(11) Bowling Green 2 @ (6) Northern Michigan 4
(11) Bowling Green 5 @ (6) Northern Michigan 3
(11) Bowling Green 4 @ (6) Northern Michigan 1
(10) Alaska Fairbanks 3 @ (7) Lake Superior State 4
(10) Alaska Fairbanks 0 @ (7) Lake Superior State 2
(9) Ohio State 0 @ (8) Notre Dame 2
(9) Ohio State 2 @ (8) Notre Dame 4
The only surprise from the first round was last place Bowling Green taking out Northern Michigan in three games, the second year in a row that Northern was knocked out in the first round by last placed BG. This especially hurts after three straight seasons of making the tournament semifinals.
It should also be noted that while not unexpected, the first round finished off the largest collapse in recent college hockey memory. On January 1,OhioStatewas 14-4-1, well in first place in the CCHA and the #2 team in the country. They closed out the season 1-11-4 to finish in ninth in the conference and put the final nail in any NCAA tournament hopes. No big event seemed to trigger the collapse, such as an injury, although to be fair no one predicted that OSU would be leading the conference and country at mid-season. What should have been an easy berth into the NCAA’s, and a potential 1 seed, evaporated with the New Year.
(8) Notre Dame @ (2) Michigan
(11) Bowling Green@ (1) Ferris State
(7) Lake Superior State @ (3) Western Michigan
(5) Michigan State @ (4) Miami
Despite getting a lower seeded team as a result, the BG upset likely hurt rather than helped Michigan in the second round. Although Notre Dame stumbled down the stretch to finish eighth in the conference, they remain a supremely talented and dangerous team whose only real weakness lies in goaltending. In fact, Michigan split with Notre Dame a month and a half ago, when of course the Irish goalie was uncharacteristically off the charts. It should be noted that that series was on the road, and Michigan has been excellent at home of late. While I do think Michigan will pull it out, I think the games will be close, and at least one will come down to the wire.
Michigan in 2
Ferris State in 2
Western Michigan in 3
Miami in 2