Minnesota State is heading back to Mankato today after their NCAA Midwest Regional loss to Miami on Saturday evening. I'm in Toledo until Sunday so will be working on some season wrap-up stories and posts and probably watching the St. Cloud State-Miami game.
I'm probably not the only one from south-central Minnesota State still hanging around. (Read my other Free Press stories on the MSU vs. Miami game here and here. ... More coverage from the Toledo Blade, including a photo gallery, and the Hamilton Journal-News.)
St. Cloud State remains the only WCHA team in the tournament after it started with six. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Denver were knocked out on Friday, and Minnesota State lost on Saturday. North Dakota also lost on Saturday after surviving their opening game against Niagara, UND melted down against Yale 4-1, allowing four goals in the final 7:35 of the third period.
So Yale and UMass-Lowell (a 2-0 winner over New Hampshire on Saturday) punched their tickets to the Frozen Four. Today will be St. Cloud State vs. Miami in Toledo and Quinnipiac vs. Union in Providence.
Quinnipiac, the tournament's overall No. 1 seed, overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period to defeat Canisius. Union demolished Boston College 5-1.
I wonder how the MSU guys feel about that Boston College result. BC was put in the Providence regional to try to boost ticket sales, which the committee can do, as long as it keeps 1 seeds vs. 4 seeds, 2 vs. 3, etc. However, going down the line 1 through 16, Boston College was sixth and Minnesota State was 11th, so they were the natural pairing. Instead, the Mavericks got the fifth overall team, Miami. I wonder if the Eagles would have been a better matchup. Then again, if Zach Lehrke's shot early in Saturday's game is a millimeter lower and goes in the net rather than off the crossbar, perhaps that game takes a turn.
Ifs and buts, right?