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Two Bitter Minnesotans Preview the NCAA Hockey Tournament

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In a trend we’re accustomed to, four Big Ten teams entered the NCAA Hockey Tournament, and only one is left.

Bemidji fans cheer on their team during team introductions b
Welcome, wisconsin fans.
Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images

It’s a real shame they canceled the women’s hockey season. But we’re hearing no national champion was crowned in 2021! That’s a real bummer.

No need to interrogate it any further.

Men’s College Hockey Championships

Sorry we don’t have much for you in the way of fresh hukky content here—we miss you, InsertName—but if you like to see Minnesotans being smug about their state’s hockey and also want to laugh at the continued misfortunes of the Big Ten, here’s your tournament.

Long story short: Both Michigan and Notre Dame have been sent home on account of COVID testing, thus sending Minnesota-Duluth and Boston College, respectively, onto the Regional Finals in Albany and Fargo.

But we’ve also got some laughing to do at the Wisconsin Badgers (hooray!), as the #4 overall seeds were completely upended by the fifth-best team in Minnesota. The Bemidji State Beavers—and it’s stunning to read how many people are just learning that Bemidji, the birthplace of Paul Bunyan, is real—took it to wisconsin, forcing turnovers in the badgers’ end that led to three goals, including a hilarious shortie in which the badgers’ goalie misplayed a puck and gave the Beavers an easy goal.

Truly, one hates to see it. At least Cole Caufield scored a couple goals.

Saturday, March 27 Schedule

[2] St. Cloud State Huskies, an All-Around Good-Looking School vs. [3] Boston University Terriers

12pm | ESPNews
Albany Regional: Semifinal

The conversation in Albany is all over the potential Boston College-Boston University regional final, but overlook St. Cloud at your own peril. The Huskies made it to the final of a brutal NCHC Tournament—which, surprise, surprise, was also played on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks’ home ice!—and generally acquitted themselves well against a conference top four of UND, UMD, and UNO.

Shipping goals has been a problem for the red and black, though with no Western Michigan on the horizon—seriously, SCSU, how are you so fucking bad against the Broncos—and a pair of high-flying Finns in Krannila and Miettinen, here’s hoping.

WSR: **points at MNW** HUSKY BLOGGER!!! **clap clap clapclapclap** HUSKY BLOGGER!!!

Jan Brady State University should be fine against BU. They’re a pretty good team.

MNW: Honestly might be the meanest thing you’ve ever said to me.

[2] UMass Minutemen vs. [4] Bemidji State Beavers, the People’s Champions

4pm | ESPNU
Bridgeport Regional: Final

MNW: If you want to randomly insert yourself in this debate so as to run contrary to the rest of the Minnesotans assembled, you’ll root for the Beavers.

The Minutemen gave up an early goal to the Lake Superior State Lakers (a real place! I promise!), then put it on cruise control. You’d think they’d be favorites here, but the Beavers could clog up the ice and ride goalie Zach Driscoll to a Frozen Four appearance.

WSR: I was disappointed that Lake Superior State lost because they’ve got amazing uniforms and I really wish that more people would have gotten to see them. But they’re gone and Bemidji got hot and did American and the sport of hockey a favor so go Beavers!

[2] Mankato State Mavericks, the Pride of South Central Minnesota vs. [3] Quinnipiac Bobcats

4pm | ESPN3
Loveland Regional: Semifinal

MNW: Please give us a Minnesota-Minnesota State final, Mavs. That means you actually need to win a regional game. Do it for Sleepy Eye.

WSR: Go Cows. Or don’t. Whatever. I don’t care. The Gophers will beat whomever comes out of this game.

[1] North Dakota Fighting Hawks and Nazi Memorabilia Enthusiasts vs. [3] Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs

6:30pm | ESPNU
Fargo Regional: Final

MNW: I realize that this might seem like the game in which you’d want to root for a team, but don’t. Just take our word for this. You don’t.

Go meteor.

WSR: Hopefully it’s a meteor that really hates Polaris jackets.

[1] Minnesota Golden Gophers, Four-Time North Star College Cup Participants vs. [4] Omaha Mavericks

9pm | ESPNU
Loveland Regional: Semifinal

WSR: Did you know that Minnesota finally started playing hockey again? It’s been great! Bob Motzko’s done a great job of making Gopher hockey a bit wild and unpredictable at times, and I feel really good about this tournament.

Does it hurt that the team is 12-1-0 on the road and at neutral site games? Not at all. Let’s get out there and beat some mad cows today, then beat some more mad cows tomorrow.

Pick the Regional Winners

MNW: Let’s not pretend I’ve paid nearly enough attention to give anything more than a few educated guesses here.

  • Fargo Regional: The Fightin’ Nazi Memorabilia Enthusiasts, because of course.
  • Bridgeport Regional: UMass looked like a hot team; tough to pick against them.
  • Albany Regional: Unfortunately for me, it’ll be a Green Line Rivalry for the title—gimme the Eagles here.
  • Loveland Regional: I don’t know where Loveland is, and I won’t dignify this regional by learning. The choky nature of the Mavs and assuming it’ll all go wrong for the Gophers leaves me one option—Quinnipiac.

WSR: Wait, I’m supposed to watch college hockey other than the Gophers? Look, there isn’t college hockey other than the Gophers. Maybe Boston College, because they wear Maroon & Gold too. And now I need to make predictions?

  • Fargo Regional: It’s almost April, which means it’s time for North Dakota Not Fighting Sioux Yet We All Still Wear The Clothes to win a couple hockey games and get ready to force employees to celebrate that birthday on the 20th...
  • Bridgeport Regional: I think this is Bemidji’s to lose, but it should be a crazy game regardless. Look away, goalie fans.
  • Albany Regional: BC. Because of the alliance, and because you can’t count on St. Cloud State in a tournament.
  • Loveland Regional: Roll damn Gophers. This is feeling like it could be our year again which means that we’ll lose this weekend in excruciating manner, because I’ve seen that goddamn movie far too many times.

Here’s your open thread for some college hockey, if you want. Or use the basketball open thread that we’ll post in a little bit here. See if we care.