Thursday, March 28, 2013

1° Below Freezing: Quick Hits In B1G Hockey

By Jessi Pierce

Minnesota Women's team wins NCAA championship and 41 straight wins -- Remember this year's hype over the Miami Heat's win streak and the Chicago Blackhawks point streak? Well the Gopher women's hockey team shattered that value of impressiveness by winning back-to-back national championships this past weekend, capping off a perfect 41-0 season. The women beat Boston University at home and extended their win streak to 49 games. In doing so, the Gophers became the first Division I hockey team — men’s or women’s — to complete an undefeated NCAA championship season since the Cornell men’s team went 29-0 in 1970. Leave it to women to get the job done right...Congrats ladies!

Woah, Wisconsin -- At the end of November, I had all but counted Wisconsin out from a winning record, let alone a WCHA Final Five appearance. It might have been the Gopher fan in me, championing for them to fail; shame on me. Not only did the Badgers prove me wrong, they captured the WCHA conference tournament with a 3-2 win over Colorado College. Wisconsin has done a complete 180 and again look to be a potential national contender.

Two Big Ten teams make NCAA tourny -- Minnesota and Wisconsin are expected to be two of the most dominate programs in the Big Ten conference next year (no surprise) and both teams got the nod for the NCAA tournament, kicking off this weekend. The Gophers earned the No. 1 seed in the western regional taking place in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Wisconsin the No. 4 in the Northeast regional in New Hampshire. Despite Michigan making the CCHA tournament championship (falling to Notre Dame), they missed the cut along with Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. Minnesota plays at 2 p.m. on Friday against Yale (on ESPNU) and Wisconsin squares off against No. 1 UMass-Lowell at 4:30 p.m. on Friday (on ESPN3).

Don Lucia named 2014 U.S. World Junior coach -- Minnesota head coach Don Lucia adds a boost to his coaching resume, announced as the the 2014 head coach of the U.S. World Junior Championship team. Lucia will be joined behind the bench by Greg Brown, Boston College
associate head coach; Bob Motzko, head coach at St. Cloud State; David Lassonde, assistant coach at the University of Denver, and Dan Muse, assistant coach at Yale University, will serve as a video coach.

Follow Jessi Pierce on Twitter at @jessi_pierce

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