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Northern Links: WCHA announcements coming, CCHA Awards, Bracketology, Live from The Joe
March 23, 2013 - Matt Wellens
DETROIT — Greetings from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit with the CCHA semifinals underway between Ohio State and Notre Dame.
I'll be at The Joe all weekend for the final edition of the CCHA Championships. The Buckeyes and Irish are the early semifinal with Michigan and Miami playing at 4:30 p.m.
At 5:30 p.m. EDT today, the WCHA will be holding a press conference to announce the worst kept secret in college hockey: Grand Rapids will host the 2014 WCHA championships with a return to St. Paul in 2015.
It's such a poorly kept secret, that commissioner Bruce McLeod let the locations slip on television last night, according to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald.
The press conference will be streamed online. I'll catch it from Detroit and tweet anything important. Besides the site of the league semis and championship, the WCHA will be going over the new playoff format and revealing a new "visual identity" which is expected to be a new logo. I also hope a new website.
In other reading:
— Miami was the big winner at the CCHA Awards show last night at the Fox Theatre.
Austin Czarnik was the player of the year, Enrico Blasi was coach of the year and Riley Barber was the rookie of the year.
Northern Michigan's only two honorees were senior forward Kory Kaunisto as the Wildcats' CCHA Scholar Athlete of the Year with a 3.98 grade point average and sophomore forward Reed Seckel, who was NMU's Perani Cup Three Stars points leader.
— In the world of bracketology, Miami appears to be the only CCHA team that is in the NCAA Tournament, according to Jason Moy. Ohio State, Notre Dame and Western Michigan are on the bubble and Michigan needs the Mason Cup, just like it did in 2010.
For teams like Western, Notre Dame and OSU, that bubble shrank because Niagara got upset in the Atlantic Hockey tournament. According to Moy, Niagara will only fall as low as 15 so look for the AHA to get two bids.
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Joe Louis Arena prior to the start of the final CCHA Championship weekend on Saturday in Detroit. (Journal photo by Matt Wellens)