Noontime Sports columnist, Dan Rubin attempted to make a few suggestions in regards to this past weekends college hockey scores. However, things didn’t totally end the way he had hoped, right?
By Dan Rubin
When I picked the Seattle Seahawks to beat the New Orleans Saints in the NFL playoffs, everyone that I knew at the time looked at me like I was insane or crazy.
When I picked 15th-seeded Hampton to beat 2nd-seeded Iowa State in the 2001 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, I got looked at like I wasn’t speaking English.
And when I picked Cornell last year to make the sweet sixteen, people really thought something was incredibly wrong with me.
Needless to say, I picked all three. The problem is – I didn’t pick anything else correctly. I finished dead last in my pick ‘ems for every single year even though I picked the best upsets and runs. My ability to picking games is so horrendously bad sometimes that when I make an insane selection, it pans out…and nothing else does.
So far, the 2011 NCAA men’s hockey postseason is shaping up to do the same thing to me.
To recap, this past week I picked the following teams to win their hockey playoff matchups. I had Niagara, Bentley, Army, and Mercyhurst all moving on in Atlantic Hockey. I picked Brown to extend Quinnipiac to three games in ECAC, and I picked my upset special of Harvard over Clarkson in three games (also in ECAC).
AIC 6-Army 3
Canisius 6-Niagara 3
Mercyhurst 5-Robert Morris 1
Sacred Heart 6-Bentley 3
Harvard sweeps Clarkson, 2 games to none
Quinnipiac sweeps Brown, 2 games to none – while shutting out Brown 4-0 and 4-0
The lesson? Dan Rubin knows nothing.
So what did this weekend teach us?
Sacred Heart finished 11th in Atlantic Hockey yet isn’t the worst team to advance. The Pioneers trailed Bentley 3-1 in the second period before scoring five third-period goals. Sacred Heart’s forwards were a lot better than I gave them credit for. Matt Gingera had a hat trick with all three goals coming during the Pioneer comeback. He scored the game-tying goal at 10:41, the insurance goal at 12:24, and the empty-netter with under a minute to go. I also was completely wrong about Olivier St. Onge, who stopped 42 shots, including 17 in the 2nd and 15 in the 3rd. Bentley outshot Sacred Heart, 45-28, but they went 0-7 on the power play. But they’ll go to second-seeded Air Force because AIC did what everyone knows they can do – play a team hard. AIC might not have the most talent, and they might not have the most storied program, but they play EVERYONE tough and can steal one or two games. They beat Army pretty handily, but now they’re forced to go to RIT for the quarterfinals.
Everything I worried about Brown came true. All the problems for Brown came to a head in this weekend’s games. They needed freshmen defensemen to play over and above what they were, and it didn’t happen. They needed Mike Clemente to play like he did against Yale in last year’s playoffs, and lightning didn’t strike twice. And the middle lines couldn’t help Brown, since the offense didn’t garner a single goal. They’ll be a lot stronger in the coming years, and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with, but this weekend just wasn’t their time.
Harvard saved my weekend picks. Harvard didn’t overpower Clarkson, but they did what they needed to do to win. Danny Biega (my X-factor) had a goal and two assists on the weekend, while his brother Michael had a goal in each game to go with an assist in Game 2. Michael Biega also scored the game-winner in both contests. So while the Biega clan isn’t winning any Hobey Baker trophies, they’re still worthy of some mention of their talent.
“You are still dangerous.” – Iceman (Top Gun). Mercyhurst in the playoffs is a pretty good team. Of all second round matchups, theirs is the most favorable because they draw Connecticut. They beat a solid Robert Morris team and now travel to play a UConn team that benefitted from playing in the eastern scheduling pod. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lakers make it back to Rochester for the conference final four.
I’m using Magic 8 Ball for this week’s picks. For a guy who watched a ton of college hockey this year, I did pretty horrendous at 2-4. But it’s pretty true to what I usually do. I called a couple of upsets but dropped the ball everywhere else. And that’s heading into a Hockey East playoff that’s anybody’s hockey tournament. So I’m breaking out my trusty Magic 8 Ball to help me out this week.
Stay tuned for all the hockey previews as we gear up for the weekend of the quarterfinals.