Thursday, April 11, 2013

NCAA Frozen Four: Open line Thursday

Semifinal 1
UMass Lowell 28-10-2 vs. Yale 20-12-3
Semifinal 3:30 p.m. (CT) ESPN2 (209 DirecTV/144 Dish).
Semifinal 2
Quinnipiac 29-7-5 vs. St. Cloud State 25-15-1
Semifinal 7:00 p.m. (CT) ESPN2 (209 DirecTV/144 Dish).
The NCAA’s Frozen Four takes center stage at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Looking at the weather outside, you would think that it’s the middle of February and we should be gearing up for another weekend of college hockey and not the final two games of the season.
Like I have said numerous times, I don’t really know what to make of this season; it’s been hard to put a finger on it. There has really been no one team that was really dominate this year, except maybe for UMass Lowell after December 8th and there has been a lot of parity among the leagues.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say, that the other smaller schools in college hockey are catching up with the big name schools; it’s also getting harder to win a NCAA title.  
Looking at the Frozen Four field this season, there will be no traditional power house teams in Pittsburgh this year. In other words, there will be no teams named Boston College, Boston University, Denver, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Dakota or Wisconsin.
None of the current teams in the Frozen Four this year are what I would consider really big schools. In this year’s Frozen Four, you have a mix of two state schools and two private schools, Quinnipiac (private) 6,262 students, Saint Cloud State (state) 15,536 students, UMass Lowell (state) 11,729 Students, Yale (private) students 5,349.  
Yale and Quinnipiac’s campuses are separated by a distance of 10.7 miles.
There will be a new NCAA champion in 2013.
Who’s your pick for 2013? I am going with the UMass Lowell River Hawks. Back in the late 1980’s, when I lived in Massachusetts, I used to attend University of Lowell Chiefs games in the old Joe Tully Forum. Yes, UMass Lowell, then the University of Lowell, used to be called the Chiefs before they changed their name to the River Hawks in the early 1990’s.  
Good luck to all of the teams in this year’s Frozen Four.