Friday, March 23, 2012

A quick look at the regionals... Goon's Pontifications….

I was asked to provide my picks for this weekend’s regionals. I will take a look at the Frozen Four next weekend after all of the dust settles on the tourney.

Last weekend I went a perfect 5-0 and picked the Red Baron WCHA Final Five to a “T” but every dog has its day right. I don’t see that happening this weekend, because along the way stuff happens and picks get blown up, teams win that you don’t expect to win.

Northeast Regional

(1) Boston College
(4) Air Force
(2) MN-Duluth
(3) Maine

In the Northeast Regional; this is the region of death for the 2012 NCAA regionals. I also want to say, sorry Bulldog fans, I don’t see anyone beating Boston College this weekend; they are one of the best teams that I have seen play this season. That being said, I am willing to be proved wrong and would relish watching B.C. Eagles lose.

The Eagles are the fourth ranked defense and they are going to be hard to get past. Patrick Milner has been decent in goal for the Eagles and I also believe that Bulldogs senior goalie Kenny Reiter is the weak link on the Bulldogs hockey team. I thought that the UMD Bulldogs looked fast up front through the forward lines in the five games that I saw them play this season but I think goaltending and defense for the Bulldogs are going to have to be flawless to beat the Eagles.

I also think the Boston College Eagles are "probably" the best team in college hockey right now. The Boston College Eagles also come into the Northeast Regional on a roll, as they have won 15 games in a row.

West Regional

(2) Minnesota
(3) Boston University
(4) Western Michigan
(1) North Dakota

I am picking North Dakota to win the West Regional, big shock right? I am also still waiting for Dave from the Minneapolis Metro area to congratulate me for picking “the whole” WCHA Final Five correctly. Dave is the Gophers fan that called me a homer because I picked North Dakota to win the Red Barron WCHA Final Five. Hum!!! I guess I am wrong for not drinking the Gophers Kool-Aide. I have to give the Minnesota Gophers credit; they did play well for 31 minutes in last Friday’s game before the Sioux buried them.

Personally, I never bet against a team that is coached by Dave Hakstol. That being said, I also think that this is a pick-em regional and a bit of a crap shoot and anything could happen in this regional, nothing would surprise me one bit.

I also wouldn’t be surprised one bit if BU and WMU played for the regional championship Sunday. After reading the chat that Roman Augustoviz, (the beat writer for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune), had on his blog yesterday I found it funny that Gophers fans were looking past Boston University. I guess they don’t see any way that the Terriers beat them.

Trivia courtesy of Roman, UND Head Coach Dave Hakstol is 5-4 against the Gophers in the NCAA and WCHA playoffs.

2004: Gophers beat North Dakota 5-4 in Final Five championship game ... both advanced to NCAAs

2005: North Dakota beats Gophers 4-2 in Final Five championship game and 4-2 in Frozen Four semifinals in Columbus, Ohio ... Gophers' season over

2007 Gophers beat North Dakota 3-2 in overtime in Final Five championship game, but lose 2-3 in overtime in West Regional final in Denver ... Gophers' season over

2010: North Dakota beats Gophers 6-0, 2-4, 4-1 in first round of the WCHA playoffs ... Gophers' season over

East Regional

(1) Union
(4) Michigan State
(2) Miami
(3) Mass.-Lowell

I am probably going to get a bit of heat from Joe “Gladdy” Gladziszewski from Inside College Hockey, but this season will be no different than the others past, there is another ECAC team that is a number one seed. There will be another number one seed from the ECAC eliminated by the end of the weekend. Sorry, but I don’t see anyone getting past the Miami University RedHawks in this regional. The Miami RedHawks have righted the ship after a rough start at the beginning of the season. The Miami RedHawks have won 9/10 games since being swept by the Michigan Wolverines back on February 4th, 2012.

Midwest Regional

(2) Ferris State
(3) Denver
(4) Cornell
(1) Michigan

I believe that this is Michigan’s regional to win. Having watched Michigan play in a few games on national television this season and after watching them sweep Miami earlier this season I am convinced they’re the second best team in the NCAA Field. That being said, nothing would please me more than watching the Michigan Wolverines lose but also watching Shawn Hunwick get lit up in the Midwest Regional Denver or Ferris State.