Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Goon's Frozen Four review

Much like Sioux7 my brackets for the NCAA Hockey Tourney were totally busted as I got only one out of four brackets right, usually I am able to pick two of the four correctly.

Just for the record, my Frozen Four brackets included Michigan, Miami, Boston College and North Dakota.

I confess as a college hockey fan I am not all that excited with this season’s Frozen Four field, to be honest with you it bores me. This Frozen Four could end up being as bad as the 2010 Frozen Four that was at Four Field where Boston College ran through the field like a hot knife through butter. I could see the same thing happening again this season.

Unfortunately, the two best teams are in the same bracket and the attractive match-up is Minnesota and Boston College; other than that, nothing really jumps out at me in this season’s Frozen Four. In one bracket we have what I would consider a snooze feast between Union College and Ferris State, and there are others that agree with me.

Game time for the first game between Union College (26-7-7) and Ferris State (25-11-5) is 3:30 p.m. Central Standard Time Thursday.  The game is on ESPNU (DirecTV208 and Dish Network148) 

My prediction is that the Ferris State University Bulldogs, who are lead by head hockey coach Bob Daniels, who incidentally was awarded the 2012 Spencer Penrose Award, will end Union’s magical season in a boring non-eventful game if you’re still awake by the end of the game you will see Ferris State win in a trap feast 2-1 game.

Both teams Union and Ferris State have never been in the Frozen Four so one of these two teams is going to make the championship game of the Frozen Four for the first time in their team’s history. 

Fun and interesting facts about Ferris State and Union: The Bulldogs and Dutchman's rosters contain  NO NHL Draft picks, there is not a single one on either team, that is almost unheard of in today’s college hockey world. Just for the record, Union college has , Boston College has 9 and Minnesota has 17 NHL draft Choices.  

In the evening title it’s the Boston College Eagles (31-10-1) vs. the Minnesota Golden Gophers (28-13-1) at 7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time Thursday. The game is on ESPN2 ( DirecTV and 209 Dish Network 144)

This season’s Frozen Four prohibitive favorite, Boston College is a team that has three solid forward lines that could be most teams first line on any team. The Gophers are also loaded through the forward lines as well. Here are the lines that both teams used in their last games.

Boston College Forward Lines 

Barry Almeida (22g-16—38pts) – Bill Arnold (17g-17a—34pts) – Steven Whitney (13g-22a—35pts)
Chris Kreider (22g-21a—41pts) – Kevin Hayes 6g-20a—26tps) – Destry Straight (3g-6a—9pts)
Johnn Gaudreau (20g-21a—41pts) – Pat Mullane (10g-26a—36pts) – Paul Carey (15g-12a—27pts) 

Minnesota Gophers Forward Lines

Kyle Rau (18g-25a—43pts) – Nick Bjugstad 25g-17a—42pts) – Zach Budish  (12g-23a—35)
Sam Warning (6g-9a—15pts) – Erik Haula (20g-28a—48pts) – Jake Hansen (15g-22a—37pts) 
Nate Condon (11g-19a—30tps) – Travis Boyd (1g-8-a—9pts) – Taylor Matson (8g-15a—23pts) 


Boston College goalie Parker Milner, 27-5-0, 1.70 goals against average and a .935 save percentage. It would be an understatement to say that Milner has been on fire as of late, during the Eagles' current 17-game winning streak, Milner has been flawless and sports a 17-0-0 record and an impressive 1.11 goals-against average with a mind popping .960 save percentage.

Minnesota goalie Kent Patterson, 28-13-1, 2.23 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. I have seen Gopher fans make the argument that Patterson has been the has been the MVP for the Golden Gophers.

As Sioux7 laid out in his blog post, both teams are similar statistically and I do expect that special teams will have a major factor in this game’s outcome.

Minnesota ranks
1st in team offense with a 3.67 avg/gm
8th in team defense with a 2.21 avg/gam
5th on the Power Play at 23.24% (43/185)
36th on the Penalty Kill at 81.0% (149/184)

Boston College ranks
6th in team offense with a 3.50 avg/gm
2nd in team defense with a 2.07 avg/gam
11th on the Power Play at 21.55% (39/181)
3rd on the Penalty Kill at 88.0% (162/184)

That being said, I am going to stick with my earlier prediction that made a week ago, I do expect to eat a little crow if my prediction is wrong.  That being said, I have seen a lot of good teams get absolutely steam rolled by the Boston College Eagles during the NCAA tourney.

 I also predict that the Boston College Eagles will win their programs fifth NCAA Title by a 6-3 score against the Ferris State Bulldogs.

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