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NCAA Midwest hockey regional: Ferris State moves on, Michigan upset by Cornell.
March 24, 2012 - Matt Wellens
Green Bay has been a good place for New Yorkers as of late.
Back in 2006, it was a town many from New York state would like to forget after the Cornell Big Red hockey team dropped a 1-0 triple-overtime regional final to Wisconsin at the Resch Center.
Since then the New York Football Giants have won a pair of playoff games against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field and Friday, the Big Red hockey team got its redemption.
No. 4 Cornell handed No. 1 Michigan its first and only overtime loss of the season, 3-2, in the NCAA Midwest Regional Final at the Resch Center.
The Wolverines scored 1:11 into the game and with 4:01 remaining, but they couldn’t crack Cornell goaltender Andy Iles in between, expect for one instance.
Cornell appeared to not even belong in the NCAAs after going down 2-0 93 seconds into the regional semifinal, but following a Big Red timeout, officials reviewed the goal and disallowed it.
After the game, the officials released a statement saying the second Michigan goal was disallowed due to illegal contact with goaltender in the crease, not allowing him to play the position.
From there, Cornell came to life. Iles was a wall in net and the Big Red penalty kill did what it’s band chanted — kill, Red, kill.
Michigan failed to convert on seven power play chances, including a five minute major.
According to head coach Red Berenson, Michigan had 13 shots during the power play, but I doubt NMU head coach would have classified any of them as “quality scoring chances” as he likes to do.
Berenson and Travis Lynch also said the disallowed goal didn’t effect the team, however, the disallowed goal was the first thing Berenson brought up in his post game presser.
Berenson also said he didn’t disagree with the call, but questioned why the refs didn’t blow the whistle if a man was in the crease.
Cornell will now face the only CCHA team to win on Friday, Ferris State.
The Bulldogs held on for nearly two minutes as Denver played with an empty net — despite Michigan Tech hosting the regional and being ready to put a few more pucks in — at the end before prevailing 2-1.
Ferris State looked fresh with no rust despite not playing for two weeks after being upset in a three-game second-round CCHA playoff series by Bowling Green State.
For Bulldogs coach Bob Daniels, today was a bit of redemption as well after his team fell 7-4 to Minnesota at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis in the 2003 West Regional final.
Daniels admitted to not enjoying himself during what was his first trip to the NCAA tournament, but this time he entered the big ice dance with a different attitude and I’m sure the win over Denver helped keep those spirits up.
Like I said, the CCHA regular season champs were the only team from the CCHA to win on Friday after Michigan and Miami both lost in overtime. Michigan State lost to Union 3-1.
Western Michigan will open NCAA tournament play tomorrow against North Dakota.
Despite being touted as the best league in college hockey during the regular season with its superior record out of conference and NCAA-high five bids, the CCHA is on the verge of being shutout from the Frozen Four.
Other quick hits: I was pretty hard on the ECAC going into this tournament and I questioned whether it deserved two bids since the PairWise had Cornell at No. 13, but KRACH had the Big Red at No. 22 due to its incredibly weak schedule. The ECAC proved me wrong and went 2-0 Friday. ... I went 2-2 in my bracket today, correctly picking Union and Ferris State to win. Those two wins are pretty much useless, however, because I had Miami in the Frozen Four and Michigan in the National Championship game. Oops. ... Ferris State scored int game-winning goal today while its mascot Brutus Bulldog was in the media room having a brat and burger. When informed of this, Daniels basically told his school mascot to chow down during Saturday’s regional final and stay away from the rink. ... No Wisconsin Badgers meant no fans at the Resch Center today. Following the Michigan-Cornell battle, attendance was reported to be 3,465 in the 8,709-seat building. NMU played six games at the Berry Events Center this season that had more fans than the regional tonight and with Michigan ousted, Saturday could be much worse.
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