Welcome to Thursday, everyone – we decided to post our Daily Noontime a bit earlier than yesterday, which we hope will bring a smile to your face (and a sense of relief, too – fingers crossed!).
Let’s get after it and make today a great day – isn’t every day awesome? – by sharing some news and links from the sports world.
Enjoy a brand new podcast – today, we welcomed John Avino, who is a Massachusetts based sports broadcaster that is currently announcing games at Boston University, Holy Cross, and Northeastern University.
Listen to today’s show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Anchor – you can visit our Anchor page to also find out where our show is being distributed (and shared!).
As noted on Twitter yesterday – well, more last night, to be exact! – it appears the main reason D-III championships were canceled was due to “low participation numbers.” Spring championships at the D-III level have not been canceled – the hope, according to last night’s release is for teams that compete at the end of the academic year to have a chance to compete for a national championship.
Speaking of D-III football, the spring season – yes, a spring season! – is set to begin this weekend. And you can find out who is playing by visiting D3Football.com’s scoreboard … now!
In addition to D-III football being played this spring – again, that sounds crazy, right? – there will also be some NCAA D-I Football Championship (FCS) games taking place, beginning next Saturday, February 13 when McNeese State visits Tarleton State for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
And just a quick program note, we will be covering spring football, both here in New England (and the northeast) and around the country, so make sure to stop by over the next few weeks and months for future blog posts. And we’re excited to cover spring football, which again seems strange, but that’s just our “two-cents.”
Let’s switch gears to some quick-hitters:
In case you missed it – and this is a crazy story! – a barber with Covid-19 almost cut “the hair of Patrick Mahomes,” which would have NOT been a good thing for the . Could you imagine if the Chiefs did not have their quarterback on Sunday?
Finally, Noontime Sports is celebrating Black History Month by producing one post a day on the men and women that have and continue to impact the sports world. Yesterday, we highlighted Bobby Marshall, who was one of the first Africa American’s to play professional football.
Boston University punched its ticket to the ‘Frozen Four’ – TD Garden in Boston, Mass. – as the Terriers defeated Minnesota-Duluth, 3-2, on Saturday evening in the second round of the NCAA Northeast Regional at Verizon Wireless Arena.
BU’s Evan Rodrigues netted two goals, including the game-winner at 17:36 in the third period – his 21st strike of the season – which secured the Terriers a return trip to the TD Garden.
Last weekend, the Terriers earned back-to-back wins at the Garden on Causeway Street, downing New Hampshire and UMass Lowell en route to winning the Hockey East crown. BU secured the top spot in their region and rallied to defeated Yale yesterday, 3-2, in overtime.
Rodrigues opened the scoring for the Red and White in the opening stanza by locating the back of the Bulldogs’ cage at 7:17 in the first period. Minnesota-Duluth responded Willie Raskob, who scored his fourth goal of the season, which made it 1-1 after 20 minutes of play.
Matt Lane pushed BU ahead, 2-1, at 3:32 in the second period, but again, the Bulldogs countered with Kyle Osterberg that made it 2-2 after two periods of play.
Matt O’Connor picked up his 24th win between the pipes, deflecting 27 shots, including 11 attempts in both the first and second period. Kasimir Kaskisuo concluded his season 18-14-3 and with 27 saves.
Before BU captured the regional finals, Boston College fell to Denver, 5-2, in the East Regional Semifinal in Providence, Rhode Island.
Will Butcher and Grant Arnold each lit the lamp for Denver during the final stanza that pushed the Pioneers ahead for good. Michael Matheson and Ryan Fitzgerald netted the Eagles’ goals.
In South Bend, Indiana, Jimmy Vesey brought Harvard within one-goal of Nebraska-Omaha early in the third period (2-1), but the Mavericks dashed the Crimson’s potential rally, potting back-to-back open-net goals to secure the win (4-1), their first-ever in NCAA Tournament play.
The final weekend of the college lacrosse season is upon us.
Two local squads – Amherst College (women’s lacrosse) and Tufts University (men’s lacrosse) – along with a handful of Division I, II and III teams will be competing for national championships over the next few days. Below this weekend’s schedule, which does include non-Massachusetts teams, too.
Men’s Division I Schedule (Games on ESPN2, both Saturday & Monday):
* Denver vs. Duke, 1 p.m. (Semifinal) Saturday, May 24
* Maryland vs. Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (Semifinal) Saturday, May 24
* Denver/Duke vs. Maryland/Notre Dame, 1 p.m. (Championship), Monday, May 26
Men’s Division II Schedule (Watch on NCAA.com):
* LIU Post vs. Limestome, 4 p.m. (Championship) Sunday, May 25
Men’s Division III Schedule (Watch on NCAA.com):
* Tufts vs. Salisbury, 1 p.m. (Championship) Sunday, May 25
Women’s Division I Schedule (Watch on ESPN3 & ESPNU):
* Virginia vs. Syracuse, 5 p.m. (Semifinal) Friday, May 23
* Northwestern vs. Maryland, 7:30 p.m. (Semifinal) Friday, May 23
* Virginia/Syracuse vs. Northwestern/Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (Championship) Sunday, May 25 (Game will be on ESPNU)
Women’s Division III Schedule:
* Trinity (Conn.) vs. SUNY Cortland, 1 p.m. (Semifinal) Saturday, May 24
* Amherst vs. Salisbury, 4 p.m. (Semifinal) Saturday, May 24
* Trinity/SUNY Cortland vs. Amherst/Salisbury, 2:30 p.m. (Championship) Sunday, May 25
Quick Note: The Division II Women’s Lacrosse Championship was decided last weekend as Adelpi capped a perfect season by defeating Lock Haven, 7-5. Adelphi concluded the regular season 21-0.
While the first half of the 2013-14 season is slowly coming to a close, there is at least a few games to watch or attend prior to the first of the year. Below is this evening’s schedule, which features three Hockey East teams.
Men’s Ice Hockey:
* Denver at Massachusetts, 7 p.m.
* Northeastern at Vermont, 7:05 p.m.
Quick Note: After this evening’s contests, the next local tilt will be a tournament game between Boston College and Bowling Green, which is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 27. We’ll have a post later this week of all the local teams that’ll be competing in holiday tournaments.
The dominoes are already beginning to fall in college hockey’s realignment and reshaping. Within the next three-years, the nation’s college hockey landscape will look absolutely nothing like it will in the upcoming season, as teams are shifting and changing conferences with the air of desperation that was expected when Big Ten Hockey formed.
Here’s a look at the second part of hockey’s realignment that no doubt will continue throughout the summer and into the next season.
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference was made official last Wednesday in a press conference in Colorado. The league, beginning in the 2013-2014 season will comprise, as expected, Denver, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth, and Miami University. During the press conference, the league made it clear that they were open to further expansion. Notre Dame, (who we discussed at length in Part One and will discuss again later here in Part Two) is examining membership, and Western Michigan is also expressing interest. Recent reports are surfacing that both Boston College and Boston University were approached by the future NCHC about joining, which were denied by the new league. BC and BU compete in Hockey East and are logistically nowhere near the NCHC schools.
In the immediate aftermath of the announcement, Northern Michigan announced it was seeking membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Two days after the announcement, the WCHA, which lost all of the NCHC schools except for Miami, (who was in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, or CCHA), accepted the Wildcats as its sixth member. The move will ensure the WCHA as a viable hockey conference with the six-school minimum guaranteed. As a side note, NMU has a history of shifting between the WCHA and CCHA, starting out in the central league in the 1970s before moving to the WCHA with Michigan Tech in the 1984. 13-years later, NMU rejoined the CCHA, making the NCAA tournament in 2010. Now, they’ll head back to the WCHA.
With the new conferences starting to create lower numbers, it became apparent that there now existed several new slots as they fight for survival. Minnesota State-Moorhead became the first school to jump on the opportunity, announcing it was roughly 40% through a goal to endow a Division I program. The chaos of the shifting conferences opened up some open slots for the conferences to fill, and the Dragons are securing their position to join the schools. It’s possible both the CCHA and WCHA could add the school, which will play its home games over state borders in nearby Fargo, North Dakota. The Minnesota State University system already sponsors hockey in Mankato, playing in the WCHA. The state itself is at the heart of the realignment chaos, with the heralded Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Big Ten and Minnesota-Duluth leaving for the new conference.
Rumors continue to abound for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish are not staying in the CCHA, which is beginning to look more and more like the league that will be the biggest casualty. The WCHA and the NCHC have made general overtures to Notre Dame, but it’s starting to become very apparent that Hockey East is the likely landing spot. That potential move joins the school with Catholic rivals Boston College and Providence.
Sources close to Noontime Sports are reporting that, if Notre Dame decides to explore Hockey East, they would be accepted by the conference. That move brings the league to 11 teams, and while the reports say that the league doesn’t want to add a 12th team right away, they do want to keep the league at an even number. But, after Notre Dame, there isn’t really the type of quality opponent that Hockey East is looking for. The targets are boiling down to one of the six ECAC teams not considered Ivy League schools, a target from Atlantic Hockey or Bowling Green.
Bowling Green is a quirky, yet attractive offer that could be used to entice Notre Dame even more into looking east. One of the Irish’s major hang-ups is travel, since the move would place the school in a conference with schools that are not within a bus drive. But pulling Bowling Green into the league allows Notre Dame a “west coast” travel partner for Hockey East. According to BC Interruption.com, this, along with the fact that BGSU doesn’t need to raise scholarship numbers, factor into this possible decision. Furthermore, BGSU wouldn’t compete for a top slot in the league, which would keep the top slots secure for the traditional Hockey East powers, at least in the short term.
I heard a rumor about the CCHA. Bear in mind that it’s only a rumor, and that it’s neither confirmed nor reported anywhere else, so please don’t give this anymore credence outside of being a rumor. I heard that CCHA is looking at, specifically, Canisius, Mercyhurst, and Niagarafrom Atlantic Hockey. Niagara left College Hockey America for Atlantic Hockey as a reactionary move to the conference falling apart, when CCHA didn’t want it two years ago. Canisius, in Buffalo, NY, and Mercyhurst, in Erie, PA, are possible landing spots because they want to raise their scholarship limit from the Atlantic Hockey-maximum of 12, a move the eastern schools in the league essentially blocked. They could also bring a heated rivalry with one another developed over years spent in the MAAC, which became Atlantic Hockey.
Alabama-Huntsville is going somewhere. Nobody has any idea, but essentially, they’ll end up as a “stop-gap” for some conference that needs to fill a slot. The Chargers struggled last year to a [4-26-2] record, a year after they won the CHA Tournament. They would benefit from having guaranteed games against opponents, and it would ensure more home games for the team. Last year, they played only 12 home games compared with 18 road games, and the teams they played were predominantly power opponents such as Wisconsin, Ohio State, Cornell, Bemidji State, Colorado College, and Nebraska-Omaha. If they get any chance to join a conference, they’ll bite at the opportunity.