Michigan Hockey: NCAA Hopes Down the Drain
Michigan had to count on all of the top seeds winning their conference tournaments OR have teams that were ahead of Michigan in the PWR (they dropped to 14 after the PSU loss) win their tournament to qualify. As luck would have it, upsets occurred in the NCHC (Denver won an auto-bid with their tourney win and would not have qualified otherwise) and North Dakota won a 3rd place consolation game over WMU to secure their spot over Michigan.
Had the Sioux lost, Michigan would have qualified. In the other conference tournaments, Union won the ECAC as expected over Colgate who also qualified as an at large; Robert Morris won the AHA and grabbed the 16th seed in the NCAA tourney; U-Mass Lowell beat UNH in the Hockey East final to grab an autobid and Minnesota State mildly upset Ferris State in the WCHA final- with Ferris still grabbing an at large spot. Michigan needed both Minnesota State and North Dakota to lose in their final tourney games.
After the Penn State win in the B1G Ten tournament, Ohio State defeated MSU in OT to advance. Penn State took Wisconsin to the 3rd period before succumbing, 2-1. The Buckeyes upset #1 Minnesota 3-1 to advance to the championship game, where Michigan also needed Wisconsin to win. The Badgers came back from a late 4-2 deficit to tie the game and won in OT to claim the first B1G Ten hockey tournament championship.
So, Michigan was actually the 15th team in the PWR when the dust settled but was trumped by upset winner Denver and North Dakota (who jumped to 14th with their consolation win.) Minnesota State would have made the tourney as an at-large also, pushing Michigan further down as the last team in had the Sioux lost.
West: (St. Paul)
Minnesota (host) -1 B1G Ten
Robert Morris-4 AHA
Notre Dame-3 HEA
Wisconsin-1 B1G Ten
North Dakota-4 NCHC
Ferris State-2 WCHA
Northeast (Worcester, Ma.)
Boston College-1 HEA
U-Mass Lowell -2 HEA
Minnesota State-3 WCHA
East (Bridgeport, Ct.)
– I want to apologize to senior back-up netminder Adam Janecyk who was left off my list off graduating seniors’ last article. Janecyk was honored by Coach Berenson in the final home game against Minnesota by being inserted for the last 1:33.
– Early departure threats: Look for would be senior Alex Guptill and would be sophomore JT Compher to possibly leave the program and enter the pro ranks. This is just conjecture on my part, with Guptill the most likely candidate. Compher led the team in points and Guptill finished fifth in points.
-Area of concern entering 2014-15: Michigan’s most likely area of concern- pending any early departure up front- is the blue line where the Wolverines lose Kevin Clare and Mac Bennett who were two starters this season. Michigan lost out on one of the top defensemen in the country who backed out of his commitment and left a huge recruiting hole. I am sure that the coaching staff is scrambling to bolster the returning unit that will include Kevin Lohan, Brennan Serville, Andrew Sinelli, Michael Downing, Nolan De Jong, Mike Chiasson, Mike Szuma and Spencer Hyman. It is probably going to be anchored by Sinelli, Downing, Lohan and Serville which, at this point, does not include a high caliber game changer.
Look to the forum for updates on the NCAA tournament and any roster changes that occur heading into next Fall.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — YostMeister
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