The Curious Case of Wisconsin and National Championships

I’ve made this point quite a bit: how do we know Brad Frost of Minnesota and Mark Johnson of Wisconsin are good coaches? Maybe that’s a silly question to ask since they combine for eight National Championships between them, both with four. To counter that, they routinely have the most talented teams so…shouldn’t they win a lot of titles? What is the right number of titles for them to win?

It’s hard to debate Frost since he’s won four of the last six national titles. Mark Johnson, however, hasn’t won a championship since 2011 and seems to avoid the questions that UMD’s Shannon Miller got right away. Granted Duluth fell off for a few years and Wisconsin has remained among the elites during most of Johnson’s drought. But this is two years in a row now Wisconsin has brought the best team into the NCAA Tournament (2016 arguable) and come away empty-handed. What gives?

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2017 Season Awards and Year in Review

Wow, I mean wow. If you had told me at the beginning of the season that I would be sitting her toasting the second Clarkson national championship in my lifetime, I don’t know what I would have said. I think I picked the Knights to finish fourth in the ECAC heading into the season. I thought the departures of Erin Ambrose and Renata Fast would hurt them a lot more than they did. Who knows, if this team doesn’t lose to BC in overtime last year, maybe we’re talking about three NCAA championships in four years.

If I were to contrast Clarkson and Wisconsin, it looked to me like Wisconsin was just going to play their game and dare you to beat them. What Clarkson found, what Katie Crowley largely unlocked for them, was that if you could adjust to neutralize the Badgers’ strengths, they wouldn’t adjust, they would just assume they were good enough to beat you anyway. (Or that you couldn’t neutralize those strengths for a full sixty minutes.)

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Women are Doing an Outstanding Job Covering the USWNT WWC Boycott

Because of course they are. Before you read the opinions of me (or any other dude), I recommend checking out the pieces below and maybe giving them a follow on Twitter.

U.S. women’s hockey team threatens to not play in world championships

by Julie Foudy, ESPNW

U.S. women’s hockey team willing to risk everything for respect

by Johnette Howard, ESPNW

Team USA boycott of IIHF Worlds about “more than hockey”

by Hannah Bevis, The Ice Garden

Who Do You Pay For: USA Hockey and the Undervaluing of Women Athletes

by Beth Boyle Machlan, The Ice Garden

Here’s the timeline on USWNT’s decision to sit out IIHF World Championships

by Erica L. Ayala and Hannah Bevis, The Ice Garden

US Women’s National Team Demands Better from USA Hockey

by Zoë Hayden, Victory Press

The U.S. women’s hockey team is boycotting over unfair wages. Here’s why that’s the right thing to do.

by Hemal Jhaveri, For the Win, USA Today

The U.S. Women’s Hockey Team’s Boycott Is About More Than Money

by Jaya Saxena, Elle

Due to discrimination by USA Hockey, women’s team boycotts world championship

by Lindsay Gibbs, Think Progress

U.S. Women’s Hockey Team Boycotting World Championships To Protest Low Pay

by Camila Domonoske, NPR

U.S. Women’s Hockey Team Boycott Echoes a Fight That Isn’t Over

by Juliet Macur, New York Times

Why the U.S. women’s hockey team is boycotting the world championships

by Christina Rutherford, Sportsnet

U.S. Women’s Hockey Team To Boycott World Championships Unless USA Hockey Steps Up Support

by Laura Wagner, Deadspin

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USWNT Demands More Pay, Support from USA Hockey, There’s No Compelling Argument Against It

If you haven’t seen by now, the US women’s team will be boycotting the IIHF World Championships later on in March. Though the above article mentions equal pay, the women are seeking “equitable support” (fair support) via the portion of their statement released here.

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The 2017 Women’s NCAA Tournament

The conference tournaments concluded last weekend with a fairly predictable selection process. The only real question was whether the committee would extra, super penny-pinch and have Clarkson and St. Lawrence play one another, but it didn’t come to pass. What we are left with is perfect bracket integrity. In fact, not only is the bracket perfect, but Robert Morris, the CHA champion, is also the eighth-ranked team in the PairWise. The system works!

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2017 ECAC Final Weekend

The ECAC quarterfinals progressed rather quietly with all four top seeds winning their series. Only Princeton needed the extra game to do so.

ecac-bracket

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Breaking Down the 2017 Hockey East Tournament

The Hockey East quarterfinals are best of three series played at the home school of the top seeds. The semifinals and finals are single-elimination games played at a predetermined site. This year’s tournament will be played in Boston at Boston University.

hockey-east

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