WCHA Playoff Preview
Because all four of our NCAA bound ECAC teams and three of the four CCHA teams bound for the NCAAs were off last weekend, I decided not to do a bracket this week.
Instead, let’s take a look at the WCHA. The WCHA has had a bit of a down year this year. It’s deep, but after the top 2 teams in the league, 3-9 are all about the same. It’s tough to envision a WCHA team making a serious run to the Frozen Four this year, but stranger things have happened
The favorite – North Dakota
The MacNaughton Cup winners were 9-10-1 after a December 28 loss to Michigan Tech in the GLI consolation game. They ended up 22-12-4 and won the WCHA title. It is a bit concerning that they have given up so many goals (101) on the season, but much of that can be attributed to the defensive corps not being at full strengh and Brad Eidsness struggling a bit. Since then Eidsness has been much better. He still struggles a bit with his rebound control, but he has improved as the season has gone on. The Sioux haven’t played fantastic against Michigan Tech this season, but should have no problems dispatching the Huskies.
The spoiler – Colorado College
The Tigers have had some ups and downs this season (like every WCHA team) but they have some impressive wins on the season. It’s tough to think they can win the tournament because they only have one series sweep this year, but if Richard Bachman gets hot, anything is possible. Bachman has been worse this year, with a .915 save percentage and a 2.58 GAA but he still has the talent to come up with a huge couple of weeks and get the Tigers into the NCAA Tournament.
The Pick – North Dakota
The Sioux are the best team in the WCHA this season, plain and simple. Any number of teams could win this thing, but I’ll go with the safe pick here and take North Dakota.