Archive for the 'NCAA Tournament' Category

If we’re going to talk about attendance…

Monday, March 24th, 2008

The early game in Albany is probably the worst idea ever. (Full Disclosure: I’m a Clarkson Alum) If you’re going to make decision like putting Clarkson in Albany based on attendance, wouldn’t you make that game as accessible as possible?  For some reason the scheduling here is different than all of the other brackets, and they put made the 2-3 game the early tilt.

A slight disadvantage for Michigan no doubt as most teams prefer the early game for that bonus rest and to watch the competition, but a huge disadvantage for attendance. Why? Because the local Clarkson fan base is probably at WORK. Heck, so are most of the local Albany fans on a Friday afternoon.

A good start would be to move the start time’s up to 5:30 and 8:30 like the Hockey East and Beanpot and at least give people a chance to show up at the arena after work. A better idea is to start holding regionals in the East at better hockey tourist destinations so people are willing to set aside a few days regardless who is playing. The ECAC tournament attendance in Albany was a generous 5,000 fans (lots of fans that looked like seats) compared to 5,600 for the D-III Semifinals in Lake Placid the same weekend. Last year’s attendance for Clarkson / UMass in Rochester was 3,887. Both Lake Placid, Agganis Arena spring to mind as an ideal locations for a regional. Great arenas that could be filled with a lot of atmosphere, and a lot of things to do for the weekend. I may even toss the Gutterson Fieldhouse into that mess. How about a location in NYC? Give me a reason for the trip regardless of who is playing!

NCAA East Regional Final

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

A near miss on the empty net after a steal, and thats game. Maine advances to the Frozen Four 3 to 1!!

Now under three to go. No goalie pull yet. But now a UMass PP with ninety second remaining and we’re going for any extra attacker coming out of the timeout.

A little under seven to go here in Rochester. UMass having a horrible time trying to move the puck out of their zone for the past two minutes. Still 3-1.

Note to Maine Pep Band. Smashmouth was not even good in its original form. I disagree with your decision. Shots now 27 to 25 in favor of UMass with about ten to go.

Maine heads to the PP now and now a 5 on 3 and any opportunity for Maine to go two up….. And they do! Max Duffy makes it 3-1 with thirteen to go.

Nothing doing in the third so far four minutes in except a wild Maine opportunity that almost scored moments ago.

End of 2, 2-1 UMaine.

Bishop coming up huge for Maine on another PK but UMass finally tallies a goal, and a solid one at that with 1:46 left in the 2nd to make it 2-1 Maine. Goal by Fenton.

UMass with some 5 on 3 time now. Final now, BC 4 – SLU 1. As the two man advantage ends UMass is having a hard time finding the zone. Bishop almost killed one of his own fans throwing the puck out of play. I’m surprised the NCAA hasn’t instituted the delay of game penalty that the NHL has. I suspect that most NCAA arenas have less protection than NHL rinks and it removes the tossing the puck out to get a change ploys.

3300 or so here tonight. A Cheel Arena type number. Maybe a little less than Maine is used to playing in front of.

Quite the day so far around the NCAA. Minnesota storming back from two goals down in the third to beat Air Force and stave off messagw board banter for another year. UNH loses to Miami today completing the sweep of ‘Greatest Teams to Never Win an NCAA Title.’

While I write that… Boom! Another goal for Maine! This time off the goalies head by Mike Hamilton. He fist pumped, I’m not sure that goal was ‘fist-pumpable.’

Wow, UMass picked it up on shots, up 8 to 0 this period. Yet on Maine’s first shot it’s a goal! Maine is up 1 to 0 on a goal from Tyler with 14:37 left in the second.

Both teams underway here for the second period and UMass comes out firing on the PP which is killed. Wow Bishop got totally turned around but the puck stays out. Speaking of Bishop the man is a giant for a goalie, also some Maine fans feel that he is ‘Ben-Believable.’

The period ends with both teams tied at zero. A lot of action, 13 to 5 in favor of UMaine.

Just a heads up to all of you looking for Nick Tahou’s on Lyell to get a famed Garbage Plate either before or even after the game, it has been renamed to Steve T’s Potatoes and Hots. Same spectacular food, just a different name due to a rumored family dispute.

After arriving late to the Blue Cross Arena, I’m not surprised to find UMass and Maine knotted at 0-0, more than midway through the first. I AM surprised at the full half of the arena filled with Minutemen and Black Bear fans, any excellent turnout. Maine’s band is here and sounds good as well. Maine with a ton of pressure, but UMass kills a lengthy 5 on 3. Fun hockey so far.

NCAA Regionals – Rochester Primer

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

With games approaching quickly here is a brief overview of the Rochester Area and a list of things to see and do while you’re in town.

We’ll start with the Blue Cross Arena.

Getting there:

NYS Thruway to exit 45 (Victor)
Take 490 WEST and exit at Clinton Avenue
Turn Left at Broad Street (third light)
The Arena is on the corner of Broad and Exchange Streets.
NYS Thruway to exit 47 (LeRoy)
Take 490 East to the Inner Loop exit #13
Take Plymouth Ave. exit #13 and turn right onto Plymouth
Turn Left at Broad Street (third light)
The Arena is on the corner of Broad and Exchange Streets.
390 North
Take 490 East to the Inner Loop exit
Take Plymouth Ave. exit and turn right onto Plymouth
Turn Left at Broad Street (third light)
The Arena is on the corner of Broad and Exchange Streets.
There is a parking garage across Exchange Street, event parking usually runs in the 10-20$ range. If you get there early there is street parking and $10 lots on Court Street. You can also take you chances with street parking on Exchange, but this has a tendency to fill up quick and it can be a bit of a walk.
Weekend packages are going for $71 for all three games. Unfortunately you have use Ticketmaster right now. The box office will have individual game tickets on sale starting Wednesday for $38 a game. Again, you have to go through Ticketmaster.
Game Times:
Clarkson plays Massachusetts at 2:30 PM EDT on Friday. St. Cloud takes on Maine at 6:00 PM EDT. The winners face off Saturday at 6:00 PM EDT. According to the tickets there is NO RE-ENTRY. In our opinion, this sucks big time, but it’s how arenas make their money.
After the Game:

1 – Blue Cross Arena
2 – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
3 – Manhattan Square Park
4 – The Old Toad
5 – East and Alexander

As you leave the Blue Cross Arena (1) cross the Court Street bridge and you can’t miss the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (2). Much bigger than the original in Syracuse, be sure to expect a big crowd in here before, during and after the games.  A large bar with a good beer selection and ribs that might be the best this side of St. Louis.

Continuing on Court St. on the right hand side will be Manhattan Square Park (3), featuring an outdoor skating rink.  Temps are slated to be in the mid 50’s this weekend so bring your skates and take a couple laps.

Moving further east down Court as it turns into Broad Street, cross over the inter-loop and head one block further east and find yourself at The Old Toad (4).  An authentic British Pub that hires British exchange students as servers and features some of the best beers on tap in the city.  Odds are high you’ll find the author of this post in there after the games.

A left hand turn at the Old Toad brings you to the corner of East and Alexander and what many consider to be the highlight of Rochester night life.  Clubs and bars line the street and a left hand turn down East for two blocks will bring you to the Little Theater.  Rochester’s main independent movie house.   A right hand turn down East will take you to the George Eastman house and the Rochester Museum and Science Center and Strasenburgh Planetarium.

Hopefully this will start your trip to the Flower City off on the right foot, enjoy your stay and see you at the rink.

Watching quietly.

Friday, March 9th, 2007

So, despite the fact that the playoffs are gearing up, it’s been a quiet week for us here as we’re rabidly anticipating the games ahead, and I believe every outlet has already shown you ever possible projection possible. Because the PWR is an objective system, I find quiet joy in scoreboard watching, listening to webcasts, and reading forum score updates especially in the first two rounds. While most teams can get it done on the ice themselves, some are at the hands of games that in any other sport would be declared meaningless. Can you imagine how many people would actually watch a Cubs / Pirates game in September or a Flyers / Kings game in late April if it meant their team would make the playoffs? This is one of the oddities and the best things about College Hockey. As much as some people hate it, that Wayne State game is going to mean something, there’s a reason to watch and care.

After last night’s action in Hockey East, UNH righted the ship and blanked Providence, giving a sigh of relief to the fans at the Whitt. BC blanked Northeastern, and the big one, Vermont takes Game #1 from Boston University 3-2. Big time ramifications, as tonight’s game goes into must win for BU. A Terrier loss tonight, puts BU on the bubble, with a bunch of teams around them that have the potential to make noise in the playoffs and are just fractions off in the RPI. A couple of comparison flips, maybe an upset champion in one of the leagues, and some people are staying home.

Don’t forget the D-III tournament is underway with Middlebury and Bethel advancing to 2nd round games that will be played on Saturday. Middlebury, Manhattanville, St. Norbert and Oswego are all hosting quarterfinal matchups this weekend, and the NCAA Women’s Tournament gets under way as well!

The other white meat.

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Don’t forget, just because we’re working our way up to the D-I Men’s Tournament that there’s not a lot of great hockey going on elsewhere.

In Division III, the brackets are set, and the puck drops tomorrow for the Men as surprse SUNYAC champion Fredonia takes on defending national champion Middlebury, and Bethel faces Wisconsin-River Falls. Quarterfinal matchups open up on Saturday. Here the bracket plus you may want to check out Chris Lerch’s blog. He does an admirable job at keeping up with the D3 game, trying to take you through their Pool A, B’s and c’s, NCAA rankings and all of that good stuff. The finals are at Wessman Arena in Wisconsin.

The women are set to go as well in both Division I and Division III. The Division I bracket contains one of the most powerhouse lineups I’ve ever seen, including the 33-1-4 defending champions Wisconsin and 32-1-3 Mercyhurst. The record of the teams in the tournament: 216-42-25. The Frozen Four takes place in Lake Placid, one of the best hockey tournament towns in the country if not the world. Division III has seven teams, including an undefeated Plattsburgh State team who will host the championships, and will wait for the first-round to clear up before knowing their opponents. RIT is in as well leading to a hugely successful season for both the Men’s and Women’s teams.

Lots of good hockey to go around, with broadband viewing available at many of the venues. Get out the door and do it up!

NCAA Selection Changes

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

While we were busy celebrating Labor Day Weekend by being as lazy as we possibly could, Adam was busy putting together this article on the NCAA Selection Committee changes for the upcoming season.

As the article points out, the biggest changes involve trying to remove negative-impact wins and doomsday scenarios. Last year, conference winners automatically became “Teams Under Consideration” and had Bentley defeated Holy Cross, would’ve created havok in the pairwise. This is no longer the case. In addition, The RPI weighting has now changed taking a significant portion of the RPI that was based on winning percentage and moving it over to strength of schedule. The committee believes this will encourage a wider variety of non-conference games.

Is it just me or am I missing something? I don’t see top-tier teams scheduling Atlantic or CHA teams more because of this, I actually see them scheduling them less. Adam is busy writing a manifesto on these changes (as well as expousing the virtues of KRACH i’m sure,) which may shed more light on this. In the meantime, my immediate reaction is to chalk this one up to the rich getting richer.