After an intriguing first round we had four second round games that were close early until the better team slowly pulled away.
#1 Ohio State vs. #5 Northeastern
Common opponents don’t really tell us much here since there was only one. A better breakdown of how this game might go can be found in the overall rankings where the two key questions are who will be able to maintain the bulk of the possession and whether the Ohio State goaltending can stymie Northeastern’s shooters.
How they got here
Ohio State weathered a 1-0 deficit after the first period to dominate Quinnipiac the rest of the way. The Bobcats outshot the Buckeyes 12-10 in the opening period. The rest of the way? 34-11 Ohio State.
Northeastern’s win can best be described as grinding out superior chances and slowly trickling in goals to put away Yale. By the time the Bulldogs got on the board it was 3-1 Northeastern with 4:38 left in the game.
Ohio State – Do what they did against Quinnipiac. The Bobcats had great goaltending this season and OSU put in 4 goals on it. They had one of the best PKs in the country and Ohio State went 2/3 on the power play.
Northeastern – Get to Thiele. OSU goaltending was their one weak point this season. Northeastern’s shooters need to have a good game.
Northeastern 3-2 (OT)
#2 Minnesota vs. #6 Wisconsin
Despite being the better team overall, Minnesota lost the regular season series 0-2-2. They found salvation when it mattered most, in the WCHA semi where they notched their first win of the season against the Badgers.
Overall these two teams were really not that far apart.
How they got here
Like Northeastern, Minnesota slowly squeezed out Minnesota Duluth scoring a little over halfway into the second and early in the third to take a 2-0 lead with time waning. The third goal with under 10 to play was the back-breaker.
After easily dispatching Long Island, Wisconsin took it to a Colgate team that, quite frankly, looked sloppy, unprepared, and more interested in setting a physical tone than playing hockey. The Badgers outshot Colgate 35-15 and Colgate’s second goal with under 10 seconds left was meaningless.
Minnesota – Score first. Wisconsin plays worse when playing from behind, even if they end up equalizing. The Badgers scored first in each of their first three regular season matchups and 28 of their 39 games overall this season.
Wisconsin – Win off the top line. Wisconsin’s top three scorers Casey O’Brien, Britta Curl, and Eden Lacey had 1 goal and 7 assists against Minnesota in the regular season series. Everyone else had 12 goals and 14 assists.