ASN’s Elite Eight: St. Cloud State lives up to No. 1 billing

Ice hockey under the lights

St. Cloud State was our surprise No. 1 pick for the ASN Elite Eight last week, and the Huskies didn’t disappoint.

SCSU lived up to its top billing by going on the road earning back-to-back wins at Nebraska Omaha for its first road sweep since Dec. 11-12 against Western Michigan.

In doing so, the Huskies also stirred up a hornets nest for fourth-ranked North Dakota, which travels to Baxter Arena to take on the Mavs this weekend. UND is tied with the Huskies for the NCHC lead with just four games each remaining.

Omaha, 11th in PairWise, finishes the regular season with UND and then Denver. It can’t afford to be swept in its final two series. Saturday’s UND-UNO game will be televised on ASN at 8 p.m. ET and is can’t-miss TV with all that’s at stake.

That game is far from the only big game on tap.

Quinnipiac stuck to its heart-stopping script with its 12th overtime game of the season. And to reach the gut-wrenching dozen the Bobcats pulled goalie Michael Garteig with 3:15 remaining against RPI for a late score, then got the game-winner from senior Soren Jonzzon 15 seconds into overtime for the 5-4 win.

Quinnipiac is 4-1-7 in overtime games and has its biggest ECAC test in Saturday’s season finale against Yale.

No. 5 Providence, meanwhile set itself up for a possible Hockey East title as it moved into second place in the conference with a sweep of Notre Dame, which knocked the Fighting Irish from ASN’s Elite Eight this week).

The Friars have UMass remaining while the Eagles face UMass Lowell.

Nothing is settled.

ASN’s Elite Eight

nchc-stcloudstate1. ST. CLOUD STATE

Record: 25-6-1 | Conferemce: NCHC | Last week: 1

Minnesota Duluth and Colorado College stand between Huskies and a share of the Penrose Cup.


hockeyeast-bostoncollege2. BOSTON COLLEGE

Record: 23-4-5 | Conference: Hockey East | Last week: 2

20-win UMass Lowell stands between Eagles and another Hockey East title


ecac-quinnipiac3. QUINNIPIAC

Record: 23-2-7 | Conference: ECAC | Last week: 3

Can’t overlook Brown on Friday, but can’t wait for regular-season finale Saturday against Yale.


nchc-northdakota4. NORTH DAKOTA

Record: 24-5-3 | Conference: NCHC | Last week: 4

North Dakota + Omaha = split. Both would love to be on the winning end of snapping that formula.


Providence College5. PROVIDENCE

Record: 23-5-4 | Conference: Hockey East | Last week: 5

Sweeps into sole possession of second place in Hockey East; 19-0-4 when leading after 40 minutes.


ecac-yale6. YALE

Record: 18-5-4 | Conference: ECAC | Last week: 8

Late heroics — twice this past weekend — runs nation’s longest win streak to seven games.


bigten-michigan7. MICHIGAN

Record: 19-4-5 | Conference: Big Ten | Last week: 7

All eyes on Minnesota-Michigan for the Big Ten league Thursday, and again Friday.


nchc-denver8. DENVER

Record: 17-8-5 | Conference: NCHC | Last week: Not ranked

Pacific Rim Line of Trevor Moore (California), Danton Heinen (British Columbia) and Dylan Gambrell (Washington) is hottest in the country; Pioneers 11-1-3 since Jan. 1.


DROPPED OUT: Notre Dame (6) swept out by Providence.

Dave Dondoneau

Dave Dondoneau is a freelance writer based in Honolulu. Follow him on Twitter @DakotaHI.