Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Parity looks a little strange this year... DI women's ice hockey. Minnesota coach Laura Halldorson, whose team has won three national championships since 2000, noted recently that the growth of the women's intercollegiate game is a sign of increased parity. Unfortunately for her #9-ranked team, this means no trip to the national tournament this year.
Despite a rough end to their season, the Gophers probably deserved to make it into the 8-team tournament. (Part of the problem with women's ice hockey is its very small tournament; it only recently expanded to 8 teams.) It's true that the Gophers were ranked out of the top 8 at the end of the season but they play a much tougher conference than Boston College, who wound up 7 in the polls at season's end but lost in the first round of the Hockey East tournament (which, in my mind, should have dropped them to 8).
BC went on last weekend, in the first round of the tournament to upset 3# Dartmouth, who probably should have played Harvard who they beat soundly in the ECAC tournament.
Tournament organizers did some very interesting pairings to avoid intra-conference first round match-ups. Wisconsin should have played Minnesota-Duluth or BC but instead got Harvard who they narrowly beat after 4 overtimes.
This, in hindsight probably did not make Mercyhurst, #2, too happy as they were upset by Minnesota-Duluth who might have played Wisconsin if not for the no conference match-ups plan.
Anyway, my prediction is that Wisconsin will take it all again this year. I see them beating St. Lawrence and, on the other side, UM-D beating BC soundly.
Not sure who, if anyone (I won't even go there today), is covering the games for television, but webcasts can be accessed here.

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