2007 NCAA Hockey Tournament Preview
When the pairings for the 2007 NCAA Tournament were announced on ESPN2, the No. 1 seeds went in order to Minnesota (Denver), Notre Dame (Grand Rapids), Clarkson (Rochester, N.Y.) and New Hampshire (Manchester, N.H.).
The automatic bids for this year’s tournament went to the conference champions from Atlantic Hockey (Air Force), College Hockey America (Alabama-Huntsville), CCHA (Notre Dame), ECACHL (Clarkson), Hockey East (Boston College) and the WCHA (Minnesota).
Only the Gophers and Fighting Irish doubled as regular season and conference tournament champions.
The 10 at-large bids went to Boston University, Maine, Massachusetts, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Michigan State, New Hampshire, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and St. Lawrence.
Defending champion Wisconsin (19-18-4) failed to qualify for the tournament, while Air Force, UAH and UMass will all be making their first NCAA appearance.
Regional play begins Friday and Saturday in Rochester, N.Y. (East), Grand Rapids, Mich. (Midwest), Manchester, N.H. (Northeast) and Denver (West). By next Sunday night, the Frozen Four field will be determined and then played at St. Louis’ Scottrade Center on April 5 (ESPN2) and 7 (ESPN).
The conference breakdown for the tournament has five teams from Hockey East, four teams from the CCHA, three from the WCHA, two teams from the ECAC and one each from Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America.
Some interesting second-round matchups could include a couple of rematches from conference championships played Saturday night. In the Northeast, UNH and BC could meet again on the heels of the Eagles’ 5-2 win in the Hockey East championship. And top seed Minnesota, a 3-2 overtime winner against North Dakota in the WCHA title game, can’t be happy about the prospect of facing the Fighting Sioux again a week later.
First Round, March 23-25
West Regional (Denver)
1 Minnesota vs. 4 Air Force
2 Michigan vs. 3 North Dakota
Northeast Regional (Manchester)
1 New Hampshire vs. 4 Miami, Ohio
2 Boston College vs. 3 St. Lawrence
East Regional (Rochester)
1 Clarkson vs. 4 Massachusetts
2 St. Cloud St. vs. 3 Maine
Midwest Regional (Grand Rapids)
1 Notre Dame vs. 4 Alabama-Huntsville
2 Boston University vs. 3 Michigan St.