Thursday, April 10, 2014

Final Tournament Thoughts

Great Competition, Lacking Crowd

For all the complaints that poured in on Thursday, I think even disappointed fans can agree the competition at the tournament was pretty high. Even in the tournament's opening games overtime was reached with Penn State pushing past Michigan 2-1 in two OTs, and Ohio State advancing by beating Michigan State 2-1 in a single extra frame.

Wisconsin and Penn State opened up Friday competition with another OT and Ohio State made it a game with Minnesota before disappointing local Gopher fans by taking the upset win, 3-1.
On the crowd side of things it was a disappointing turn out. But as the USCO pointed out, NCAA tournaments across the board were down 40 percent this year.

"The total attendance for the two leagues that played in the Twin Cities (the Big Ten in St. Paul, Minn., and the NCHC in Minneapolis) was 59,862 across seven sessions.

In a 13-year run at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the WCHA Final Five had only one year where the total attendance was lower: 2011, when the tournament had only four sessions instead of the usual five.