Catching up on a few notes in the college hockey world:
- Notre Dame and Ohio State faced off in a first round CCHA playoff series and everyone was all "What are you doing here?" Notre Dame swept the series, and Ohio State's season ended on March 3rd, after starting 2012 as one of the top ranked teams in the Pairwise. It was a disappointing back half of the season for Ohio State, but they're still in the early phases of their rebuilding project, and any success this year was just a positive sign for the future. Mark Osiecki went on a nice recruiting run picking up two great players in Matthew Weis and Nick Magyar in February, and the Buckeyes should be a very strong program down the road.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, kept their season alive, but now have to travel to Ann Arbor and win a playoff series against Michigan. That's no easy feat, considering the Wolverines haven't lost a CCHA playoff series since 1989. To put that in perspective, just five current Notre Dame players were alive when that happened, and two of them were only a few days old.
-For the second straight year, 11th place Bowling Green traveled to Northern Michigan and pulled off a remarkable upset in a three-game series. They'll now travel to league champion Ferris State, who got some attention on the front page of the Detroit News today with this nice feature on the program. Despite the upset loss, Northern Michigan still has a chance at making the NCAA tournament. The tourney bubble looks like it is going to be made up almost entirely of CCHA teams this year.
-The final weekend of the WCHA regular season wasn't without a little craziness. St. Cloud took three points from Minnesota-Duluth, helping clinch the regular season title for Minnesota, and got a ton of help from both schools in Colorado to sneak into the final home ice playoff spot. Since I complained about them last week, I should also point out that playoff tickets at St. Cloud--where all profit goes to the WCHA, not the school--are a very reasonable $12 each.
-There are some marginally interesting WCHA playoff series this weekend. Alaska-Anchorage upset Minnesota at Mariucci last year, though this year Minnesota comes in as league champs, while UAA was by far the worst team in the WCHA this year. Bemidji picked up their first win against North Dakota earlier this season, and will now have to beat them two out of three in Grand Forks. And Michigan Tech will have to go back to Colorado Springs a week after being swept by the Tigers in order to make their first trip to the Final Five in a number of years.