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It's One Of The Best Sports Days Of The Year As Today Marks The Start Of The 2017 Frozen Four

2017 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Northeast Regional

So I kind of jumped the gun a little bit and wrote my Frozen Four preview blog about 11 days before the tournament began. So anyway, here’s the repost of that now that we’re actually here. Tonight at 6, Harvard will take on Minnesota Duluth. And at 9:30, Notre Dame will take on #1 seed Denver. Both games are on ESPN2 with the National Championship game being played Saturday night at 8pm on ESPN. Now on to the reblog…

If you read the NCAA Hockey Tournament preview blog from last week, my Final Four predictions from a guy who honestly doesn’t watch much college hockey were Denver, Harvard, UMass-Lowell and Boston University. Lowell and BU were both an overtime goal away from advancing to Chicago and both Denver and Harvard took care of business in their brackets. So all in all, not too bad. Here’s what the Frozen Four will be looking like next week.

frozen-four-bracket

First on deck we have Minnesota-Duluth vs Harvard. Which, in my opinion, is a matchup riddled with conspiracy.

***Conspiracy Theory Alert***

Did NHL GMs reach out to Boston University and tell them to throw their game against Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday night? Hear me out. On Friday BU took down North Dakota in double overtime. We’ll get to how lucky they got after North Dakota’s overtime goal got called back for offsides later, but what happened next is what leads me to believe we didn’t have a fair game on our hands. Anyway, North Dakota loses on Friday. Brock Boeser then immediately signs with the Vancouver Canucks and this is what happens on Saturday night.

Did the Boston Bruins pressure Charlie McAvoy into losing against Minnesota-Duluth so they wouldn’t have to wait an extra 12 days before signing him? Did the Arizona Coyotes pressure Clayton Keller into losing against Minnesota-Duluth so they wouldn’t have to wait an extra 12 days before signing him? All I’m saying is that the Coyotes play in St. Louis tonight. Clayton Keller is from St. Louis. Boeser scored in his first NHL game against his hometown team. Did Arizona see that goal and immediately make the call for Keller to go silent in OT against the Bulldogs? I don’t know. You tell me.

With all that being said, BU’s luck ran out on Friday night against North Dakota. They were up 3-1, then the Sioux came back to tie it up in the 3rd, scored 4 minutes into the 1st overtime period but the goal was called back because somebody’s skate was barely offsides like 2 full minutes before the goal was scored. So yeah, no shot in heck were they going to luck out in overtime again so credit that UMD win to the Hockey Gods above. But will the Hockey Gods be in favor of the Bulldogs in this match up tonight?

DOUBTFUL! Because if there is one team who has been dancing with the devil all year long, it’s the Harvard Crimson/Harvard White Privilege. Did Riggs and Francis find a way to steal Portnoy’s Devil Magic a la the aliens from Space Jam stealing all the NBA Players’ talents? It sure as heck seems that way. Think about it. A couple months ago, Harvard won the Bean Pot for the first time in over 20 years. They have kids like Ryan Donato showing why a ground attack is always more lethal than the Air Force.

ryan-donato-goal-airforce

Prettiest dangle of the tournament so far. All they had to do to turn the corner and become an elite program was lose Jimmy Vesey. Simple as that. This team knows how to win and Barstool knows how to get the most out of the Electric Chair. Riggs better be on Facebook Live from Augusta on Saturday night after Harvard takes down UMD tonight.

Final Prediction: Harvard 3, UMD 2

Next on deck we have Denver vs Notre Dame

Denver was the #1 overall seed heading into this tournament. They were 14-1 in their last 15 before the NCAA tournament with their only loss in that stretch coming against North Dakota in the NCHC tournament. Yesterday they had Penn State who was coming off a huge 10-3 win in their first ever NCAA tournament appearance. After letting Penn State come back from a 2-goal hole, though, Denver decided to quit dicking around and Troy Terry decided to pop off for a 5-point game.

troy-terry-goal

Not exactly fair when you can have Henrik Borgstrom dish it off to Troy Terry like that. Just a couple of Sauce Monsters who give defensemen and goalies PTSD on the regular.

denver-4th-goal

Troy Terry is a biology major at Denver (don’t fact check me on that one). And you can tell his studies are really paying off the way he dissects the defense out there. That is a sentence that should be making me John Buccigross money but that’s besides the point. Terry and Borgstrom are so good with the puck on their stick that all you can do defensively against them is pray. Which should be good for Notre Dame since they all love Jesus and shit like that.

notre-dame-ot-winner

Notre Dame got their ticket to Chicago after this overtime game winner from Andrew Oglevie against UMass-Lowell yesterday. They’re the only non-top seed to make it to the Frozen Four and they did it as a 4-seed. Talk about the luck of the Irish, amirite??? Clearly they got the easiest draw out of all the 4-seeds in this tournament but we knew that before it even started. You could spray Minnesota with an entire can of Axe and still smell the upset on them. Now here’s where the match up against Denver gets interesting for Notre Dame. Because it appears their key to success is scoring aggressively ugly goals.

notre-dame-goal

Just look at that. Breakaway, fans on the first shot, barely gets a stick on the rebound, and it ends up in the back of the net. That shit is deflating for the other team. You’re just stuck there on the bench thinking to yourself, “how in the fuck did that just go in?”. It’s all you can think about. When your bread and butter is scoring goals that have no business going in, then you immediately give yourself the advantage in the mental game. Denver can be playing a perfect game but Notre Dame will still find a way to accidentally smash one in the back of the net and then it’s like you did all that work for nothing. Honestly it’s a great game plan and it’s been working for the Irish so far so I hope they keep it up next Thursday. But they probably won’t.

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Final Prediction: Denver 4 – Notre Dame 2

So yeah. The 2017 Frozen Four is set and we’ll see the Pios vs Crimson in the final. Book it.

@BarstoolJordie