Minnesota Duluth became the first team ever from the Thursday-night play-in game to win the WCHA Final Five when it defeated Denver 4-0 Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Goaltender Alex Stalock was the tournament MVP, posting two shutouts and allowing just one goal.
Duluth gets the WCHA's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, the field of which will be announced at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning on ESPN2.
The most interesting thing about that will be who gets in between Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota, who are tied for 15th in the final Pairwise rankings. Based on head-to-head comparisions and RPI, the tiebreaking order is Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota. However, Minnesota is hosting a regional next weekend, something the committee adamantly said was not a factor a year ago when regional-host Wisconsin got in ahead of Minnesota State. Wisconsin was ahead of MSU in the Pairwise but had a losing record and a head-to-head comparison loss to the Mavericks.
UPDATE: The Pairwise experts out there agree that Ohio State will get in and Wisconsin and Minnesota will be out. You can read their thoughts on the subject here and here. While I tend to agree with them, I think this could be the year when the committee truly gets tested and will be curious to see the brackets come Sunday morning.