After a CCHA championship that will be talked about for years that resulted in Minnesota State scoring, having their trophy presentation, having the goal disallowed, taking the ice an hour and twelve minutes after they’d vacated the ice, only to win the CCHA playoff again, us here at Tech Hockey Guide have concocted our final bracket. Without further ado, here is our final prediction:
- Michigan Tech
This regional was about as straightforward as it gets in terms of bracket integrity. Some team from the east has to be thrown out to the West regional and UMass-Lowell drew the short straw. We’ll find out for sure during tomorrow’s selection show, but we fully expect to see our fellow Tech faithful in Colorado as the Huskies take on the Bulldogs of UMD on Thursday.
- Western Michigan
Worcester is about as good as it’s going to get attendance wise with UMass and Northeastern in the building. As far as higher ranked teams go, WMU and the Gophers may have gotten a bit of a raw deal with their placement, but this regional seems to make the most sense both for attendance and bracket integrity.
- Minnesota State
- St. Cloud State
This is the first regional in which we’ve run into some issues with rules. By perfect bracket integrity, North Dakota and St. Cloud should be playing each other as a 2 and 3 seed in the same regional. Alas, there is an NCAA rule stipulating that conference foes cannot meet in the opening round of the national tournament. The easiest way to circumvent this was to split these two up, as well as splitting up North Dakota from Quinnipiac.
- North Dakota
- Notre Dame
- American International
The rationale here isn’t too much different than the logic used above. Aside from the aforementioned, while there aren’t a whole lot of local or close schools to this regional, Allentown will get the benefit of having some well-traveling fanbases in Michigan and North Dakota. They will also benefit from the nationwide swath of Notre Dame fans. To round out the table, AIC’s travel isn’t all that horrible.
This year’s bracket at the end wasn’t too terrible to draw up. There wasn’t a lot of liberty to be taken outside of the the North Dakota-St. Cloud split, which consequently moved Quinnipiac.
On the Michigan Tech side of things, while some adjustments for the Huskies are certainly in order, especially after their undoing by Bemidji State in conference playoffs, there is much to celebrate as well. This is the first time under the tenure of head coach Joe Shawhan that the Huskies have secured home ice for conference playoffs. Also, this is the most comfortably that Michigan Tech has qualified for the tournament in recent memory.
Now, the real work begins. The road to bring another National Championship back to Houghton certainly will not be easy and the Huskies have been placed in a rather difficult bracket. It’s time to find out what this team is made of. Pack your shoes Huskies, were going dancing!