-- The NCAA men’s ice hockey
championship playoffs won’t have Michigan for the first
time in 23 years. Notre Dame won the final CCHA title at Joe Louis
Arena with a thrilling 3-1 win over a never-quit Wolverine squad.
Dame head coach Jeff Jackson, this CCHA championship was his seventh.
He had four previously with Lake Superior State and now three
with the Irish. That ranks him third all-time behind Ron Mason
(13) and Red Berenson (9). “This one is extra special to
me,” said Jackson.
first team I ever coached as a head coach in college hockey (Lake
Superior) in 1991 won this tournament and this will be the last
opportunity to win one a CCHA tournament, added Jackson.”
Dame and Miami were the only CCHA teams to advance to a NCAA Regional.
They will both play in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Toledo.
said post-game after the CCHA Championship, “Well, obviously
we are thrilled. It’s a great weekend for us. The team did
everything that we asked of them and beyond. I thought it got
us just about ready for (the NCAA tournament). You know, paying
the price and putting it on the line, and doing what they had
to do to be successful against two good teams. We’re just
proud to be able to raise another banner at the Compton Center.
So, I’m happy for these guys.”
Dame’s victory ended Michigan’s season and prevents
the Wolverines from participating in the NCAA tournament for the
first time since 1990. That breaks a string of 22 straight NCAA
this 42nd year of the CCHA there will be a host of new college
conference makeups next season. The Big Ten Conference will restart
with Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State from the CCHA. Wisconsin
and Minnesota will leave the WCHA and Penn State will be the sixth
and Western Michigan will join the new National Collegiate Hockey
Conference and Notre Dame will join Hockey East. Alaska-Fairbanks,
Bowling Green, Northern Michigan, Ferris State and Lake Superior
State will join the new WCHA next year.
sincerity Michigan coach Red Berenson said, “It has been
the only college league that I coached in. The CCHA can be proud
of all the team members, the championships, the great players
that they’ve produced, and the great people they’ve
produced as student-athletes and not just NHL players. It has
been a great league; it’s just too bad it’s over.”
final game, both teams got great goaltending. Notre Dame from
Steven Summerhays and Michigan’s Steve Racine both played
strong and gave both sides a chance for the win.
alluded that this may have been Racine’s best game of the
season. Coach Berenson added, “Well it was a good tournament
obviously; there were four really good teams. It came down to
a 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon game where you are a little concerned
about which team will be really ready and which team might not
Notre Dame got a great start, and even though the game was tied,
they were right there, and they were all over us. They didn't
give us much, and we didn't get much, and that is how the game
went on. Even after two periods, I thought our team would bounce
back in the third, and they tried. But that first goal in the
first shift -- goals were precious tonight -- we knew there would
not be many of them, so giving up that goal was a tough one, and
we just couldn't get it back.”
Named to Last CCHA All-Tournament Team
had three players named to the 2013 CCHA All-Tournament Team -
junior center T.J. Tynan, sophomore right wing Austin Wuthrich
and junior defenseman Stephen Johns. Michigan had three players
honored and all were all freshmen - forward Andrew Copp, defenseman
Jacob Trouba and goaltender Steve Racine.
The CCHA has placed two teams in the NCAA Division I Men’s
Ice Hockey Championship. CCHA Regular Season Champion Miami and
CCHA Mason Cup Playoff Champion Notre Dame will play in the Midwest
Regional at Toledo, Ohio. The event is hosted by Bowling Green.
added, “It doesn’t really matter because when you
go to a regional, you’re going to play good teams. “We’re
playing the WCHA regular season champion, so there are never any
slouch teams in the tournament and you have to be prepared, regardless
of whom you draw.”
regional winners will advance to the Men’s Frozen Four in
Pittsburgh, Penn., on April 11-13. The championship playoff format
involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned
to each site. The four regional winners advance to the Men’s
Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination
Dame Fighting Irish (26-12-3) are the No. 1 seed at the Midwest
Regional and will face off against No. 4 seed St. Cloud State
(23-15-1) of the WCHA in the 1:30 p.m. eastern time game on Saturday,
March 30th. The Irish are making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance,
and first since 2011 when they advanced to the Frozen Four.
RedHawks (24-12-5), making their eleventh NCAA Tournament appearance
overall, are the No. 2 seed at the Midwest Regional where they
will meet No. 3 seed Minnesota State Mankato (24-13-3) of the
WCHA in the 5:00 p.m. eastern time game on Saturday, March 30th.
The RedHawks are appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the eighth
qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions
of five conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at
The University Michigan is the NCAA host school for the West Regional
in Grand Rapids on March 29-30. Minnesota, Yale, North Dakota
and Niagara will participate at Van Andel Arena.
Regional, March 30-31
Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
March 30, 1:30 p.m. - No. 1 Notre Dame (25-12-3) vs. No.
4 St. Cloud State (23-15-1) - ESPN Syndication/ESPN3
Saturday, March 30, 5:00 p.m. - No. 2 Miami (Ohio) (24-11-5)
vs. No. 3 Minnesota State Mankato (24-13-3) – ESPN
Sunday, March 31, 4:00 p.m. - Midwest Regional Championship
Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Penn.
April 13, 7:00 p.m. – ESPN
All times Eastern
CCHA Crown Goes To Western Michigan; Michigan
defeats Notre Dame, 4 - 2 in CCHA Third-Place Game; WMU
surpasses Michigan, 5 - 2 in CCHA Semifinal Game 2; Miami
(OH) beats Notre Dame, 6 - 2 in CCHA Semifinal Game 1; Andy
Miele named 'Player of the Year' at 2011 CCHA Awards
league will disband after this 42nd year of operation.
BY PETE BUBLITZ / ©AMERICAJR.com
Dame and Western Michigan will join the National Collegiate Hockey
Conference (NCHC) next year.