So, I have given you some background on the four teams left in the Frozen Four; Quinnipiac, Boston College, North Dakota and Denver. Let's talk about some keys and predictions to the Semi-Finals of the Frozen Four. It's only two days away!
In the first semi-final, we have Quinnipiac vs. Boston College at 5 PM. It's like the struggle between old and new money. Who is better? On one hand you have the tradition power Boston College and on the other you have Quinnipiac; the new money. There's definitely going to be much skill on the ice, so honestly it's hard to pick a winner.
Let's dive into Quinnipiac, I like that they have been successful all year. Not to mention, the way they have played the last couple of years, they are due. They only have three losses on the entire season, that's pretty amazing given the chaos of college hockey. In 2013, I undervalued Quinnipiac and they played much better than I thought. I thought they might be able to have similar success this year because again they are the No. 1 overall seed.
Facing Quinnipiac is Boston College, the team that is always lurking around the Frozen Four. It's hard to determine if this location will help the Eagles or not. They have won the title in this building before, but they are 0-2 in the state of Florida this season. This is not like a usual Boston College team though, they usually have a stand out guy that leads the team. This year, it seems like they are getting production from more people and better goaltending. They have had a tougher road through the tournament to this point, that could pay dividends.
I picked Quinnipiac in this game. I think they are better than Boston College this year. I think that Sam Anas has a chance to be like Eichel last year and will his team to the championship game. While there might be some bitterness left over in Boston College from losing to Union (NY) two years ago, I do not think it will be enough. They are going to have to get great goaltending to keep them in this. Bottomline: Quinnpiac 4 - Boston College 2
In the other semi-final, we have North Dakota vs. Denver University at 8:30 PM. This is almost the same match-up as in the other final but it's the western version. North Dakota is a college hockey super power like Boston College. Denver on the other hand is more like Quinnipiac though they do have a couple of titles back to back, 2004-2005. This should be a high scoring affair with a lot of pace. It should be a very entertaining game.
On paper North Dakota has more talent, and more top draft picks. Like Boston College, they have some bitterness about the 2014 Frozen Four losing on a last second goal. With a new coach, I think they have a new vision and more resolve. The two teams split the season series, both winning impressively at home. Then, skating to a tie on neutral ice in the NCHC tournament. North Dakota played really well in their first two game to get here, they have some good momentum.
Denver, like Quinnipiac, is facing off against a tradition power. They have shown in the first two games that they have an ability to score many goals when given the opportunity. They are less talented but that does not mean that they do not have a chance. They will have play really good defense if they would like to knock off the Fighting Hawks. Denver probably would be considered the Cinderella of the Frozen Four.
I picked North Dakota in this one. I think at the end of the day North Dakota will out score Denver. The Pioneers while they can score a lot, they will have to focus more on defense with the talent of North Dakota. Talent is really going to help the Fighting Hawks, but I also think they are deeper. They can roll more lines that have the ability to score. Bottomline: North Dakota 6 - Denver 4
Once the games are over Thursday, I will be back to recap the action and talk about my predictions!