WCHA Aims for Record 36th National Championship Since 1951

By pbadmin

WCHA Press Release

MADISON, Wisc. – NCAA Div. 1 Men’s Ice Hockey Championship No. 1 overall seed University of Wisconsin, WCHA regular season and MacNaughton Cup champion University of Minnesota, Red Baron WCHA Final Five and Broadmoor Trophy champion University of North Dakota, and Colorado College carry the collective hopes of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association into this weekend’s West and Midwest Regionals, as the league shoots for its record 36th national championship overall since 1951 and fifth consecutive.

Coach Mike Eaves’ Badgers (26-10-3), who are also the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional in Green Bay, enter the tournament with five wins in their past six games and a 6-1-0 non-conference mark in 2005-06. Coach Don Lucia’s Golden Gophers (27-8-5), who are the No. 1 seed at the West Regional in Grand Forks, enter the tournament with a 13-2-1 record since Jan. 14 and a 5-1-2 non-conference mark. Coach Dave Hakstol’s Fighting Sioux (27-15-1), who are the No. 2 seed and host of the West Regional, have won their last four straight, are 9-2-0 since Jan. 28, and 7-2-1 in non-conference play. And coach Scott Owens’ Tigers (24-15-2), who are the No. 3 seed in the Midwest, are 7-4-1 since Feb. 3 and sport a 8-2-0 non-conference mark.

Outside the WCHA this season, Wisconsin has non-conference wins over St. Lawrence (3-2 on Oct. 7), Michigan State (3-1 on Nov. 25), Michigan (3-2 on Nov. 26), Western Michigan (4-1 on Dec. 30), Northern Michigan (5-1 on Dec. 31), and Ohio State (4-2 on Feb. 11). The Badgers are also 10-3-1 vs teams in the NCAA tournament field. Minnesota has non-conference victories over Michigan (6-3 on Nov. 25), Union (8-0 on Dec. 29), Umass-Lowell (5-4 on Dec. 30), Niagara (5-2 on Jan. 6 and 7-1 on Jan. 7), and a tie against Michigan State (2-2 on Nov. 26). The Golden Gophers are 8-4-1 vs the rest of the NCAA tourney field. North Dakota has non-conference wins over Miami (3-0 on Oct. 8), Northeastern (6-0 on Oct. 14 and 2-1 on Oct. 15), New Hampshire (3-2 on Oct. 21), Bemidji State (2-1 on Dec. 16 and 5-1 on Dec. 17), Harvard (3-2 on Dec. 30), and a tie against New Hampshire (3-3 on Oct. 22). The Sioux are 8-8-1 vs teams in the national tournament. Colorado College has non-conference victories over Union (6-1 on Oct. 7), Maine (3-2 ot on Oct. 8), Ohio State (1-0 on Oct. 15), Notre Dame (3-1 on Oct. 21), Air Force (6-3 on Oct. 22), Boston University (6-5 ot on Nov. 26), and Michigan (6-1 on Dec. 29), Michigan State (6-3 on Dec. 30). The Tigers are 5-6-1 vs teams in the NCAA tourney field.

Minnesota, North Dakota and Colorado College were three of the four WCHA teams that made up the first-ever Frozen Four field from one conference a year ago in Columbus, Ohio, with a fourth WCHA team, Denver, capturing the 2005 national championship. Denver also claimed the NCAA crown in 2004, Minnesota won in 2003 and 2002, and North Dakota won in 2000 and 1997, giving the WCHA six national championships in the past nine seasons and five of the past six.

The dates, sites, times and pairings of this year’s national championship are as follows:

West Regional • Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, ND

March 24:

No. 1 Minnesota (27-8-5) vs No. 4 Holy Cross (26-9-2), 5:30 pm CT

No. 2 North Dakota (27-15-1) vs. No. 3 Michigan (21-14-5), 8:30 pm CT

March 25:

West Regional Championship, 8:00 pm CT

Northeast Regional • DCU Center, Worcester, MA

March 24:

No. 1 Boston U. (25-9-4) vs No. 4 Nebraska-Omaha (20-14-6), 4:00 pm ET

No. 2 Miami (Ohio) (26-8-4) vs No. 3 Boston College (23-12-3), 7:00 pm ET

March 25:

Northeast Regional Championship, 6:00 pm ET

East Regional • Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY

March 25:

No. 1 Michigan State (24-11-8) vs No. 4 New Hampshire (20-12-7), 12 ET

No. 2 Harvard (21-11-2) vs No. 3 Maine (26-11-2), 3:00 pm ET

March 26:

East Regional Championship, 2:00 pm ET

Midwest Regional • Resch Center, Green Bay, WI

March 25:

No. 1 Wisconsin (26-10-3) vs No. 4 Bemidji State (20-13-3), 1:30 pm CT

No. 2 Cornell (20-8-4) vs No. 3 Colorado College (24-15-2), 4:30 pm CT

March 26:

Midwest Regional Championship, 4:00 pm CT

NCAA Championship • Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

April 6:

National Semi-Final #1, 2:00 pm CT

National Semi-Final #2, 7:00 pm CT

April 8:

National Championship Game, 6:00 pm CT

ESPN, Inc. will air all 15 tournament games live. ESPN will produce the 12 regional games and syndicate each game for interested local cable systems, regional sports networks and selected over-the-air stations. In addition, ESPNU will air more than 20 hours of coverage over the weekend. The 12 regional games will not air on ESPN or ESPN2 but rather an “ESPN Syndication” television platform or ESPNU, which is available on DirecTV channel 609.

ESPN2 will broadcast the semifinal games. ESPN will televise the national championship game. For a complete clearance list, log onto www.NCAAsports.com, click broadcast info, then click TV schedule.