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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Yale on an unbelievable ride into Frozen Four title game

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Frozen Four Updated: April 13, 2013 - 12:30 PM

Yale was the No. 15 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs/Elis only got in because Notre Dame beat Michigan in the CCHA title game. Otherwise, the Wolverines would have made it.

But once given new life, the lads from New Haven, Conn., have played like the best team in the country. They dominated UMass Lowell (no hypher, sir), the pride of Hockey East. They have made mish-mash out of the WCHA, going 4-0 against a league which had six teams in the NCAA tournament.

And tonight they will win their first NCAA title. Why not? Makes for a better story.

Don't always agree with what Don Lucia says, but before the tournament he said something like, if this tournament were played four or five times, there would be four or five different winners.

Gotta agree.

No. 1 seed Quinnipiac was the favorite going in -- at least on paper and in the PairWise computer rankings -- and the Bobcats have not disappointed those nuts and bolts, or should I say bytes and chips.

The Qs are also 3-0 vs. down-the-block Yale. Both institutions of higher learning are on Whitney Av., under eight miles apart. Q is in Hamden, Conn., Yale in New Haven.

They met for the first time at the Ingalls Rink in New Haven to a standing room only crowd. Yale got up 2-0 but lost 6-2.

Their second meetig was at High Point Solutions Arena in Hamden. Q got up 3-0 in first period -- just like they did against St. Clouod State in national semis -- and won 4-1. What was the score vs. the Huskies?

Their third meeting was in the ECAC consolation game. Imagine that. The Qs won 3-0 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

So now they will meet for a fourth time, in a fourth new place. In Pittsburgh in Consul Energy Center. The Elis/Bulldogs just want to get the game into OT. They are 6-0-3 in overtimes this season.

Q is 4-0-1 vs. Yale in their past five meetings and has outscored its neighbor 13-3 this season. None of that matters, of course. This is not a total-goal series. So this is a tossup game.

Maybe nobody west of Pittsburgth wil watch this neighborhood feud game, but it's interesting two teams with little Froze Four experience and no NCAA titles are meeting for the big prize.

Probably good for the sport of hockey in the long run. Shows other middle-of-the-pack, non-marquee teams that it can be done. Anybody can make the Frozen Four with so much parity in the sport.

* The University of Connecticut, a third Division I hockey program in that state is moving from the ECAC -- Q's and Yale's conference -- to more prestigious Hockey East in 2014-15.

 

 

 

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