Originally published by College Hockey News on March 22, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota State breaking Michigan Tech’s heart has become a recurring theme in the WCHA this season and it played out again Saturday night, as the Mavericks captured their second-straight Broadmoor Trophy with a 5-2 come-from-behind victory.
Down, 2-1, entering the third period, Minnesota State scored four-straight goals to close out the game, including a natural hat trick from freshman forward Brad McClure, who finished the tournament with six points (5-1—6) to earn Most Outstanding Player honors.
MSU head coach Mike Hastings said that, in speaking with one of McClure’s former coaches, he discovered the Stratford, Ontario, native’s nickname was “Captain Clutch” — a moniker he lived up to in St. Paul.
“He’s a guy that has a history of scoring big goals and he has a history of scoring a lot of them,” Hastings said of McClure. “I’m happy he’s wearing our jersey.”
End of Illustrious College Career Comes in Loss to Minnesota State
Originally published by College Hockey News on March 21, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The cliché in college hockey says it’s hard to end another team’s season. No. 2 Minnesota State found that out Friday night in a hard-fought, 4-0, win over Ferris State in the WCHA semifinals.
The loss ends a roller coaster-like campaign for the Bulldogs. MacNaughton Cup champions just a year ago, Ferris State struggled to find consistent sources of offense this season, which again reared its head against the Mavericks. The FSU attack had been better recently, with 14 goals in its last four games, but couldn’t get anything going against Minnesota State.
The Bulldogs’ defense and senior goaltender C.J. Motte kept it close, but could only tread water against the high-powered Mavericks for so long. For Motte, who stopped 21-of-24 shots on the night, the loss ends his time in a Ferris State uniform. He ends his career as arguably the most decorated player in program history. The St. Clair, Mich., native was a First Team All-WCHA selection and Hobey Baker Top-10 Finalist a season ago, and leaves with the most wins in Bulldog history.
Michigan Tech Continues Ride to WCHA Title Game
Originally published by College Hockey News on March 20, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Bowling Green will be sitting on pins and needles for the remainder of conference tournament weekend after dropping a 4-2 decision to No. 4 Michigan Tech in the WCHA Final Five semifinals.
The loss drops the on-the-bubble Falcons from to No. 15 in the Pairwise. BGSU needed to beat the Huskies to feel secure about its spot in the national tournament. With the loss, it is in big trouble. Its best hope is for Michigan Tech to win again Saturday, and no outside-the-bubble teams win their conference’s autobid.
Head coach Chris Bergeron said earlier this week that he has been straightforward with his team throughout the season about its NCAA Tournament chances. That didn’t change following Friday night’s loss.
“It doesn’t look as positive as we would have wanted, but we put ourselves in that predicament,” Bergeron said. “We’ve left it in other people’s hands and there is nothing we can do about that except sit and wait.”
Originally published by College Hockey News on March 19, 2015
When he was hired, first-year WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson was tasked with re-building and growing a league that once sat atop the college hockey mountain, despite its top-tier signature programs. So far, so good, as the conference enters Final Five weekend with three top-10 teams and an outside chance of placing four teams in the national tournament.
Going back to last summer, Robertson’s stated goal was to put more teams in the NCAAs. That looks to be well within reach, if not surpassed, depending on what happens around the country this weekend. Minnesota State and Michigan Tech are locks, Bowling Green is on the right side of the bubble for now, and Ferris State is in a win-and-in scenario.
“That would be a wonderful year for our conference if we can get three teams in,” Robertson said, “and I do believe we have three worthy teams. … We could have a fourth team make the tournament.”
All in all, with three of the nation’s top teams and a hungry, streaking Ferris State team involved, it should be an exciting weekend of hockey as the WCHA returns to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
“There’s not a better college hockey tournament than the WCHA Final Five,” Robertson said. “I’m so excited to get back to (the Xcel Energy Center). We think having our tournament in St. Paul is a great foundation for continuing this conference in years to come.”
Orginally published by College Hockey News on March 13, 2015
After another season of wall-to-wall intrigue, eight WCHA teams are left standing as conference playoff season begins. The quest for the Broadmoor Trophy begins this weekend with four campus site best-of-3 series before the field is whittled down to four teams for next weekend’s Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.