The NCAA Frozen Four ended in St. Paul on Saturday night in dramatic fashion as Minnesota-Duluth defeated Michigan 3-2 in overtime to win their first ever national championship. The title game was a fitting end to a Frozen Four that was exceptional both in terms of the venue and the games themselves. The NCAA should really think about putting St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center into a five year rotation to host the event. In terms of entertainment value and quality of play it far exceeded that other collegiate tournament where the quartet of remaining teams seeks to put a round ball through a hoop (and based on this year’s results, usually fails miserably at it).
We ran a special Fraters group this that allowed folks to pick their own Frozen Four bracket. Not one of these great hockey minds picked Duluth to win it all. There was a four way tie for first place between Reggie Dunlap, Pete Gj, exsanguine, and (sigh) the Nihilist in Golf Pants with 16 points each. Out of the 7120 total entries, player/coach Reg ranked #330 overall which gives him the tiebreaker. Congratulations sir.
Meanwhile, yours truly finished a disappointing 18th in our group as that much anticipated Yale-North Dakota championship game never came to fruition. But there is one solace that I can take: despite my pathetic finish I still bested Hugh “Ralphie” Hewitt who finished in a tie for the 21st position. The only entrant that Hugh finished in front of was Learned Foot who knows about as much about hockey as I do Marquette basketball. By picking Miami of Ohio to win the national championship, Hugh all but guaranteed their first round exit. It’s to know that in this topsy-turvy world some things still remain constant like the Hewitt sports curse.
The college hockey season ended in fine fashion. Thankfully, another hockey season is just beginning: the NHL playoffs start Wednesday. Anybody up for a little 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs Challenge? The Fraters league is forming today.