Minnesota kicks ass, takes names

So in my last college hockey post, I was pretty sure UMN had shit the bed, and were all but finished in the WCHA playoffs. I certainly didn't expect them to make the championship game, as they had a pretty brutal record against fellow WCHA teams throughout the season.

But ... I was wrong. On Sunday, 03/16 they faced Minnesota State in game 3 of their playoff series, and won in double overtime, 3-2. That led to a 1 game playoff against St. Cloud State on Thursday, 03/20, which they also won 3-2 (no overtime needed). By beating St. Cloud State, UMN was forced to face Colorado College on Friday, 03/21 in the semifinal. By some magical Easter Miracle, UMN pulled off a 2-1 OT win, to place them in the WCHA final against Denver.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end (including UMN winning streaks). In the WCHA championship game on Saturday (03/22), attended by a whopping 17,907 fans, Minnesota lost a goaltender's battle (and the championship) 2-1. All three goals were scored in the 2nd period of a game that saw Alex Kangas making 32 saves for UMN, and Peter Mannino making 34 for Denver. Ryan Flynn got Minnesota's only goal to open the scoring, which was countered by Denver goals scored by Tyler Bozak and Tom May.

The Mens D1 NCAA tournament now starts, which sees Minnesota facing off against Boston College at 1930 EST on Saturday, 03/29. Minnesota is ranked #3 (of 4) in their bracket (the Northeast Region), with games being played in Worcester, Mass. Besides UMN and BC, the Northeast bracket also includes #1 Miami, and #4 Air Force. Expect Minnesota to be relying on Kangas to continue to play exceptionally, and for the team to ride their strong momentum into these games.

UMN's record sits at 19-16-9 against all NCAA opponents this year.

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