2011 WCHA Final Five

     Catching up on a few items as the NCAA tournament is almost here. The WCHA, looking at the addition of two teams in 2010-11 for a 12-team league, has revised its Final Five tournament. U.S. College Hockey had a story on the post-season changes Saturday and is posted below.

     Also, Western College Hockey reports that Alaska-Anchorage defenseman Lee Baldwin is officially a New York Ranger. He’s giving up his final three years of eligibility to sign.

     And from the Denver Post: Bad news out of the DU locker room today. Junior winger Anthony Maiani, who blocked a shot with his right index finger last week against North Dakota, will have surgery Tuesday to rebuild the ligaments and bones in the finger. If he doesn’t have surgery soon, he risks losing the bone and future use of the finger.

      And Minnesota Duluth played seven of the NCAA-tournament teams this season and had a 3-11-1 mark.

     From U.S. College Hockey on the 2011 Final Five:

The WCHA Final Five name will live on, but the 2011 tournament will be a six-team event.

The moniker notes the number of games in the tournament under the new format, which the league detailed Saturday.

With the addition of Bemidji State and Nebraska-Omaha next season, all 12 teams will take part in the postseason with six first-round series played on campus sites.

The six series winners will advance to the Final Five, with the top two remaining seeds getting a bye into Friday’s semifinals. The three through six seeds will play in Thursday games to pare the field to four for the weekend.

The third-place game will be eliminated.

“We are very excited to announce what we will feel will be a very positive evolution in the long and successful history of our WCHA Final Five beginning next season,” WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said in a statement. “A tremendous amount of work has gone into this process and numerous ideas and concepts were discussed. But ultimately our goal was to preserve the tremendously popular event we have now, continue to build on that success and add a couple of intriguing new twists.”

The Saturday championship game will be preceded by a Minnesota Wild NHL game during the afternoon.

McLeod said at a news conference Saturday that the league will continue its “Minnesota Rule,” which puts Minnesota in the late game on Thursday and Friday when it is alive in the tournament.

The league also unveiled a new version of the Broadmoor Trophy, which is presented to the Final Five champion. The new trophy is a bronze cast likeness of the Broadmoor Hotel, which hosted the early years of the NCAA championship and Colorado College hockey.

“The development of a new Broadmoor Trophy has been in works for a couple of years,” McLeod said. “We have been working closely with Steve Bartlett of the Broadmoor Hotel and Bill and Karen Busobusky of Blue Ribbon Trophies & Awards and could not be more pleased with how the project has come to fruition. Our MacNaughton Cup, which goes to our regular season champion, has long been recognized as one of the most impressive trophies in all of intercollegiate athletics and we know that this spectacular new Broadmoor Trophy will take a back seat to none. We are greatly indebted to the Broadmoor Hotel and want to recognize their long and significant relationship with the WCHA and college hockey in general.”

Three new trophies have been made — one stays with the winning team for a year, one will be on permanent display at the Xcel Energy Center and one will be a traveling trophy.

6 thoughts on “2011 WCHA Final Five

  1. “Minnesota Duluth played seven of the NCAA-tournament teams this season and had a 3-11-1 mark.’
    Clearly our Dogs had no business going to the tourney. They need to step up this program to compete against good teams and sweep bad teams.

  2. Going 3-11-1 against NCAA tournament teams makes it clear that the dogs are more like puppies. 2 factors keep UMD from being a NCAA tournament caliber team (without relying on winning the F5.) First they have to win non-conference games, they are so important for their rankings. Second they have to sweep or at least take 75% of the points when playing bottom feeder teams like Tech and likely Alabama-Hunstville next year.

    Either Sandy is a poor coach (very likely) or this team is just that dumb and fails to realize how important it is to play 100% for 60 minutes each game!

  3. 1. Alabama-Huntsville isn’t on UMD’s schedule next year. Nice try.

    2. UMD’s non-league record this year — not counting the WCHA playoffs, which count as non-conference games — was 4-4. That’s not acceptable, and the coaches know it. They know how this works, because they were set to benefit from non-league play before they won the Final Five last year. They were 6-1-1 in non-conference games.

    (They were seventh place in the regular season, and still likely would have made the NCAAs without the Final Five win.)

    The year before that, they were 4-1-1 in non-conference games, and were in play for an NCAA Tournament spot despite finishing eighth in the league.

    This wasn’t a good year for non-league games, but that’s not been the norm for this program lately, and I wouldn’t expect it to continue.

    3. They could have swept UAA at the end and won all four games from Michigan Tech and probably still missed the tournament. It still largely came down to the loss to Vermont costing them more than anything.

  4. UMD needs to improve its non-conference schedule…I rather see them lose to BC, BU, Mich St, Miami than win against Western Mich, Lake St, RIT or even American Int’l.

  5. You realize it takes two to tango, right? It’s hard to fill the non-con with big-time opponents because games and dates are very limited, and they usually don’t have any interest in playing you unless you’re either consistently horrible or consistently good.

    UMD is neither, unfortunately, and until they are one or the other they won’t be able to easily get the likes of BC, BU, or Michigan to fill the schedule.

  6. Actually its better to play weaker teams with 1 or 2 good teams mixed in than playing all good teams. With the strength of the WCHA schedule the most important thing in non conference is to get wins. Next year the dogs need to go 5-0 against Clarkson, LSSU and Providence and if they go 1-1 against UND (DECC opener) and NMU they should be okay if they take care of business in the WCHA. As far as coaching if this team is not in the NCAA tourney next year there needs to be a coaching change.

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