, but not shocking. The Tigers have given UND fits this season. UND has a record of 2-3 in five games against the Tigers this season.

Second half surge?

UND is a team that is traditionally known for its second half surges, this year has been a little different. This season, UND’s record before Christmas was 10-5-3 (.639) and so far, after Christmas UND’s record has been 11-7-4 (.590). UND has somewhere between 1-4 more games.

Badgers advance to the Championship game

Wisconsin wins 4-1, advances to the WCHA Final Five Championship game. What’s even more remarkable is that the Badger “were” averaging 2.55 goals per game coming into the tourney and have scored 11 goals in two games.

That’s not a typo.

In the last 10 games, the Badgers have scored 40 goals for an average of 4 goals per game. During the same time period, the Badgers have a 8-2-0 record.

Surging Badgers

After starting out the season 1-7-3 (.227), the Badgers have gone 20-5-4 (.758). That’s an impressive run in anyone’s book. The weird part is that it might not be enough for the Badgers to make the NCAA tourney. They might have to win the NCAA tourney to get in.

SCSU Huskies are not in the NCAA tourney yet

The SCSU Huskies are in dire straits and could end up missing the NCAA tourney, this goes back to their non-conference record. The Huskies are an NCAA bubble team and they don’t need there to be any more surprises this weekend in the other conference tourneys. The Huskies are going to be at home watching the results of the other conference tourneys that are taking place this weekend, and holding their breath.

When asked about his teams prospects for making the NCAA tourney, “Bubble Trouble, Saint Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko said.

Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine

 

 

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