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Category: College-Hockey

U Mass Wins Their First NCAA Championship

from College Hockey Inc,

Massachusetts, with an impressive championship game performance, captured the school’s first national championship Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The Minutemen’s convincing 5-0 win against St. Cloud State marked the culmination of an uncertain season in college hockey, one that was abbreviated and for many teams paused due to the pandemic.

Saturday, however, was a showcase of the sport, with UMass even close to full strength thanks to the return of goaltender Filip Lindberg and forward Carson Gicewicz from Covid-related quarantine. Lindberg was perfect, stopping all 25 shots he faced and setting an NCAA Tournament record with his fourth career shutout in the event.

UMass is only four years removed from a last-place finish in Hockey East and a 5-29-2 record in 2016-17, head coach Greg Carvel’s first with the program. This season’s team finishes 20-5-4, the fewest losses for an NCAA champion since 1993 (Maine, 40-1-2). Its 11-0-3 run to end the season is the longest unbeaten streak to end a season since Union in 2014 (16-0-1).

“I can't say a lot to describe it. The feeling's unbelievable,” said captain Jake Gaudet. “To be here four years, the guys that have come through this program and worked really hard, to wear a letter and help lead our team to the biggest national stage is one of my proudest achievements and it's something I'll never forget.”

continued

Below, watch the final minute of play and the celebration.

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The Frozen Four Starts Today

from Chris Peters of Hockey Sense,

Against all odds, the season is going to come to a relatively natural conclusion in the most unnatural of seasons (we expect). The semifinals for the 2021 Men’s Frozen Four are set for Thursday in Pittsburgh, with Minnesota State taking on St. Cloud State in the early game at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and UMass meeting two-time defending national champion Minnesota Duluth in the night cap with a 9 p.m. ET puck drop, also on ESPN2. The championship will be decided Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Thanks to the support of my paying subscribers, I’ll be in the building for the Men’s Frozen Four as I take my first out-of-town trip since starting this new venture. I plan to provide on-site coverage with analysis of each semifinal and the championship game. After that, it’s complete focus on the 2021 NHL Draft and tracking already-drafted prospects currently playing in junior, Europe and the AHL. My spring draft rankings are coming out this week, too. So, for those that have not yet signed up, if you’d like to support independent sports media and receive my instant, on-site Frozen Four coverage, draft rankings and more in your email inbox (or at least have access to read on the site), consider a subscription today. Thanks again to all of those who have already signed up, allowing me a chance to get to another Men’s Frozen Four.

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Previewing The Frozen Four

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

The field for the NCAA men's championship tournament has been set and though it will be hard to beat the drama of the women's final, I'm sure we'll see some awesome action once again.

This year's Frozen Four bracket was a little different, since the usual formula for determining the 16 teams was rendered impossible by the pandemic (you can't compare teams and opponents with almost no non-conference play, after all), so there was actually drama in terms of who got in. That drama was heightened when automatic bid St. Lawrence was forced to withdraw due to their coach contracting Covid-19, thus opening up a spot for another team.

This year's tournament takes place in Pittsburgh, with the semifinal on April 8 and the final on April 10. But before the Frozen Four is filled out, those teams will have to run through regionals in Fargo, Albany, Bridgeport and Loveland, Colorado. Here's a look at all 16 teams and what they bring to the table.

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The Road To The Frozen Four

INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee has selected the 16 teams that will be participating in the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.

The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. The regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination format.

BRACKET: View the 2021 DI men's hockey bracket

Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of the six conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at large.

North Dakota was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, include Boston College, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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

North Dakota was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, include Boston College, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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

Fargo Regional, March 26-27

Scheels Arena, Fargo, North Dakota

  • No. 2 Minnesota Duluth (14-10-2) vs. No. 3 Michigan (15-10-1)
    • Friday, March 26 | 4 p.m. ET | ESPNU/WatchESPN
  • No. 1 North Dakota (21-5-1) vs. No. 4 American Int’l (15-3-0)
  • Friday, March 26 | 9:30 p.m. ET | ESPN3/WatchESPN
  • Saturday, March 27 | 6:30 p.m. ET | ESPNU/WatchESPN
  • Fargo Regional Championship

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Report- Mike Babcock Headed Back To School As A Head Coach

added 2:44pm, Press release is below.

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Afternoon Line- Aaron Ward

"When I was in college and I was 17 and 18, I was sexually abused by a doctor who was at the University of Michigan who’s currently publicly under investigation," said Ward, later confirming Dr. Anderson's identity. "Listen, I was married 20 years and my ex-wife did not know that, not an ounce of that. But you come to a place of realizing that when you finally let go of these things and when you share with people, whether you deem them embarrassing, whether you can’t come to grips with the reality, if you take the chance and you verbalize it, you can quickly find out that people can either kind of relate to what you’re going through or they can just be there (for you).

"So as I admit that on radio, that I was sexually abused by a doctor in a professional environment at the University of Michigan and suppressed it forever, it is liberating as you drop these things from your conscience. I spent, since I was 17 years old when that happened, trying to figure out why I gambled since I was 17. That’s not the only reason, but it’s a contributing factor."

-Aaron Ward, former NHL player.  97.1 The Ticket has more on Ward who did an interviw with TSN 690 in Montreal.

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Travis Roy Has Passed Away

A week and 25 years after he was paralyzed while on his first shift as a Boston University hockey player, Travis Roy has died of complications from his paralysis. He never wanted to be a burden, and he never was.

from Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe,

As Oct. 20, the 25th anniversary of the hockey injury that left him paralyzed, approached, Travis Roy received some bad news.

He had to go in for surgery, for complications arising from his being a quadriplegic all those years.

But last month, shortly before the surgery, when we met for what would be the last time, at his Vermont home overlooking Lake Champlain, he didn’t want to talk about that.

He didn’t want people to worry about him. Not the paralyzed people and their families whom he had counseled and helped. Not the young hockey players, boys and girls, who had met and been inspired by him.

After so many years in a wheelchair, getting through and healing from such surgery posed many serious risks to his health. He wanted to engage in this fight with only his family and closest friends knowing of the threat it posed to his life.

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Challenges Facing College Hockey Players

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

Jack Rathbone put up 31 points in his 28 games as a sophomore defenseman for Harvard this past season, and the Crimson had every reason to be excited about him returning to campus in the fall.

All of that joy was swept away this past week when Rathbone, 21, opted to turn pro with Vancouver, the club that drafted him 95th overall in 2017. No telling if he sticks in Vancouver, but he certainly won’t be hanging around the Square anymore.

Don’t be surprised if more Division 1 programs suffer a talent drain in the coming weeks, with more schools and leagues undoubtedly delaying starts or potentially canceling seasons outright because of the pandemic.

It’s hard enough for teenagers and young twentysomethings to remain patient and delay signing bonuses and the start of their career paths to fame and fortune. Now a substantial number of them, if leagues pull the plug for 2020-21, are left to wonder how their games will develop if they are forced to miss a season.

more and other topics too...

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Morning Line- A College Hockey Player

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Morning Line- Mike Legg

“I had my life threatened. I had a bounty on my head. At the start of games, guys would come up to me and say, ‘If you’re going to try that tonight, we are bench-clearing-brawling you. Like, we will jump you.’ I’m like, ‘Oh okay, that’s nice to know.'”

“If somebody on the other team knew it was me that had scored that goal, somebody would definitely come out and have a little chat with me. ‘You try that in the game, you’re dead. I remember — I won’t mention any names, because it was a different time back then — but I remember I did it against one team and nothing really happened. And then the next time we went and played in their building, I knew a guy on the team and he gave me a heads up, he said, ‘If you try that in the game, whoever’s on the ice that doesn’t jump you after you attempt it — score or not score — they’re not getting paid this week.'”

-Mike Legg.  Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet has much more on and with Legg.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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