I have not had a chance to write on the Stanley Cup Finals, as I have been working on my current job search. But, we are now five games into this series. As I review the series to date, the home team has won every game. Nothing strange about this fact. But, in these first four games, it was odd to see the same score won by the same team in back to back games. Detroit, with a great start to the series, winning Game 1 and 2, 3-1. Pittsburgh, gaining momentum in the series at home, winning Game 3 and 4, 4-2.
Yet another change in momentum happened last night. This key shift was the return of Pavel Datsyuk. He provided the Red Wings the spark need to gain control in this series. Without this spark, I thought the Red Wings were sliding down the hill and losing control of the series. They played better on special teams. They were passing the puck much better. They were working as a team. In conclusion, Datsyuk play helped the Red Wings win convincingly 5-0.
What about the Penguins? They started very well and look to be able to win it. But, after the first three goals, they seem to lose interest in winning. The dumb penalties did help the Pens but rather helped the Red Wings get their power play going again. This is not good for them. The Pens will need to learn the lessons again to even the series.
So how will the Penguins respond on Tuesday? It is still looking to go seven games as I expected, but could last night play lead the Red Wings to reclaim the Cup again in 6 games this year?
Tonight is the beginning of the re-match of last year’s Stanley Cup between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. One difference from last year’s final is Marian Hossa and Ty Conklin are Red Wing players instead of a Penguin players. Will these players achieve their dream of raising the Cup with their new team?
In last round, I was 1-1 in my predictions. I have an overall record of 8-6. I believe that the Red Wings will win this series. But, if the Penguins play like they did in the Eastern Conference Finals, they have a great chance of accomplishing what the Edmonton Oilers did 25 years ago, win the cup after losing it in the prior year.
I am expecting this series to go seven games. So, that is why I am going with the Red Wings. They have home ice. With their defense healed and ready to go, I do believe that their veteran defensemen can stop the Pens top guns. This true as long as they remain healthy. I do foresee injuries playing a part in this series. If the Red Wings lose players on the blue line for more than two games in row, the Pens have a good chance to win the series. And a lot of Pens I know will be real happy to see the Cup back in Pittsburgh.
The NHL has announced the start time of Game 2, so the schedule has finalized as follows:
GAME 1: SAT. MAY 30, PIT @ DET, 8PM, NBC, CBC, RDS
GAME 2: SUN. MAY 31, PIT @ DET, 8PM, NBC, CBC, RDS
GAME 3: TUE JUN 2, DET @ PIT, 8PM, VS, CBC, RDS
GAME 4: THU JUN 4, DET @ PIT, 8PM, VS, CBC, RDS
*GAME 5: SAT. JUN 6, PIT @ DET, 8PM, NBC, CBC, RDS
*GAME 6: TUE JUN 9, DET @ PIT, 8PM, NBC, CBC, RDS*GAME 7: FRI. JUN 12, PIT @ DET, 8PM, NBC, CBC, RDS
Enjoy the series.
The NCAA 2009 Men Division I Frozen Four brackets were announced this morning on ESPN2 at 11:30 am. The rebroadcast of the selection show will be tonight at 11:30 PM or catch it on ESPN360. [ESPNU story | NCAA story] This year’s Number One seed is Boston University. A big surprise this year is the defending champion Boston College did not make the field. So, a new champion will be crowned. Here are the Number One seeds and their region location in order:
Boston University – Northeast
Norte Dame – Midwest
Denver – West
Michigan – East
From the ESPN story, here were the teams given automatic bids to the tournament:
The automatic bids for this year’s tournament went to the conference champions from Atlantic Hockey (Air Force), College Hockey America (Bemidji State), CCHA (Notre Dame), ECAC (Yale), Hockey East (BU) and the WCHA (Minnesota-Duluth). The Bulldogs from Duluth were the only tournament champion that didn’t double as a conference regular-season champion.
The Minnesota-Duluth team is on a hot streak as their goalie gave up only one goal in the five games of the WCHA championship tournament. It resulted in them landing a Number Two seed in the West. Although Boston College did not officially make it in the tournament, two new teams are making their first appearance, Northeastern and Yale. These teams will be bring some new excitement to the tournament.
From NCAA.com, here is a summary of the tournament schedule:
East Regional, March 27-28
Bridgeport Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Friday, March 27, 3 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 1 Michigan (29-11-0) vs. No. 4 Air Force (27-10-2)
Friday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 2 Yale (24-7-2) vs. No. 3 Vermont (20-11-5)
Saturday, March 28, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
East Regional Championship
West Regional, March 27-28
Mariucci Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Friday, March 27, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2 HD/ESPN360.com
No. 1 Denver (23-11-5) vs. No. 4 Miami (Ohio) (20-12-5)
Friday, March 27, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 2 Minnesota Duluth (21-12-8) vs. No. 3 Princeton (22-11-1)
Saturday, March 28, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
West Regional Championship
Midwest Regional, March 28-29
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Saturday, March 28, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
No. 2 Northeastern (25-11-4) vs. No. 3 Cornell (21-9-4)
Saturday, March 28, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Classic (TBD)/ESPN360.com (Live)
No. 1 Notre Dame (31-5-3) vs. No. 4 Bemidji State (18-15-1)
Sunday, March 29, 8 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
Midwest Regional Championship
Northeast Regional, March 28-29
Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire
Saturday, March 28, 2 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/ESPN360.com
No. 2 North Dakota (24-14-4) vs. No. 3 New Hampshire (19-12-5)
Saturday, March 28, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/ESPN360.com
No. 1 Boston University (31-6-4) vs. No. 4 Ohio State (23-14-4)
Sunday, March 29, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
Northeast Regional Championship
Men’s Frozen Four, April 9 and 11
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, April 9, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2 HD/ESPN360.com (order of games TBD)
Northeast Regional Champion vs. East Regional Champion
West Regional Champion vs. Midwest Regional Champion
Saturday, April 11, 7 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN HD/ESPN360.com
The full bracket can also be found here. As documented above, the schedule of games are to be broadcast on ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, and ESPN. Visit the ESPN schedule to watch your favorite team this weekend.
So, the road to the 2009 Frozen Four in Washington, DC official begin this weekend. Be sure to visit the official site of this year’s tournament.
They finally did it. After two unsuccessfully consecutive attempts, Boston College won the 2008 NCAA Division I Frozen Four championship game defeating this year’s Cinderella team, Notre Dame, 4-1. ESPNU story here. Video review of the game here and analysis of the BC win here. NCAA Story here.
It was a great game. At the start, it appeared that Notre Dame may control this game with the style they needed to play to win as the two teams battled to scoreless tie. But everything changed in the second period when BC scored and entered the second intermission with a 3-1 lead. The turning point of the game happened in the third period when Notre Dame’s apparent second goal of the game was disallowed for a kicking motion. I saw this goal and had original thought that too, but after seeing the replays it appeared to be a failed attempt to kick in by the Notre Dame player. But that was all for not as shortly later in the period, BC scored their fourth goal and sealed the game.
No doubt that Nathan Gerbe was the Most Outstanding Player of this tournament. His hat trick in the semi-final game against North Dakota and his two goals and two assists in the championship game propelled BC to their third championship. His efforts in the tournament landed him the nation’s leading goal scorer and point leader for the 2007-2008 campaign.
Congratulations to BC!
Photo: Courtesy of Larry Radloff at Inside College Hockey
Well, the results of the NCAA Division I Men Ice Hockey Frozen Four semi-finals were quite unexpected in one sense from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. So what if my picks all lost last night. No problem. It is what makes the college game exciting. Here is video review of the games.
Boston College used its speed to run past North Dakota, 6-1, in the opening game. I was expecting more from North Dakota, but Boston College played their game well. Too bad the BC goalie lost the shutout with about 3 minutes left. Check the story here. Game notes are here.
And in the late game, Notre Dame won a thriller over top seed Michigan, 5-4, in overtime. This game surprised me. Notre Dame jumped out to 3-0 first period lead and I thought it would be a repeat of the first semi-final game. But, Michigan came back from the 3-0 deficit as well as a 4-3 deficit in the third period to take it OT. I just wish that I could have stayed up to watch it. Here is the review of the winning goal. So, check the story here. Game notes are here.
The Boston College-Notre Dame match up in the championship game should be a good one. A BC team looking to win it after two unsuccessful consecutive tries and a Cinderella team hoping to win it all. Catch it this Saturday on ESPN. BC has to be the favorite to win it. They are on a roll.
You can watch all past games of the tournament via ESPN360 here. Click the watch link by the game you wish to replay.
Well, tonight the semi-finals of the NCAA Division I Men Ice Hockey Frozen Four will be played at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The updated schedule is available at ESPNU here. The games will broadcast live on ESPN2 at 6 PM and 9 PM ET. ESPN360.com will also broadcast them live as well.
Here are the pairings for the semi-final games:
North Dakota vs Boston College, 6 PM ET
Michigan vs Notre Dame, 9 PM ET
I am looking for a North Dakota – Michigan final on Saturday att 7PM ET on ESPN. But, Boston College, who are on a mission, may make the trip to the final game for the third straight year. We will see tonight.
The teams are set for the NCAA Division I Men Ice Hockey Frozen Four. The games are to be played April 10 and 12 in Denver, Colorado. The semi-finals to be broadcast on ESPN2 at 6 PM and 9 PM ET and the championship game on ESPN at 7 PM ET. Check schedule here.
Here are the pairings for the semi-final games:
Michigan vs Notre Dame
North Dakota vs Boston College
Update: 31 March 2008 4:35 PM ET:
Times have been announced for the semi-final games at ESPNU. Update schedule is here. North Dakota-Boston College will be the first semi-final game followed by the Michigan-Notre Dame semi-final game. ESPN360.com will also broadcast the games.