Saturday WCHA Final Five Notebook

Thanks, but no thanks

When regular season champion North Dakota had their moment to skate with the MacNaughton Cup, the Sioux decided against touching the trophy.

After their 3-2 double overtime win over Denver in the Final Five title game, the Sioux did the same with the Broadmoor Trophy.

Why?

North Dakota has biggest goals in mind.

“There’s still business left, we’re looking forward to bigger and better,” senior defenseman Derek LaPoint said. “We decided as a senior class that we weren’t going to touch the trophies. We’re saving it for hopefully the biggest.”

No Minnesota, No Wisconsin, No Problem?

With the near certainty of the formation of Big Ten Hockey, the WCHA planned on using this weekend, which featured neither Minnesota nor Wisconsin, as a way of gauging what the future of the Final Five will look like.

Total attendance for the three-day tournament was 57,773, the smallest number of patrons at the event since 2000, when it was played at Minneapolis’ Target Center.

This poses some possible issues for the conference, which has held the Final Five at Xcel Energy Center the last decade because of the huge draw. Do they renew their contract with the arena, even if 5,000 or so seats are empty each night? If they move, what other facilities could host the event comfortably? What happens if the TV contract with FS North isn’t a possibility with the Gophers gone? These questions are among the many the WCHA will ponder over the next few months.

High Five

Now that all of the conference tournaments are over, the NCAA field is set. The WCHA will boast more entrants than any other conference – five.

North Dakota, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and Colorado College will all represent the WCHA beginning next weekend in the four regional tournaments.

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