Despite splitting at home with Bemidji State on the final weekend of the regular season, Minnesota State stayed at No. 16 in the newest USCHO rankings released on Monday. Ranking the final five teams is no easy task, and I say that as a voter, and also as one whose list, while independent, probably more closely resembles the Pairwise Rankings. In other words, I don't have MSU (24th in the PWR) in my top 20.
Anyway, those rankings are the least of the Mavericks' concerns going into the postseason. The likely have to win the WCHA tournament to get into the national tournament, which, you'll be able to read in my Tuesday morning column (link to come), they certainly have the experience to do, given how integral so many players on the current roster were on the last two Broadmoor Trophy victories and the run up to those titles.
The first task is getting by Lake Superior State, which MSU will play on Friday, Saturday and (if necessary) Sunday in Mankato. Winner goes to the Final Five the following week in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Other first-round matchups include: Alaska at No. 13 Michigan Tech, Bemidji State at Bowling Green and Northern Michigan at Ferris State.
Who you got?