Midwest Regional Capsules | Green Bay, Wis.
Saturday, March 25
2:30 p.m. ET: No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 Bemidji
5:30 p.m. ET: No. 2 Cornell vs. No. 3 Colorado
Sunday, March 26
5 p.m. ET: Regional Final
1 SEED WISCONSIN BADGERS
Record: 26-10-3 (17-8-3 WCHA, tied for
Qualified: At-large bid
NCAA Championships: Five (1973, 1977, 1981,
NCAA Appearance: 21st (most recent, 2005)
Head Coach: Mike Eaves
Key Players: Joe Pavelski, F, So. (39 GP,
20-30—50); Robbie Earl, F, Jr. (38 GP, 21-25—46);
Brian Elliott, G, Jr. (23-5-3, 1.70, .933); Tom Gilbert,
D, Sr. (39 GP, 11-18—29)
What You Need to Know: Remember the last
time the Badgers were the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament?
That was back in 2000, when Steve Reinprecht, Dany Heatley,
Graham Melanson and the rest of the Badger crew needed just
one win to advance to their first Frozen Four since 1992.
Alas, Bucky was drubbed by Boston College, 4-1, in the West
Regional final at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis.
How They'll Advance: Wisconsin has the
opportunity to win a national title without leaving the
state. Badger fans are known to travel – wait 'til
you see them support their team this close to home. A loud
crowd isn't always enough, but that plus the best goalie
in the country (Brian Elliott) certainly could be.
What Might Trip Them Up: North Dakota was
effective in silencing Robbie Earl in the WCHA semifinals
with physical play, and if other teams can follow suit,
it spells trouble for Wisconsin. As good as the Earl-Joe
Pavelski combination has been, the Badgers don't have the
depth offensively to overcome their absence from the scoresheet.
Recent Wisconsin Line Chart
and Earl have combined for 41 goals, or 30.8 percent
of the Badgers' total.
is among the best two-way defensemen in the college
2 SEED CORNELL BIG RED
Record: 21-8-4 (13-6-3 ECACHL, third)
Qualified: At-large berth
NCAA Championships: Two (1967, 1970)
NCAA Appearance: 16th (most recent, 2005)
Head Coach: Mike Schafer
Key Players: Dave McKee, G, Jr. (21-8-4,
2.16, .904); Matt Moulson, F, Sr. (33 GP, 17-19—36);
Ryan O’Byrne, D, Sr. (26 GP, 7-5—12); Byron
Bitz, F, Jr. (33 GP, 10-18—28)
What You Need to Know: Cornell has not
been anywhere near as dominant as they were last year, but
is very capable of winning a game or two in this tournament.
The Big Red have been inconsistent, but when they’re
on, they’re dangerous.
How They'll Advance: Dave McKee might need
to steal a game for the Big Red as they lack the offensive
talent of past teams, if you can believe that. The power
play needs to come through with goal production, a unit
that features four NHL draft picks.
What Might Trip Them Up: The Big Red have
put themselves in bad situations in recent games with untimely
and undisciplined penalties. Staying out of the box will
be important for Cornell.
Recent Cornell Line Chart
may move onto a line with Moulson and Bitz if Cornell
needs a goal.
was a first-round NHL pick, but has struggled at times.
3 SEED COLORADO COLLEGE TIGERS
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Record: 24-15-2 (15-11-2 WCHA, tied for fourth)
Qualified: At-large bid
NCAA Championships: Two (1950, 1957)
NCAA Appearance: 18th (most recent, 2005)
Head Coach: Scott Owens
Key Players: Brett Sterling, F, Sr. (40
GP, 31-23—54); Marty Sertich, F, Sr. (41 GP, 14-34—48);
Brian Salcido, D, Jr. (41 GP, 7-32—39) ; Joey Crabb,
F, Sr. (41 GP, 18-25—43)
What You Need to Know: Colorado College
fans remember fondly the last time Milwaukee hosted the
Frozen Four. The Tigers, seeded fifth in the six-team East
Regional in 1997, topped fourth-seed New Hampshire and top
seed Clarkson en route to its second straight Frozen Four
appearance. Don Lucia’s Tigers lost to eventual national
champion North Dakota in the semifinals.
How They'll Advance: This is a much different
cast than the CC team that advanced to the Frozen Four in
Columbus last season, but the keys are the same –
Sterling and Sertich. And though the duo hasn’t matched
its offensive totals from a year ago, they’re still
as dangerous a tandem as one will find in the tourney field.
Freshman Chad Rau has quietly had an outstanding rookie
campaign. The Tigers thrive on the power play; if their
opponents can’t stay out of the penalty box, CC will
make ‘em pay.
What Might Trip Them Up: The Tigers, who
are a pedestrian 7-9-1 since Jan. 1, aren’t as good
defensively as they were last year. In fact, outside of
junior Brian Salcido, a terrific power-play quarterback,
it’s a pretty suspect group. Goaltending is also an
issue. Matt Zaba is a serviceable netminder, but he’s
yet to prove that he’s the kind of guy who can steal
a game for his team.
Recent Colorado College Line Chart
fret if you want to see Sertich and Sterling work their
magic together: they're still on the top PP unit.
has 14 goals and 69 points in the past two seasons.
4 SEED BEMIDJI STATE BEAVERS
Record: 20-13-3 (12-7-1 CHA, second)
Qualified: CHA Tournament champion
NCAA Championships: None
NCAA Appearance: Second (most recent, 2005)
Head Coach: Tom Serratore
Key Players: Luke Erickson, F, Jr. (36
GP, 16-19—35); Ryan Miller, F, Jr. (32 GP, 17-12—29);
Rob Sirianni, F, Jr. (31 GP, 16-13—29); Andrew Martens,
D, Sr. (36 GP, 5-19—24)
What You Need to Know: The College Hockey
America tournament champions, Bemidji State returns to the
tournament for a second straight season after scaring eventual
champion Denver last year. The Beavers took the Pioneers
to overtime before losing; now they are back with another
shot at an NCAA win (while Denver is home).
How They'll Advance: Goaltending is the
key to any upset bid, and Bemidji State has a pair of good
ones: junior Layne Sedevie and sophomore Matt Climie. They've
also got a potentially explosive offense that averaged 3.47
goals per game (sixth in the nation), a must against the
defensive-minded Badgers. Bemidji will benefit from the
experience that comes from a difficult schedule that included
six games against WCHA opponents (4-2-0).
What Might Trip Them Up: The Beavers, who
tied for second in the CHA in the regular season, don't
have the top-to-bottom talent level to match up with Wisconsin.
And if it turns into a goaltending battle, the Badgers also
have the edge there.
Recent Bemidji State Line Chart
first line is clearly the best, but there's balance:
the top four goal scorers occupy three lines.
played vs. Denver last year, but Sedevie has started
four straight games.