College Hockey – 2023 NCAA Tournament Preview

Gambling Gophers Hockey NCAA

Mixed emotions are crashing in waves over the entirety of the College Hockey world. The downside is that we’re in the twilight of the season with only 16 of the 61* teams having remaining games in front of them. The final 15 games will be packed into two weekends “all over the country”. On the bright side, those remaining games are the most high-stakes and important of the entire season. Despite the disparity in rankings for some of the first round matchups, there is an intriguing storyline for every single game. Every one of these teams has fought to be here and earned the right to at least one more game. Expect nothing less than the most pure 98 octane fuel you’ve ever experienced and buckle up.

National Rankings Roundup

After having talked about how the top four seeds were locked in for the last month, I was finally proven to be right. That being said, we won’t discuss the “94% chance” that Denver would end up as the 3rd team. In the end, shuffling three and four had no impact on the bracket construction which is impressive with how much of a PR nightmare that ended up being in some regions. The only dark-horse that wasn’t inside the cut line last week is Colgate. After upsetting both Quinnipiac (2) and Harvard (7) in the ECAC tournament, they are officially dangerous despite a pairwise ranking of 28.

As always, rankings that deviate from the average (high or low) are highlighted for transparency.

March 20th – College Hockey – National Rankings Roundup

Note: The National Rankings RoundupTM weighs each of the ranking sources instead of treating them all as equal. This takes into account the credibility of source, potential committee influence, what data they utilize, evident bias, and amount of teams ranked.

The Cost of Doing Business

As good of a story as Colgate making the tournament is, it did come at a catastrophic cost. The national darling and underdog favorite Alaska was the last team cut from the at-large bids who were inside the top-16. The Nanooks were a victim of being an independent program without an automatic qualification bid available to them. A lot of people criticize their schedule, but they racked up 3 wins against teams inside the top-20 over the season, including Denver. That’s more than Cornell’s ONE top-20 win and just one less than both Quinnipiac and Harvard, all of which earned at-large spots. All of this to say that I feel for the boys in Alaska, who did everything in their power to earn a spot down the stretch.

Upon the completion of the season, here’s what we have for representatives from each conference making up the field of 16 for the NCAA Tournament:

  • Big 10: (4) Minnesota, Michigan, Penn State, & Ohio State
  • ECAC: (4) Quinnipiac, Harvard, Cornell, & Colgate
  • NCHC: (3) Denver, St Cloud, & Western Michigan
  • CCHA: (2) Michigan Tech & Minnesota State
  • Hockey East: (2) Boston University & Merrimack
  • Atlantic: (1) Canisius

College Hockey: West vs East

For those counting at home, that’s nine “western” schools making the tournament this year compared to seven from “the east”. Does anyone consider Penn State a “western” school? No, but they do belong to a “western” conference in College Hockey, so it is what it is. Why bother pointing that out? There’s no reason other than to brag for the west and complain about the regional tournament locations…AGAIN. Having three of these regionals located in the northeast part of the country is a ridiculous proposition that should have never been agreed to.

Where’s the Hockey at?

The idiots online will always scream, “that’s where there is a larger concentration of programs within the country”. While that’s true, I rightfully refer to them as idiots because they don’t give you the important information. The “eastern” schools (ECAC/Hockey East/Atlantic Hockey) have only had a majority representation in the national tournament ONE TIME (2016) in the last decade despite having 43% more teams (33 vs 23) than the “western” (Big10/NCHC/CCHA) conferences. If the committee REALLY wants to alleviate travel for the programs and make it easier for fans to attend the regionals like they claim…put the tournaments closer to where the best hockey is being played.

Where’s the GOOD Hockey at?

The haters counterpoint to that argument would be that you can’t rely on those same western programs to be good forever. Again, that’s true, but it has absolutely no weight when you look at attendance. Of the top 20 programs in terms of attendance, the top nine are all western programs. In fact, only six of those 20 come from the eastern conferences. Three of the top five (again all western programs) didn’t even make the national tournament and people still showed up for games all season! The losers, refusing to give up on their argument will throw out, “of course your attendance is better, you’ve got bigger facilities”. Again, while that is true it’s an empty line. Only ONE of the eastern programs’ six teams in this argument is able to surpass 80% capacity for their smaller facilities. Conversely, only two of the western programs’ THIRTEEN teams fails to reach that same mark for their larger buildings. Just put hockey where people actually prioritize it. ON THE CAMPUSES OF HOCKEY SCHOOLS.

2022/2023 DI College Hockey Attendance

Regional Site Selection

Before any of the keyboard warriors and apologists come after me about how the system works, save your time. I’m well aware that these sites have been pre-determined and it has to do with “growing the game” as well as capacity and broadcasting capabilities with ESPN’s (EXTREMELY LIMITED) involvement in the sport. All I’m saying is that it’s been borderline criminal for the last few seasons and I hate it, personally.

For the record, I’m fully in the camp of letting the #1 seeds in each bracket host their regional tournament. The (woefully poor) argument against would be, “a lot of programs don’t even have the capacity to host that type of tournament.” Anyone with a brain should reply with their own question of, “How many of the #1 seeds in the last decade can’t fit 3,000 people in their facility”. Their response will be, “Even 3,000 people is much too small” to which you should say, “I’d rather see every seat in a 3,000 person barn filled with fans than a couple hundred seats sold in an 8,000+ person arena”. You’d struggle to find a single college hockey player or staff member that disagrees…at least if you ask them off the record.

For what it’s worth, the catastrophe of clumping northeastern regionals appears to be over moving forward. Are any of these “Midwestern” regionals outside of Fargo considered “close” to the high-end programs that we’ve been talking about? Not really. However, with newer programs like Lindenwood trying to put their programs on the fast-track to growth, I can understand why they put in a bid and why it was accepted.

Future College Hockey Regional Sites

What Happened to Bracket Integrity in College Hockey

2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket (Pre-Committee Modification)

Placing the Top-Seeds

When the smoke cleared after the conference tournaments wrapped up, everyone on the planet knew the sixteen teams that would be playing in the national tournament. All that was left to do was build the brackets. Starting with the #1 seeds in order: Minnesota earned the right to the closest regional, Fargo. More on that in a minute. Quinnipiac was an obvious choice for Bridgeport as they’re less than an hour away door-to-door. With Michigan and Denver remaining and both teams having to fly to their regional anyways, it was a no-brainer having the Wolverines in Allentown since it was being hosted by another Big10 school. That left Denver going to Manchester. Easy choices across the board that everyone can agree on.

After that, you place all of the 4-seeds into the tournament with their corresponding 1-seed and the only issue is an inter-conference matchup between Colgate and Quinnipiac in the first round. This cannot happen according the NCAA rules. Quickly swapping the Raiders (15) with Merrimack (14) fixes the problem. At this point, half of the teams for the tournament are set and we can plug in the middle seeds. This is where things get tricky…for some.

Filling in The Rest

BU (5) and Western (12) are a perfect fit for Manchester. BU is the Hockey East champion and coincidentally fell into the tournament being hosted by a Hockey East team. Western Michigan, like Denver, was going to have to fly to any regional, so leaving them in New Hampshire was a non-issue.

Harvard (7) and Michigan Tech (10) were penciled into Bridgeport based on seeding alone. Another ECAC school in that regional makes too much sense and that was a lock. That left Minnesota State (11) vs St Cloud State (6) being with Michigan in Allentown and Penn State (8) vs Ohio State (9) in Fargo with Minnesota. That last matchup is where the chaos and outrage started.

Obviously Penn State has to move, and there’s two reasons behind that. They can’t have a matchup against another Big10 team in the first round, and they are guaranteed a spot in Allentown since they are hosting that tournament. Swapping them with St Cloud is the clear answer despite Harvard being the next-lowest ranked team among the two-seeds. This keeps Harvard closer to home and immediately puts Penn State in Allentown where they have to end up anyways. If this is where the changes stopped, I’m not sure there would be a single person outraged.

2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket Forecast: The Consensus Pick

The Final Straw

Instead of leaving well enough alone, this year’s committee decided to stick their fingers in and muck things up a bit more. They decided to spin the 3-seed carousel moving Ohio State to Bridgeport, which pushed Michigan Tech to Allentown, forcing Minnesota State into the Fargo regional with the other two Minnesota schools. Listen, as much as I went on an absolute CRUSADE online this week about the topic, I have to admit that I know what they were TRYING to accomplish. They preserved the true 6 vs 11 matchup between SCSU and MSU by shifting that whole series to Fargo AND eliminated airfare travel for one of the schools. They may have even justified it by stating that they brought in tougher competition when they swapped Penn State for SCSU, so they felt obligated to bring in a lower 3-seed. Aside from that, they accomplished absolutely NOTHING.

Minnesota’s Viewpoint

You see, Minnesota is comfortable with both Penn State and Ohio State. The Gophers were 6-2 against those teams this season and haven’t lost against either since November 10th. They’re just .500 against both of the teams that were brought in and needed overtime to earn their win against the Huskies earlier this season. There is also a lot of recent history about Minnesota State being a hard out. After ending the Gophers season in the national tournament the last two years in a row, you can see why. Add in the fact that two teams that weren’t even in the championship game of their conference tournament were moved out and two tournament champions were brought in. These are only a few of the reasons why the blood around the land of 10,000 lakes started to boil. The committee may have done the right thing “by the numbers” for the Gophers. That just goes to show their representative wasn’t loud enough. If you ask any of the fans, it’s just about the worst possible scenario for 2 and 3 seeds.

The Final 2023 NCAA College Hockey Bracket

Positives & Negatives

  • (+) Three of the four schools in Fargo are within driving distance and none of them are from the same conference.
  • (+) The Fargo regional is already sold out
  • (-) All of the tickets to Fargo had already been allocated or sold out for a week before any of the Minnesota teams were placed or had the opportunity to buy tickets to see their school play.
  • (-) Traditionally, the #1 overall seed is given the closest regional because it does provide a “proximity advantage” for their fans to give them more of a “home” atmosphere. This year, their regional is being hosted by a historical rival program whos fans have purchased the majority of tickets and will make their presence known by showing up as fans of whoever is playing against Minnesota.
  • —–This ^ is PART of the reason why I was suggesting that Minnesota may have preferred to follow Penn State to Allentown rather than accept the closest regional site in Fargo.

Non-Minny Points

  • (+) BU was the best team in Hockey East all season long and is in the regional hosted by a Hockey East team. No brainer.
  • (-) The Manchester regional is all but guaranteed to be the least-attended of any given regional as the hardest to get to and has only one team within driving distance.
  • (+) Quinnipiac and Harvard being assigned to Bridgeport should help ensure this regional has decent attendance as long as one of those two programs wins their opening matchup, although neither of them were drawing more than 3,000 people regularly throughout the season and this barn is only in the Bobcats’ back yard.
  • (-) Penn State winning their opening round matchup is the only hope for any attendance in the second game of the Allentown regional as Michigan is too focused on trying to be a football and basketball school to pay attention to their hockey team unless they make it to the Frozen Four and Michigan Tech fans have to make it back early on Sunday for their engineering homework.

Manchester, NH Regional – Host: UNH

Western Michigan (12) vs Boston University (5)
Thur, Mar 23 – 2:00PM ET – ESPN2

Broncos vs Terriers


23-14-1 – Record – 27-10-0
150.2 (12th) – SOS – 120.8 (20th)
23.8 – PP% – 20.4
75.9 – PK% – 80.4
50.8 – FO% – 49.1
1.515 – GF/GA – 1.480
.907 – SV% – .912

Vibes: What better way to kick off the tournament than a game between the offensive powerhouses of Western Michigan and BU. Vegas has the line for this game set a 6.5 goals and there’s a good chance it goes up from there. Jason Polin has scored more goals (29) than anyone else in the country. Ryan McAllister has been a big part of that, currently sitting at 6th in the nation for total points with 35 assists. All of that offensive power before you get into talking about sophomore Max Sasson who’s got 15+27 for 42 total points himself. Minnesota gets a lot of national attention for their top line, and they definitely deserve it, but the Broncos absolutely have an argument for most dangerous line in the country.


While they might not have as much depth as Western in terms of scoring power, BU has some high-caliber firepower of their own. Lane Hutson’s 14 goals + 33 assists lead the Terriers and is good enough for 7th in the nation. Look down three spots and you’ll see Matt Brown with another impressive stat line, boasting 15 tucks and 29 apples himself. Despite their scoring stars, Drew Commesso’s play between the pipes was the most important piece of BU’s Hockey East tournament run. He’ll be tested early and often, and he’ll have to find a way to stay hot.

Betting Odds: Boston University (-1.5) – O/U: 6.5
Prediction: Boston University can’t keep up in an offensive shootout as Western’s top line takes control.

Denver University (4) vs Cornell (13)
Thur, Mar 23 – 5:30PM ET – ESPNews

Pioneers vs Big Red


30-9-0 – Record – 20-10-2
135.5 (14th) – SOS – 91.1 (38th)
26.6 – PP% – 25.9
78.0 – PK% – 81.9
50.3 – FO% – 54.5
1.786 – GF/GA – 1.703
.915 – SV% – .913

Vibes: This could be the “heaviest” game we see all tournament. Denver is used to playing in the NCHC, which is easily the most physical conference in College Hockey. Cornell, on the other hand, plays in the finesse-first ECAC conference. Don’t let that fool you, because they absolutely live up to the nickname Big Red with how they play the game. Cornell is used to dominating the faceoff game and controlling play through puck possession. They aren’t afraid to be aggressive and use pressure to their advantage while playing on the PK either. They’ll have to execute that to perfection against Denver’s 3rd ranked power play unit.

More on the Pios

Denver started the season winning the Ice Breaker tournament as the host, only to follow it up with getting swept by UMass. They had a few more questionable losses over the duration of the season including Alaska, Minnesota Duluth, and (most recently) Colorado College. The same uncertainty boils down to the playmakers on the team. Massimo Rizzo (46 pts) and Carter Mazur (37 pts) both looked like true Hobey Baker candidates when they were on their A-game this year. The question everyone in the College Hockey world is asking is, “will they be able to turn it on right away after not seeing the ice last week”? They’ll need to because the most intimidating player on Cornell may very well be goaltender Ian Shane, who’s got a .913 save percentage while only giving up 1.76 goals per game.

Wildcard to Watch: Denver is battling some serious injuries as of late. The most important is goaltender Magnus Chrona who was a key part in their national championship run last season.

Betting Odds: Denver (-1.5) – O/U: 5.5
Prediction: Pios win this one with tourney experience as the x-factor.

Fargo, ND Regional – Host: UND

Minnesota State (11) vs St Cloud State (6)
Thur, Mar 23 – 5:00PM ET – ESPNU

Mavericks vs Huskies


25-12-1 – Record – 24-12-3
125.1 (17th) – SOS – 167.5 (11th)
27.9 – PP% – 25.3
82.7 – PK% – 76.4
60.0 – FO% – 53.3
1.636 – GF/GA – 1.407
.916 – SV% – .916

Vibes: If the Denver/Cornell matchup flops from a physicality standpoint, you can flip the channel over to this game because it has the same potential. As a team who’s continually one of the oldest in the sport, Minnesota State usually has the ability to body anyone off of the puck. Because they’re playing against a team built to succeed in the NCHC, they’ll find that a lot tougher. In fact, the Mavericks have only got a single pound on the Huskies players when the rosters are averaged. That’s not where the similarities end either.

More of the Same

These two squads have the same strengths and will be testing them against one another punch-for-punch. Both teams are ranked nationally inside the top ten for faceoff and power play efficiency. Sure, Minnesota State is technically #1 in both, but you might as well be splitting hairs if you’re looking any deeper into it. The Mavericks may not have Nathan Smith or Napravnik this season, but David Silye (23+16) has been great in his own right. He’ll be battling to keep up with the Finnish sensation that is Jami Krannila (21-19) in this game.

As is the case with most teams that have made it thus far, both squads also tout stellar goaltending. Keenan Rancier only gives up 1.81 GAA with a .916 save percentage for the Mavs. He let in some real head-scratchers at the start of the season, but has really settled in as of late. The Huskies have the benefit (or burden) of carrying TWO verified studs in Dominic Basse (2.30 GAA/.911 SV) and Jaxon Castor (2.06 GAA/.920 SV). Having that embarrassment of riches makes choosing a starter tough and if you’re a goaltender, you know you could be on a short leash with that type of skill on the bench.

Betting Odds: St Cloud State (-1.5) – O/U: 5
Prediction: Huskies prove to be the tougher out, winning an absolute WAR.

Canisius (16) vs University of Minnesota (1)
Thur, Mar 23 – 9:00PM ET – ESPN2

Golden Griffins vs Golden Gophers


20-18-3 – Record – 26-9-1
54.9 (56th) – SOS – 223.3 (2nd)
22.6 – PP% – 24.6
79.7 – PK% – 83.2
49.2 – FO% – 52.7
1.055 – GF/GA – 1.793
.917 – SV% – .920

Vibes: This is the only matchup in the tournament where one team has the edge in every single statistical category. When you remember that there are 40 spots separating these two in the Pairwise Rankings, it’s a lot less surprising. For those that don’t listen to any of the podcasts I appear on, I have two things to say. First, shame on you; you’re missing out. More importantly though, Canisius is the lowest seed to make the tournament since Robert Morris in 2014. Everyone may be writing the Griffins off early because of the disparity in skill, but hockey die-hards will be quick to remind you that the Gophers lost in a very similar scenario to Holy Cross in 2005.

National Top Dogs

The Gophers, on the other hand, are exactly who you have heard of all season long. A phenomenal team that’s capable of dominating ANYONE when they’re running at full speed. This group of kids is so talented that there are a few NHL teams bound for the playoffs who are patiently waiting to slot them into their lineup for that postseason run. The top of the pile of superstars on the roster include Logan Cooley (19+33), Jimmy Snuggerud (20+29), and Matthew Knies (21+20). If we’re being honest, it’s almost criminal to cut the list off there, but this “preview” has already started to rival Moby Dick in length. Long-story-short, if these three guys don’t combine for 5 points, I’ll be surprised.

Betting Odds: Minnesota (-2.5) – O/U: 6
Prediction: Gophers slay their 2005 upset demons by slaughtering the Griffs.

Bridgeport, CT Regional – Host: Yale/SHU

Ohio State (9) vs Harvard (7)
Fri, Mar 24 – 2:00PM ET – ESPNU

Buckeyes vs Crimson


20-15-3 – Record – 24-7-2
198.8 (7th) – SOS – 100.3 (31st)
22.0 – PP% – 24.1
89.5 – PK% – 81.5
47.8 – FO% – 52.4
1.271 – GF/GA – 1.699
.912 – SV% – .919

Vibes: If you read the season preview blog, you’d already know that Harvard has more NHL draft picks on their roster than any other program. With 15 skaters having rights owned by professional clubs, they won’t be lacking confidence. Add in the fact that they’ve lost half the amount of games as Ohio State and you might even understand if some of them were downright cocky. Sean Farrell would be suspect number one on my list. With 20 goals and 52 total points leading to a 3rd overall national ranking, it would be hard not to be! Alex Laferriere (21+21) also cracks into the top-ten, and with that last name, we might have a new clubhouse leader in the race for needing the biggest hat. Backstop those boys with Mitchell Gibson’s .925 save percentage and 2.05 GAA and there’s almost no threat of consequences for your actions if you slip up either.

The Best of the Best

While Ohio State may not have that type of goaltending effort available to them with Jakub Dobes (who is good in his own right) they do have something that nobody else can touch. Something that every hockey coach wishes they had. The best penalty kill in the nation. Look, mistakes happen, kids get frustrated, and calls are either missed or assigned without warrant all the time. Having this type of sustained stability when put in those scenarios really keeps everyone calm. When you’re playing in a foreign barn with the season on the line, you want to be as calm as you can get. This team is also sneaky dangerous if you haven’t been watching. They’ve got seven wins against teams who also made the tournament, including both of the Big10 one-seeds.

Betting Odds: Harvard (-1.5) – O/U: 5.5
Prediction: Harvard’s draft picks come up with a big win after a disappointing ECAC title game.

Merrimack (14) vs Quinnipiac (2)
Fri, Mar 24 – 5:30PM ET – ESPNews

Warriors vs Bobcats


23-13-1 – Record – 30-4-3
95.0 (35th) – SOS – 79.4 (44th)
13.2 – PP% – 23.2
81.6 – PK% – 85.3
46.9 – FO% – 57.2
1.262 – GF/GA – 2.458
.916 – SV% – .926

Vibes: If anyone previews this game talking about anything other than Yaniv Perets, the NCAA will kill that article. The sophomore goaltender has been the talk of the nation all year. He probably feels like he was snubbed of some hardware last season as well. He’s earned nine shutouts on the season while only giving up a goal and a half a game with a .929 save percentage. Before I go on, just know that I believe those stats are well earned and monumental in their own right. That being said, he only had to make five saves against Yale in the ECAC tournament a few weeks ago. That wasn’t a one-off type performance either. We’re about to see how he’ll fare with some high-percentage shots and more of them in this tournament. Even if one slips past, Collin Graf will probably get it back for the Bobcats. With 20 goals and 35 assists this year, he’s only behing Adam Fantilli for points on the season.

An Uphill Climb

Frankly put, Merrimack has got their work cut out for them. They are a program who was ranked as high as 6th in the Pairwise at one point this season. After, they promptly fell out of the playoff race and were widely ridiculed. In the end, they clawed their way back in by making it all the way to the Hockey East championship game. They are absolutely scrappy and pose a legitimate threat with Jr Forward Alex Jefferies (14+27) and Matt Copponi (14+15) leading the charge. With Quinnipiac’s ability to win draws and control the puck, Merrimack will have to make their life difficult in the neutral zone. Force a couple turnovers and they could make a run at an upset.

Betting Odds: Quinnipiac (-1.5) – O/U: 5
Prediction: Bobcats come up big with a defensive and goaltending clinic leading to a win.

Allentown, PA Regional – Host: Penn State

Michigan Tech (10) vs Penn State (8)
Fri, Mar 24 – 5:00PM ET – ESPNU

Huskies vs Nittany Lions


24-10-4 – Record – 21-15-1
113.8 (24th) – SOS – 201.8 (6th)
13.1 – PP% – 15.2
86.3 – PK% – 76.5
46.8 – FO% – 55.0
1.288 – GF/GA – 1.154
.925 – SV% – .904

Vibes: This game has been dubbed as the desperation cup. Both of these teams are battling their own demons with a lot of heavy material weighing on them. Despite their historical success and three national championships, the Huskies haven’t won a College Hockey playoff game since 1981. While there’s a lot of pressure from the fanbase there, Penn State has a more imminent issue on their hands. The Nittany Lions are dragging their 2023 calendar year record of 4-10-1 around like a fifty pound ankle weight. Despite strong starts and impressive wins this season, neither team can say that they even made their conference tournament championship game this season.

Tough Road Gets Tougher

Not to prolong the downer-train, but the Huskies have the 4th worst powerplay in the nation. While that’s concerning, Penn State doesn’t have much of an advantage in that category being in the bottom 20% of the country as well. Neither of these squads has a player that cracks the top 60 in the nation either, so don’t expect any sort of fireworks. Adding to the thought that this is trending towards an easy under wager is Michigan Tech goaltender Blake Pietila. He’s allowing less than 2 goals a game and saving 93% of the shots coming his way. All of the questions I brought up about the legitimacy of Perets’ numbers don’t apply here. Pietila has faced 205 more shots this season with only one fewer game. If he’s on, he can steal one from any team…he just needs to turn it back on.

Betting Odds: Penn State (-1.5) – O/U: 5
Prediction: Blake Pietila returns to Richter-Worthy form and steals a game for the Huskies.

Colgate (15) vs Michigan (3)
Fri, Mar 24 – 8:30PM ET – ESPNU

Raiders vs Wolverines


19-15-5 – Record – 24-11-3
85.6 (41st) – SOS – 221.6 (3rd)
21.3 – PP% – 22.2
84.0 – PK% – 77.3
49.0 – FO% – 48.5
1.143 – GF/GA – 1.289
.913 – SV% – .906

Vibes: The opening round finale has two of the hottest teams in hockey going head to head. Colgate had to beat two of the top seven teams in the nation (Harvard and Quinnipiac) to earn an automatic qualification bid into the tournament. They’ve been a thorn in the Bobcats side all season and were able to overcome all of the firepower on the Harvard roster proving that they’re able to compete with anyone. Michigan’s talent has been a little more well known this season, but they still had to take down the number one team in the nation to win their conference tournament and come onto the national stage with momentum and confidence.

Neither one of these programs is able to claim they’ve got one of the best goaltenders in the tournament. Michigan’s Erik Portillo has allowed more than 3 goals per game and Colgate’s Carter Gylander is giving up 2.31 per game. When you factor in the strength of schedule for these two programs and the fact that Portillo had to go up against the goalie-killers in Minnesota multiple times this year, they’re probably a lot closer than the stats would lead you to believe.

Superstar Power

One player who IS a difference maker as well as head-and-shoulders above everyone else in this game is Freshman Adam Fantilli. The projected #2 draft pick in this years upcoming NHL draft is leading the nation in points with 27 tucks and 34 assists. The kicker is that he missed a handful of games dominating the Wold Junior stage in the middle of the season as well. All of the spotlight on this kid has forced Luke Hughes to live in his shadow, but it should be noted that he is absolutely good enough to jump into the NHL with 33 assists and 9 goals on the season as well. If those two out-shine Colgate’s Alex Young (21+18) this game could be over early.

Betting Odds: Michigan (-1.5) – O/U: 6.5
Prediction: Wolverines’ Adam Fantilli proves to be to much for Big Toothpaste as Michigan advances.

Previous Previews & Picks:

Don’t know whether you can trust the picks or input? I don’t blame you. I’m not anywhere near a “Big J”. In fact, I’m just some idiot with an outlet. An idiot who watches more college hockey than 99% of the nation, but an idiot nonetheless. Take that how you will.

Week 24 – College Hockey Preview: Conference Championship Weekend

Week 23 – College Hockey Preview: Tournament Trials & Tribulations

Alternative College Hockey Media:

Hate my predictions or don’t fancy yourself as much of a “reader”? Lucky for you, there’s plenty more College Hockey information coming out of the 10K Takes family! You can listen to The Has Beens podcast (or follow them on social media). Former College Hockey players/National Champions (Gage Ausmus and Trevor Olson) talk with guests about their path to College Hockey, how the sport impacted their life, and where it led them after.

This week, I sat down with the guys who also break down the NCAA tournament by region. Each gives their own insight and picks for the games and why. Stick around for some more potty-talk if you dare.

Want a little more structure to your hockey insight with less of the miscellaneous tangents? The MNCAA podcast on The Sota Pod channel has got you covered there. In it a panel of guests, including myself, each represent a different Minnesota College Hockey program and talk about the teams and related news.