An update of the CCHA Tournament Action of the First Round that took place last night. All of these were game 2 of the best of three series.
Lake Superior State eliminated Ohio State 3-2
Bowling Green defeated Northern Michigan 2-0
Alaska eliminated Michigan State 4-3 in Double Overtime
-This ends Rick Comley's career
So the matchups in the second round are still up in the air (besides the 4/5 series) depending on who wins tonight between NMU and BGSU...here are the scenarios:
If Northern Michigan wins tonight:
#1 U-M v #8 LSSU, #2 ND v #7 Alaska, #3 Miami v #6 NMU, #4 WMU v #5 FSU
If Bowling Green wins tonight:
#1 U-M v #11 BGSU, #2 ND v #8 LSSU, #3 Miami v #7 Alaska, #4 WMU v #5 FSU
It is obvious that you would want the 11 seed over the 8 seed, so I would root for BGSU to win tonight...but either way it is playoff hockey now and anything can happen. Michigan should take care of business against either team as long as they show up and play their game and not down to their opponent's level.
Current CCHA Playoff Scores....
LSSU 3 3rd Period 5:36 left
NMU 0 3rd Period 15:51 left
Alaska Face off at 7:05 AT
If this holds up, LSSU moves on and BG would force a game 3 on Sunday. An Alaska win would end MSU's season and see LSSU vs. Michigan next weekend.
As the title says, ND just lost to WMU 2-0 in their regular season finale, giving Michigan the opportunity to win the regular season CCHA championship. Michigan currently leads 4-0 with 5 min left.
From College Hockey News
Western College Hockey Blog has a good summary why this is not smart.
This change moved Michigan up from #6 to #5. Notre Dame is tied for 7th. Western is up to 10th (!), Miami at 16th, Alaska at 18th, OSU and Ferris are tied at 24th.
Basically, the ranking's Teams Under Consideration comparision has been expanded from the top 25 RPI teams to all teams with an above .500 RPI. To put that in perspective...Michigan State is now a TUC...wow.
It's 3:22 AM on a school night and for some odd reason I was struck with insomnia. I was also struck with the effort to put into words how the Big Ten Hockey Conference would be created and managed thanks to an impromptu logo designing session. Below is how I feel the BTHC should be constructed.
14 conference games total
4 games versus main rival Michigan State
4 games versus secondary rival Ohio State
2 games versus each Minn, Wisc, and PSU (6)
|Team||Rival 1||Rival 2|
|Michigan||Michigan State||Ohio State|
|Michigan State||Michigan||Ohio State|
|Ohio State||Michigan||Michigan State|
Obviously, the rivalry series are to maintain the rivalries between teams from the same former conference (CCHA or WCHA...with Penn State involuntarily thrown into the WCHA rivalries)
Top 2 seeds (via conference record) receive first-round byes.
#3 vs. #6 and #4 vs. #5 have a best of 3 series with the higher seed receiving home ice.
Teams re-seed after the first round, therefore the #1 seed plays lowest remaining seed, #2 seed plays highest remaining seed.
Second round is also a best of 3 series, with the higher seed in each matchup receiving home ice.
The Big Ten Championship round is best of 3, with the series played at Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI.
In order to help keep the CCHA/WCHA competitive and afloat, each Big Ten conference team will face a significant number of opponents from their former conferences. For Penn State, they could be free to schedule a lot of non-conference opponents from all over the country. Approximately 12 games could be devoted to former conference opponents.
14 conference games + 12 former conference games = 26, which leaves about 5-7 out-of-conference games to fill in.
For Michigan, their 12 former conference games will include all Michigan schools (WMU, Ferris, LSSU, NMU) along with Miami and ND. These can all either be home-and-homes or double homes and double aways with a rotation the following year.
Sample Conference Schedule: Michigan
Bolded dates are conference opponents
10/6/12 vs. USTDP-18 (exhibition)
10/7/12 vs. out-of-conference opp.
10/13/12 @ out-of-conference opp.
10/20/12 @ out-of-conference opp.
10/26/12 vs. Ferris State
10/27/12 @ Ferris State
11/2/12 @ Ohio State
11/3/12 vs. Ohio State
11/9/12 @ Notre Dame
11/10/12 vs. Notre Dame
11/16/12 @ Michigan State
11/17/12 @ Michigan State
College Hockey Showcase - Ann Arbor, MI
11/23/12 vs. out-of-conference opp.
11/24/12 vs. out-of conference opp.
11/30/12 vs. Northern Michigan
12/1/12 @ Northern Michigan
12/7/12 @ Penn State
12/8/12 vs. Penn State
12/14/12 vs. Ohio State
12/15/12 @ Ohio State
12/28/12 Great Lakes Invitational
12/29/12 Great Lakes Invitational
1/4/13 @ Minnesota
1/5/13 vs. Minnesota
1/11/13 vs. Miami (OH)
1/12/13 @ Miami (OH)
1/18/13 vs. Lake Superior
1/19/13 vs. Lake Superior
2/1/13 @ Wisconsin
2/2/13 vs. Wisconsin
2/8/13 vs. Michigan State
2/9/13 @ Michigan State
2/15/13 @ Western Michigan
2/16/13 @ Western Michigan
2/21/13 - 2/23/13 First Round of BTHC Playoffs
2/28/13 - 3/2/13 Second Round of BTHC Playoffs
3/7/13 - 3/9/13 BTHC Championship Round
This prediction of the BTHC may be obvious and not too challenging but I feel this is what may happen and I hope happens. Seeing as the Big Ten is all about inclusion, they may cycle the BTHChampionship round between different cities like Chicago (United Center), Detroit (JLA), Minnesota (XCel Energy Center) as well.
I would like to know your thoughts and your insights into the (inevitable) BTHC.
Bonus Graphic: Our current jerseys with the new B1G logo on the right shoulder
EDITS: Restructured Big Ten conference games, increased number of games vs. CCHA, edited potential Michigan schedule 3/6/11
Per an email from their PR dept, Guinness has certified the attendance results of the Big Chill at 85,451. This is terribly low compared to the announced attendance of 113,411.