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NCAA Women's Hockey Tournament Bracket Announced

Matt Dewkett

Sunday saw the completion of the final three conference tournaments on the women's side, and the announcement of this year's bracket for the NCAA women's ice hockey tournament.

The eight-team tournament will feature four quarterfinal match-ups this coming weekend on the home ice of the high seed, with the winner earning a spot in the Frozen Four, held this year at the Whittemore Center in Durham, New Hampshire on March 18th and 20th.

Northeastern(PWR #6) at #1 Boston College(PWR #1-Hockey East champion)

Clarkson(PWR #5)  at #4 Quinnipiac(PWR #4-ECAC champion)

Princeton(PWR #7) at #3 Minnesota

Mercyhurst(PWR #13-Atlantic Hockey champion) at #2 Wisconsin(PWR #2-WCHA champion)

A few notes on the bracket:

-Boston College comes into this year's tournament a perfect 38-0-0. They're led by last year's, and more than likely this year's Patty Kazmaier award winner Alex Carpenter. That said, while the Eagles are undefeated, they've yet to be tested against the best schools in the west. Their only games against the WCHA was an early season home sweep over Minnesota Duluth.

-Minnesota and Wisconsin were the only two WCHA teams to make the field. The current set-up of the women's system(they use the same Pairwise system as the men), makes it extremely difficult for a third team to make the tournament with Minnesota and Wisconsin being so far ahead of the pack, and the lack of east-west non-conference games during the regular season.

-Speaking of Minnesota and Wisconsin, the two are likely to meet again for a sixth and final time in Durham. Wisconsin swept the first series in Madison. Minnesota swept the second series in Minneapolis after the return of Amanda Kessel. Wisconsin won this weekend's Final Faceoff title with a 1-0 win over the Gophers.

-If there was some controversy in the bracket as the NCAA tournament committee opting to switch #6 Northeastern and #7 Princeton, which allowed them to cut travel by keeping Northeastern in Boston in the first round, while Princeton has to go west to Minnesota.