Good evening from the Twin Cities, Govloopers. The clock is running out on the latest continuing resolution (the Guru rarely, well never links to the Washington Times, but this is a pretty good story). Make sure you stick around Govloop for all the latest coverage.
Frozen Four Preview
Two huge games much later today… let’s get this party started here in St. Paul, MN (there are ZERO TEAMS here from the east this year)…
1.) #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #11 University of Minnesota – Duluth Bulldogs (4:00 PM EST, ESPN2) – In the early game, the Minnesota – Duluth Bulldogs (a two seed) takes on the Irish from South Bend. The Irish have nothing to lose… USCHO says “they are playing with house money right now” in that no one expected them to be there as a three seed. Minnesota – Duluth, on the other hand, will have some pressure on them because with no Gopher team in the house, the Bulldogs are Minnesota’s defacto home team (for the entire state). The Bulldogs may have had the easiest path to the Frozen Four defeating two ECAC hockey teams. Inside College Hockey breaks down the key match ups right here (and I agree with their analysis). I’m not sure that the Irish have the offense to keep up with the Bulldogs… so… the Hokie Guru will take Minnesota – Duluth to win a close 4-2 game over Notre Dame.
2.) #1 North Dakota Fighting Sioux vs. #6 Michigan Wolverines (8:30 PM EST, ESPN2) – In the night cap, the #1 rated and 2nd overall seed, Fighting Sioux, take on the Maize and Blue (a two seed). We’re talking about a classic match up here – those two teams have a combined 16 national titles between them. From the gambler’s perspective (and I only do that purely for recreational purposes here in this post… I do not endorse nor do I participate in gambling), the Fighting Sioux are the overwhelming favorite (e.g. you must spend $250 to win $100). The Fighting Sioux have the best team, the best goaltender in Aaron Dell, the best player in Matt Frattin, the best volunteer coach, and the best crowd. From the Michigan standpoint, the Blue and Maize are going to see a team that reminds them of themselves. The Wolverines know this is a road contest and they have the experience to play a close game.
Michigan cannot get into a full blown fast break ice game with North Dakota… the Wolverines need a slow, ugly game with the Fighting Sioux… do they have the talent to keep up with North Dakota? I think not, Govloopers. If North Dakota is going to lose this game, then the Fighting Sioux must beat themselves. As Mike Eaves says, North Dakota lacks weaknesses for Michigan to exploit. The Hokie Guru will take North Dakota to defeat Michigan 5-2 or maybe even 6-2.