NCAA Hockey

Frozen Four Preview and Open Game Thread

4/10/08 in NCAA Hockey   |   rootman54   |   respect

Four teams remain. Two of them meet for the third consecutive time in the semifinal round. The other two, bitter rivals playing in the same conference. Boston College vs. North Dakota. Notre Dame vs. Michigan.   The Frozen four is finally here.
This year, previewing the Frozen Four is none other than four of FanIQ’s finest. (In alphabetical order) MrNFL (Jordan), Nick S (Nick), RenegadeLG (Luke), and I bring you predictions and analysis on the semifinals and championship game. So without further delay, here is who will be crowned the 2008 NCAA Men’s Hockey Champion…or so we think.
 MrNFL (Jordan)
Semifinal 1: Boston College vs. North Dakota
These teams faced off early in the year, and tied 0-0. Both teams went to overtime in their last game. BC had almost as many ties and losses as they did wins. North Dakota has Lamoureux, who led the nation in GAA and save percentage. Goaltending often is the key, and although Muse (BC's goalie) is very good for a freshman; he's still a freshman. North Dakota wins 2-1
Semifinal 2: Notre Dame vs. Michigan
Michigan beat the Irish the two times they played before, and no one has really seemed to find a real answer for them. Can Notre Dame beat them in one game? Perhaps. Michigan's offense is hard to stop, and even if a tough Notre Dame D plays well and holds them to 2 or 3 goals, I'm not sure they'll be able to beat Sauer. I'll say Michigan wins 4-2.

National Championship Game: North Dakota vs. Michigan
The best offense in college hockey against the best defense and goaltending. You have to look at the weaker sides for both teams. Michigan still has a pretty good defense, and a very good goalie in Sauer. North Dakota has a solid offense, but I don't think it will be strong enough. The Wolverines win 3-2.
 Nick S (Nick)
Semifinal 1: Boston College vs. North Dakota
This has turned out to be one of the best rivalries in all of college hockey; they seem to meet every year in the NCAA tournament. They already met early tie year and to show how evenly matched these teams are the tied 0-0. They have met 3 straight years in the NCAA Tourney and BC leads the series 2-1, winning in 2006 and 2007. North Dakota has a great offense and a great goalie but they are a little short on the team defense. While Boston College has a ton of experience, making the National Championship the last two years, they have been very inconsistent. This great rivalry will be one of the best games of the year but the experience of Boston College will pull them through to the National Title game. Boston College 5-4

Semifinal 2: Notre Dame vs. Michigan
Wait, is this football??? Two football national powers meet up on the ice. WOW!! These two teams just have a great rivalry and have a good amount of hatred for each other. How will this game play out? Michigan is the best team in college hockey this year with great team speed, explosion, goal-tending and scoring but Notre Dame is very hot right now, riding the wave of being the first 4 seed in the Frozen Four. Notre Dame will put up a great fight but Michigan just has too much talent to be stopped. Michigan 3-2

National Championship Game: Boston College vs. Michigan Wolverines
Well, I don't know where to start. The best team in the nation vs. the team who has been to this game a few times in the past couple of years. These two teams met in the first game of the year with Michigan winning 4-3 in overtime but the last time these two teams met in frozen four, Boston College beat them 4-2 in 2001. Do I think the talent of Michigan will take over this game or will the experience of Boston College? The homer in me says to pick Boston College but the brain inside says take the talent. I will go with the talent of Michigan to knock of Boston College in the final for the third straight year. Michigan 2-1
 RenegadeLG (Luke)
Semifinal 1: Boston College vs. North Dakota
These teams have met seven times in the regular season since '03-'04 and BC holds a 4-2-1 series edge. Then there's the storied playoff showdowns. These two giants have now met six times during the same stretch, BC currently with a 3-2 edge. Needless to say, there will be no surprises when they clash again. BC has been plagued by injuries but they won't use that as an excuse. The entire team has jumped onto the shoulders of rookie G John Muse who has shown some serious stones in posting a .950 save percentage in six playoff games. Meanwhile, Jean-Philippe Lamoureux has been amazing in goal for North Dakota. They finished the season at a torrid 19-2-3, but none of this matters. BC has thwarted their last two bids at a National Championship. Will BC squeak by ND and attempt to lose their record third National Championship in a row? Or will the Fighting Sioux finally get that Maroon & Gold monkey off their back and get back to the Promised Land? It's going to be a helluva game. I'll go with ND to quell the run and gun style of BC and grind out a tough win.
North Dakota 3, Boston College 2
Semifinal 2: Notre Dame vs. Michigan
The Wolverines lost only five games. Five. That despite relying on eleven freshmen and only two seniors (Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik). Those two combined for 116 points and prevent match-up problems for all opponents, Notre Dame being no exception. Notre Dame has conversely 'limped into' the Frozen 4 if such a feat is possible. They were on fire out of the gates with a 16-4 record but have barely played plus .500 hockey since. Losing top scorer Erik Condra was an awful blow to this team, but they’ve rallied with the pieces they've got. It comes down to a juggernaut offense squaring up against a chippy bunch of blue-collar guys. I'd normally throw it all away and root for the underdog, especially with how Notre Dame has played when it counts most, but I'm way too impressed with Michigan's balanced attack. Number One moves on. Will be a great game, though.
Michigan 5, Notre Dame 3
National Championship Game: North Dakota vs. Michigan
The writing's on the wall for what I believe to be the most well rounded team to leave Denver as champs. That's North Dakota. Michigan's lack of experience fells them again, and MVP JPL pitches a shutout.
North Dakota 3, Michigan 0
rootman54 (Steve)
Semifinal 1: Boston College vs. North Dakota
For the third straight years, these two teams meet for a chance to go the national title game. Up front for BC, Hobey Baker Finalist junior Nathan Gerbe leads the team in points with 60. For North Dakota, another Hobey Baker Finalist, junior TJ Oshie. The one thing different this year- between the pipes, John Muse plays for Boston College now, a freshman. The thing that I find troubling with BC is how outplayed they were by Miami(OH) in overtime last game. Muse kept them in it, but North Dakota is a much better team. In the end, I think North Dakota’s Jean-Philippe Lamoureux plays stellar and better than John Muse.
North Dakota 2, Boston College 1
Semifinal 2: Notre Dame vs. Michigan
Michigan had four goals at the beginning of the year. Win the Great Lakes Invitational, check. Win the CCHA regular season, check. Win the CCHA Playoffs, check. Win a National Title, well; they’re almost there. These two teams have already met twice this season, with Michigan coming back from two down to win 3-2, and then a 5-1 spanking the next night. I was at the 5-1 game at the Palace of Auburn hills and Notre Dame in no way looked like the team that beat Michigan in the CCHA Championship game last year. Michigan’s team speed was faster and goaltender Billy Sauer has lowered his goals against average by over a goal this year. They may have 11 freshmen, but to them it is just going to another game against a conference rival. Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik will combine for six points, Michigan Wins.
Michigan 4, Notre Dame 2
National Championship Game: North Dakota vs. Michigan
North Dakota has scored fewer goals this season, but they have allowed fewer as well, and play in the toughest conference in college hockey. North Dakota has outscored their opponents by 51 goals on the year, but Michigan has outscored opponents by 82 goals, quite an amount for having the same number of games played. Jean-Philippe Lamoureux may have another great game, but Billy Sauer has the ability to play just as well. Team speed wins it in this game, and Michigan has more of it. Kevin Porter will cap off his Hobey Baker season with another big game, the final of his career.
Michigan 3, North Dakota 1
If you haven’t already, make your predictions now!
The games get underway tonight at 6pm EST
Semifinal 1: 6:00pm: Boston College vs. North Dakota
Semifinal 2: 9:30pm: Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Both games are live on ESPN2. Who do you think will win the National Title?


Be sure to thank MrNFL (Jordan), Nick S (Nick), and RenegadeLG (Luke) for their contributions! Thanks a lot guys!

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4/10/08   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

Well....boy momentum has shifted.

4/10/08   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

Hey it's Hogan!  I remember him, we beat him!

(As Thorne mentions Ferris State, which is the last time those words will be spoken on ESPN for at least 5 years.)

4/10/08   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

Holy Crap, Notre Dame scores fast again!  2-0.

4/10/08   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

Goal ND!!

4/9/08   |   Nick S

Hey Steve, here's a bigger and better picture of the one thats blurry: