U draws Robert Morris in NCAA hockey; St. Cloud State, Notre Dame also in region

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 24, 2014 - 9:45 AM

Stung in the Big Ten tourney, the U opens the West Regional against Robert Morris, while St. Cloud State and Notre Dame meet in the other matchup in St. Paul.

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Minnesota forward Travis Boyd

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The Gophers upperclassmen are having a sense of déjà vu. Upset in Xcel Energy Center one weekend, back in the venue a week later for a chance at redemption.

The expectations are high for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament. It is host to the West Regional and will face Robert Morris on Saturday in the first semifinal. St. Cloud State and Notre Dame complete the four-team field headed for St. Paul.

Boston College (Northeast), Union (East) and Wisconsin (Midwest) are the second, third and fourth overall seeds and were selected as top regional seeds. Minnesota State Mankato will compete in the Northeast Regional and meets Massachusetts-Lowell on Saturday night in Worcester, Mass.

Defending NCAA champion Yale did not make the field.

“The last three years we’ve had a bye [in conference tournaments] and maybe we’ve come in and taken the team a little lightly, as the No. 1 seed. The good thing is, two years ago we were able to lose here [at Xcel] on Friday night and come back and get two wins and win the Western Regional,” Gophers junior forward Travis Boyd said. “So hopefully we can do that again. … We’ve got to be able to move on and learn how and what it really takes to win at this time of the year.”

The Gophers were upset by unranked Ohio State in the semifinals of the inaugural Big Ten tournament on Friday at the X. They’ll face one of the two unranked teams in the NCAA tournament field in the first round but have learned their lesson, Boyd said.

Robert Morris (19-17-5) won the Atlantic Hockey tournament to claim a spot in the regional. The Colonials started the season 2-12-2 but rallied for their first NCAA tournament berth. It’ll also be the first meeting between the Gophers (25-6-6) and Robert Morris, which is based in suburban Pittsburgh.

Waiting on the other side of the regional bracket for the Gophers are in-state rival St. Cloud State and Notre Dame, where Mario Lucia, son of Gophers coach Don Lucia, plays. St. Cloud State (21-10-5) was in line to become a No. 1 seed until being swept by Miami (Ohio) in the first round of the NCHC tournament. Notre Dame (23-14-2) has been one of the hottest teams in March, with three victories over Boston College. The Gophers beat St. Cloud State 4-1 in the North Star College Cup in late January at Xcel and split a series at Notre Dame in early November, losing 4-1 and winning 5-4.

“It’s what we expected when we looked at how things were coming together. … The one thing that is nice, it kind of has a national flavor with four teams from different conferences,” Don Lucia said of the West Regional. “We’ve played at a very consistent level all year long. When the year began, I didn’t expect to be in the situation we are now. We’ve played a very tough nonconference schedule and within our own conference, and I think that helped us prepare [for this tough field].”

Though the Gophers were nearly unbeatable on the Olympic-sized ice sheet at Mariucci Arena this season, they’ve been just better than average on smaller rinks. Since February, they are 3-4-2 on the smaller surface.

Two of those losses were to Wisconsin, the Big Ten’s tournament champion. The Badgers face North Dakota in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati. Interestingly, Wisconsin had a big hand in North Dakota earning an NCAA bid. The Badgers’ 5-4 overtime victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten final denied the Buckeyes an automatic bid and opened a spot for North Dakota.

North Dakota finished No. 14 in the PairWise Rankings, the last spot available to receive an NCAA invitation. Michigan missed the cut at No. 15. Robert Morris and Denver weren’t in the top 14, but they won their conference tournaments and automatic NCAA bids.

Minnesota State Mankato was a bubble team entering the weekend but secured its spot by winning the WCHA tournament final on Saturday. The Mavericks are on a 13-game unbeaten streak.

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    Sunday March 23, 2014

    2014 NCAA MEN’S DIVISION I TOURNAMENTOPENING ROUNDWEST REGIONAL(1) Gophers vs. (4) Robert Morris4:30 p.m. SaturdaySt. Paul • ESPN2(3) St. Cloud...

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Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 7
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: M. Melancon 0
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 2
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 3
Cleveland - WP: T. House 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: T. May 3
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 10
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Motte 8
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 3
Texas 5 Bottom 8th Inning
LA Angels 8
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
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NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
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Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
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Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
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Connecticut 14 FINAL
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Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
Miss State 34 FINAL
(8) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 9 3rd Qtr 4:42
Toledo 20
(14) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(24) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
(22) Clemson 17 1st OT 15:00
(1) Florida State 23
California 28 3rd Qtr
Arizona 6
San Diego St 7 2nd Qtr 0:27
Oregon State 14
(2) Oregon 21 2nd Qtr 4:55
Washington St 14
Louisiana 3 2nd Qtr 5:17
Boise State 21
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 FINAL
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
D.C. 3 FINAL
Chicago 3
FC Dallas 1 2nd Half 35:00
Los Angeles 0
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL 0:00
Hamilton 25
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
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Calgary
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