Frozen Four Preview And Picks

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Frozen Four Preview and Picks

Ferris State of Big Rapids, Mich., vs. Union College of Schenectady, N.Y., and Minnesota vs. Boston College.

The contrasts between these two matchups are like night and day. Underdogs on one side, powerhouse programs on the other. Union and Ferris St. are making their first Frozen Four appearances.

Minnesota and BC have been there 20-plus times. Defensive minded squads on one side, teams that can really put the puck in the net on the other.

Fans of the underdog have to love the Ferris vs. Union matchup. Union College is a tiny school in upstate New York with an enrollment of about 2,000. Union is one of the few Division 1 hockey programs that does not give athletic scholarships. A defensive minded team, they allow only 1.8 goals per game and have a great goalie in Troy Grosenick. On the scoring side, they’re led by 27-goal scorer Jeremy Welsh. The Dutchmen are the champions of the ECAC regular season and tournament.

Ferris State, winner of the CCHA regular season title, is a team without a superstar. A hard working, close checking team that scores about three goals a game and gives up about two. Ferris won a couple of 2-1 games in their regional, and you should expect a low scoring, close game here. Either of these teams will be somewhat overmatched against the Minnesota-BC winner, but we know what can happen in single game elimination. A bad bounce or a hot goalie can make the difference.

Our pick, yes as Michigan homers it will be Ferris.

On the other side we have the powerhouse programs. Boston College, the Hockey East regular season and tournament champ, has clearly been the best team in college hockey this year. They’ve been banging heads with Hockey East foes Boston U, Merrimack, Maine, and UMass-Lowell all season. And check out their non-conference schedule: Michigan St, UND, Denver, Notre Dame, Yale, Michigan, and they just smacked Duluth around 4-0 in the regional.

They have 7 players with 10-plus goals, led by Chris Kreider and Johnny Gaudreau. Goalie Parker Milner has a 1.70 goals against average with a .935 save percentage. With a 31-10-1 record and riding a 17-game winning streak, there’s really nothing negative to say about this outfit.

Regular season WCHA champions Minnesota, on paper, will have their hands full with BC. They played a much weaker non-conference schedule than the Eagles. The Gophers have given up 14 goals in their last four games, while BC has allowed only three. On the plus side, Minnesota has six players with 10-plus goals, led by Erik Haula, Kyle Rau, and Nick Bjugstad. They have a solid, if not great, goalie in Kent Patterson.

A very good matchup here, and as much as we would like to see a Gopher and Bulldog fight in the finals we have to pick the Eagles of Boston College.

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