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#1 Minnesota vs. #4 Holy Cross

Nobody is expecting this to be much of a game, but the Crusaders of Holy Cross are a veteran team that could surprise some people.

The Crusaders are led by two seniors in Tyler McGregor and Pierre Napert-Frenette. McGregor's 50 points tied him for 11th in the country in scoring. In goal, the Crusaders have senior Tony Quesada who made a name for himself two years ago in the NCAA tournament by throwing up in the crease during his team's first round game against North Dakota.

Holy Cross' schedule this season was incredibly weak, as you'd expect from an Atlantic Hockey school, and was made even weaker thanks to disappointing seasons from non-conference opponents Ohio State, Massachusetts, and RPI. The Crusaders did knock off ECAC champ Dartmouth at Dartmouth in January, but that's about it in terms of quality wins.

For Minnesota, the biggest question is will they show up for this game. When the Gophers are motivated, they are better than almost any team in the country. But when they lack that motivation, they look like an average hockey team. There's no question that Minnesota has the fire power to blow Holy Cross out of the building, but if they're too focuses on their second round opponent, Holy Cross could make a game out of this.

I see this game as going one of two ways. Either the Gophers get a couple powerplays early and score to jump on top of Holy Cross and cruise to a blowout victory, or Holy Cross keeps the game tight throughout and the Gophers win it late in the game. Either way I think the Gophers advance. The first goal of the game will be critical in every game this weekend, but it will be especially so in this game. If Minnesota gets a lead, I don't see Holy Cross catching up, but if Holy Cross finds a way to get the first tally, it could be an interesting hockey game.