The West, or in this case the WCHA, remains the best with 15 national titles in 16 years.
Clarkson’s 2014 title, won with a 5-4 victory over Minnesota, kept the Gophers from winning the past five national titles. It gave the ECAC its only title and the only title ever won by a women’s team outside the WCHA.
Still, Boston College had an incredible season.
The Eagles won their first 40 games before falling 3-1 in Sunday’s Frozen Four title game to Minnesota. They set NCAA records for points (588) and assists (376) and BC coach Katie Crowley earned her second straight coach of the year honor.
This was BC’s first trip to the title game and only the third by Hockey East teams (Boston University made it in 2011 and 2013).
The cupboard is hardly bare for any of the Frozen Four contestants, but the heir apparent to Boston College’s Alex Carpenter, Minnesota’s Hannah Brandt and Amanda Kessel may be Gophers’ freshman Sarah Potomak.
Potomak was voted the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after scoring the game-winner in overtime against Wisconsin (3-2) and scored just 13 seconds into the title game. She also had an assist in the 3-1 win and finished the season with 15 goals and 39 assists, eighth most points in the country.
Waking up natty champs #surreal love this team so much?? pic.twitter.com/bMf9IL2E9D
: Sarah Potomak (@sarahpotomak9) March 21, 2016
NATTY CHAMPS BABY!!!!!!?? pic.twitter.com/BS0UZSnMXw
: Sarah Potomak (@sarahpotomak9) March 20, 2016
Fund set up for injured referee
The Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation has set up an online donation drive for longtime referee Butch Mousseaux, who was injured prior to Friday’s WCHA semifinal game between Ferris State and Michigan Tech.
Mousseaux has been in a drug-induced coma and listed in critical condition since hitting his head after falling awkwardly during warmups.
Hockey officials from all conferences have tweeted their support. Among them:
Prayers to longtime USA Hockey official Butch Mousseaux who remains in critical condition after fall on ice Friday. pic.twitter.com/AoPMo32Rzc
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) March 21, 2016
Mousseaux resides in Colorado, where Dawg Nation is based. Since its inception, the foundation says it has raised more than $500,000.
Sweet 16 by the numbers
Some interesting tidbits heading into this weekend’s opening round the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament:
- 123: Number of times Harvard and Boston College have played each other entering Friday’s Northeast Region semifinal. However, this will be the first time the teams have met in the NCAA Tournament.
- 38: Michigan’s defensive ranking out of 60 D-I teams at 3.0 goals per game. Worst in the field.
- 29: Ferris State’s offensive rank nationally (2.67 goals per game). Worst in the field.
- 22: Record for consecutive NCAA appearances, set by Michigan which is back in the tournament for the first time since the streak ended in 2012.
- 14: North Dakota’s current streak of tournament appearances. Longest in the nation.
- 10: NCHC teams that have advanced to the NCAAs over the past two years: Six last year and four this year.
- 9: NCAA titles won by Michigan. Most of any school.
- 8: Goalies in the field who are giving up less than 2 goals per game: Alex Lyon, Yale (1.59); Cam Johnson, North Dakota (1.64); Kevin Boyle, UMass Lowell (1.77); Kevin Ellis, Providence (1.82); Thatcher Demko, Boston College (1.87); Michael Garteig, Quinnipiac (1.90); Kasimir Kaskisuo, Minnesota Duluth (1.93) and Merrick Madsen, Harvard (1.96).
- 7: Champions from the past eight Frozen Fours are in the field.
- 6: Hockey East teams in the field. Most of any conference.
- 5: Freshmen in the tournament averaging at least a point a game: Michigan’s Kyle Connor (1.92), North Dakota’s Brock Boeser (1.34), Boston College’s Colin White (1.21), Denver’s Dylan Gambrell (1.13) and Boston College’s Miles Wood (1.0).
- 4: St. Cloud victories over Denver this season. A fifth matchup would come if the Huskies get past Ferris State and Denver gets by Boston University in the West region semifinals.
- 3: Hobey Baker Award candidates on Michigan’s CCM line: Connor, JT Compher and Tyler Motte.
- 2.15: St. Cloud’s average margin of victory this season. Tops in the nation.
- 2: Defensemen who average more than a point a game this season: St. Cloud’s Ethan Prow (1.03) and Michigan’s Zach Werenski (1.0).
- 1: Ranking of Michigan’s offense averaging 4.89 goals per game and Yale’s defense ranking at 1.74 goal per game.
- 0: Number of conference tournament champions in the Northeast Region (Boston College, Harvard, Minnesota Duluth and defending national champion Providence).
Coyne wins the Kazmaier
Kendall Coyne took home the Patty Kazmaier Award last weekend as the top player in women’s college hockey.
The 2014 U.S. Olympian finished second in the country in the scoring and led Northeastern to its first NCAA tournament appearance. Coyne, a senior, finished with 50 goals and 34 assists Only BC’s Alex Carpenter, who played in four more games, had more points (43 goals, 45 assists).
Coyne and Carpenter developed into one of the best college rivalries during their storied careers. Carpenter won the Kazmaier last season.
Coyne graduates at the Huskies’ all-time leading scorer with 148 goals and 140 assists. She beat out finalists Carpenter and Wisconsin goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens for the award.
As teams end their season players weigh opportunities to leave for the pros and schools make coaching changes.
The second coaching casualty of the season is longtime Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves, who took the Badgers to seven NCAA Tournaments and won two Frozen Four titles in 14 seasons behind the bench.
The Badgers fired Eaves on Friday morning after Wisconsin lost to Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament the night before. The Badgers were 8-19-8 this season and 4-26-5 last season. Fan attendance had dropped to 8,849 per game in the 15,359-seat arena.
Earlier this month UMass fired coach John Micheletto after his team lost 5-4 in the Hockey East tournament to Boston University.
As for players leaving for the NHL, USCHO.com lists sophomore Andrew Poturalski of New Hampshire (Carolina Hurricanes), Maine junior defenseman Dan Renouf (Detroit Red Wings) and Rensselaer junior goalie Jason Kasdorf (Buffalo Sabres) as the only three underclassmen who have departed.
Nebraska Omaha junior Jake Guentzel signed a tryout contract the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affilate Scranton Penguins on Tuesday. Guentzel was the Penguins’ third round pick (77th overall) in the 2013 draft. He led the Mavericks with 46 points this season.