NCHCSo, we are to believe that the National Collegiate Hockey Conference was built on entitlement, I find that statement interesting. So, only the Big Ten Hockey Conference was allowed to forward their interests. All others had to stand fast. Actually, if anything, the re-alignment allowed a team (UAH) to find a conference and this will allow for future expansion. I am not convinced that we're done moving teams around, just yet.
Colorado College: This would have to be one hell of a “second-half surge.”
Denver: Yeah, 5-3 sounds just about right for a Denver win at UMass. I very much buy that as a reasonable result.
Miami: Riley Barber as captain of the US World Junior team seems like a no-brainer. One of the few returners, and he's very, very good. Given the amount of ice time he's been eating up for the RedHawks this year, he might never come off the ice in Sweden.
Minnesota-Duluth: The reason Justin Crandall isn't a goalie, and instead is the best forward on UMD this season, is that after his brother Aaron and his dad Jeff both played that position, his mom said he couldn't.
Nebraska-Omaha: I guess that yes, it is fair to say Jake Guentzel and Josh Arbcibald have been "key contributors" for the Mavs this season, given that the latter is a point-a-game player and the former is third on the team in assists as a freshman.
North Dakota: Oh a kid from Grand Forks committed to UND? Seems like that was a slam dunk. They've only been recruiting him his whole life.
St. Cloud: The St. Cloud Times gives the Huskies an “A” for the first half, which they say is “grading on a curve.” No need for a curve, they're just one of the best teams in the country.
Western Michigan: Lawson Arena got a scoreboard upgrade over the summer because NCHC rules mandated it, but apparently any talk about a new arena any time soon is just wishful thinking. “Lawson looks very nice,” said WMU athletic director Kathy Beauregard, stretching things a little.
This seems not to have stopped the NCHC from trying to make itself more impressive, which is apparently the kind of thing we should have come to expect from a league built on entitlement more than anything else. When the Big Ten was announced, all the “prestige” programs, or whatever you want to call them, that were being left behind in the CCHA and WCHA simply decided that they couldn't be bothered slumming it against these other, lesser programs which were beneath their status and probably contempt, and thus was born the “National” Collegiate Hockey Conference, which is a curious name considering that on a geographical basis it ignores all the parts of the nation not between Ohio and Colorado.
That there was a fan vote to name the finals of the conference tournament is all good and well, and settling on the Frozen Faceoff (perhaps by design not more than a little evocative of “Frozen Four”) earlier this month, which beat out the NCHC Championship, is a little icky but not in the end that big of a deal.