Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Final Five pairings almost set for this week

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers postgame, WCHA news Updated: March 11, 2012 - 4:56 PM

Five of the six first-round series in the WCHA playoffs ended on Saturday. Only one went to a third game. Wisconsin, the 10th seed, plays at Denver, the third seed for the final spot in this week's Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center.

If Denver, the favorite wins, the pairings will look like this:

FINAL FIVE

At Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul

Thursday's quarterfinals

Michigan Tech (16-18-4, sixth seed after re-seeding) vs. Denver (23-12-4, third seed), 2:07 p.m.

St. Cloud State (17-16-5, fifth seed) vs. North Dakota (22-12-4, fourth seed), 7:07 p.m.

Friday's semifinals

Mich Tech/DU winner vs. Minnesota Duluth (24-8-6, second seed), 2:07 p.m.

SCSU/UND winner vs. Gophers (26-12-1, first seed), 7:07 p.m.

Saturday's championship for Broadmoor Trophy

Friday's winners, 7:07 p.m.

If Wisconsin wins on Sunday, the pairings will look like this:

FINAL FIVE

At Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul

Thursday's quarterfinals

Wisconsin (18-17-2, sixth seed after re-seeding) vs. North Dakota (22-12-3, third seed), 2:07 p.m.

Michigan Tech (16-18-4, fifth seed) vs. St. Cloud State (17-16-5, fourth seed), 7:07 p.m.

Friday's semifinals

Wis./UND winner vs. Minnesota Duluth (24-8-6, second seed), 2:07 p.m.

Mich Tech/SCSU winner vs. Gophers (26-12-1, first seed), 7:07 p.m.

Saturday's championship for Broadmoor Trophy

Friday's winners, 7:07 p.m.

Somebody already asked, what happens if Wisconsin advances to the Final Five and upsets North Dakota in the quarterfinals. Would the Badgers, the sixth seed, play the top-seeded Gophers in the semifinals?

Nope. Teams are just re-seeded after the first round. Once they make the Final Five, they play in their bracket. Which makes sense.

If the Badgers were paired with the Gophers, than the winner of the late quarterfinal on Thursday would have to play at 2:07 p.m. on Friday. That would be five hours less rest for that team, which might play three games in three days.

North Dakota won the MacNaughton Cup and the Broadmoor Trophy last year.

Now the Gophers will try to do the same thing this week.

The Gophers have won 13 MacNaughton Cups, but only three of those teams won the MacNaughton Cup, which is presented to the regular-season champion, and the Broadmoor Trophy, which is given to the playoff champion. Those rare double trophy seasons came in 1975, 1981 and 2007.

THREE STARS

Named the three stars of Saturday's game -- a Gophers' 7-3 victory over Alaska Anchorage -- were three Gopher forwards:

No. 1, Erik Haula ... two goals, two assists, a plus-4 rating, four shots on goal

No. 2, Zach Budish ... he had a goal and an assist and a plus-2 rating

No. 3, Nick Bjugstad ... he had a team-high five shots on goal, a goal and an assist

NICE GESTURE

Senior Jake Kremer, the Gophers' practice goalie for four years, entered the game with 44 seconds to play. He did not make any saves, but this was the first time he had gotten into a real game. Kremer had played in three exhibition games before.

His teammates mobbed him when the game ended.

ETC.

* Six different players scored goals for the Gophers; 10 different players had assists. Twelve different players had points.

 

 

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