Hockey Night in Chi Psi – Frozen Four

HockeyNightinChiPsi

Missing our Chi Psi College Pick’em now that football season is over? You’re in luck because we’re bringing it back for hockey season with our Hockey Night in Chi Psi series! Each week Justin Zolot and James Holman will be joined by a surprise guest to give their picks for the week’s top hockey face-offs.

To wrap up the season, we’re covering all Frozen Four games this week, and we’re bringing back all 6 guest panelistsCheck out our picks below:

BostonUnion

Boston College vs. Union College

 Zolot Justin Zolot: Thursday’s first national semifinal marks only the second meeting all-time between Union and Boston College. The Dutchmen left a bitter taste in BC’s mouth last season, cutting the Eagles’ NCAA Tournament run short in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament in Providence, 5-1. In order for the Dutchmen to be successful, the experience and skill of defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere (a prospect of the hometown Flyers) and Mat Bodie must contain BC’s top-nationally ranked line of Hayes-Arnold-and Gaudreau. In addition, Union must retain puck possession, drive pucks to the net, and create opportunity in the offensive zone. Expect Union forwards Dan Carr and Max Novak to have big games and challenge BC’s freshmen goaltender Thatcher Demko. Experience, streakiness, and a “higher-power” will push the Union passed BC in the most nerve racking game I’ll ever watch. Anticipate a high scoring game between two offensive teams, Union tops Boston College 5-3. Alpha Pi lives to see another day.
 James James Holman: Interesting matchup for Brother Zolot as the team of his childhood takes on his Alma Mater for just the second time in series history. The first meeting was last year in the first round of the tournament, with the Dutchmen prevailing 5-1. Both of these teams have been untouchable this year, with Union and BC respectfully boasting unbeaten streaks of 15 and 19 games. BC features the best offense left in the tournament, as well as the youngest player in NCAA hockey—starting goalkeeper, Thatcher Demko. History says that BC will win it, considering they have won the national championship the past three even years. I’m going with the better defense and more experience in a tightly contested game. Union-4  BC-3 
 Brinling copy Nathan Brinling: Johnny Gaudreau is the real deal and a lock to win the Hobey Baker this year.  Before their regional wins, Boston College had lost 3 of their past 4 games.  It’s easy to talk yourself into the fact that it’s Union’s year, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do here.  Union wins a tight one 4-3.
 Wil-Smith Wil Smith: Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau is arguably the best player in college hockey, he has 7 points in his first two games in the tourney, including 3 goals and 3 helpers in a 6-2 rout against Denver. BC’s first line featuring Billy Arnold, Kevin Hayes, and Johnny Gaudreau has been clicking and they’ll need to stay that way if they’re going to hang with the Brother Zolot’s Dutchmen. Something tells me the BC offense has an off night and Union holds on for a 2-1 win in Philly behind a big game between the pipes by goalie Colin Stevens.
 Connor Connor Leipold: I’m going with Union for this matchup.  They’ve been strong all season and Boston is going to have a hard time stopping their strong offense.
 Ahlberg Ryan Ahlberg: Boston College looks good, but I can’t stray from our collective roots. Plus no one likes dynasties. UNION.
 SeanAaron Sean Aaron: I rarely get to pick a game in which my alma mater is playing. I have too much confidence in the Dutchmen.  Union prevails in a tough physical battle. 
 Justus Justus Johnson: Boston College. There’s just too much going on in this incredibly dominate team for Union to deal with. Go Eagles.

UNDMinnesota
University of North Dakota vs. University of Minnesota

 Zolot Justin Zolot: Thursday’s second national semifinal matchup renews one of college hockey’s best and fiercest rivalries. Until North Dakota and Minnesota moved to the NCHC and Big Ten respectively this season, these two teams met regularly as members of the WCHA. This Frozen Four semi-final game marks the 291st all-time meeting and first since January 19, 2013 between North Dakota and Minnesota. The last time both teams met in the Frozen Four was in 2005. This contest will certainly not disappoint you. Expect North Dakota’s top scorers sophomore Rocco Grimaldi (Florida Panthers) and Junior Michael Parks (Philadelphia Flyers) to challenge Minnesota goaltender and Hobey Baker finalist Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning) if they’re able to create opportunities. Minnesota carries the fire-powered line of freshmen Justin Kloos, the West Regional’s most outstanding  player, senior Nate Condon (Colorado Avalanche), and fellow freshmen Taylor Cammarata (New York Islanders). Sioux may be a girl’s name, but I’m a firm believer in the underdog this year. 15th seeded North Dakota top the 1st seeded Gophers 3-1. 
 James James Holman: Without this matchup it would have been the first year in 66 that the two programs didn’t meet. The rivalry was a casualty of the new Big Ten hockey conference that just completed its inaugural season. North Dakota on the other side of the coin is now a conference foe of my Alma Mater. No offense to NE hockey, but this game is going to be physical. Two of college hockey’s bluebloods with a combined 15 Freshman seeing considerable time and things are going to get chippy. North Dakota eeked by Ferris State due to the career-high 44 saves performance of their goalkeeper, Zane Gothberg. Once again, I’m picking with the stingier defense and going with the Golden Gophers in a close matchup. Minnesota 2- ND-1
 Brinling copy Nathan Brinling: While part of me feels that I should stick with Miami’s conference mate in the NCHC, I really think the speed and skill of the Gophers will overwhelm UND in a 4-1 win.
 Wil-Smith Wil Smith: North Dakota has had an incredibly run to the Frozen Four, after being one of the last teams to qualify for the tournament the former “Fighting Sioux” rattled off wins against Ferris State and Wisconsin to make it to Wells Fargo Center. However, Minnesota looked absolutely unreal in their first and second round games rolling over Robert Morris 7-3 and shutting out St. Cloud State 4-0. I see this trend continuing with Minnesota shutting down North Dakota 5-1, setting up an all Chi Psi final.
 Connor Connor Leipold: I have Minnesota over North Dakota for this one. MN has both the offense and defense necessary to beat ND.
 Ahlberg Ryan Ahlberg: The Golden Gophers (Minnesota’s Pride on Ice) are playing whioux? GOPHERS.
 SeanAaron Sean Aaron: In a match up of iconic NCAA hockey programs meeting for the 291st time with a combined 12 national championships, this matchup has instant classic written all over it. I like Minnesota to prevail with great goal-tending on the back end. 
 Justus Justus Johnson: I’m giving the upset to North Dakota. They just want it more.

Championship
National Championship Game

 Zolot Justin Zolot: Union College v. North DakotaWell I can tell you one thing…. no matter who Union College plays in the national title game, I’m going to be nervous as hell heading into this one. The only thing remotely comparable to a loss in the national title game is the New England Patriots’ 2008 Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants which snapped our perfect 19-0 season. I get mad just thinking about it. But I whole-heartily believe Union College – my tiny alma mater that offers zero athletic scholarships and is home to only 2,100 total students – will shock the world and be crowned national champions of the college hockey world. I’ll actually cry tears of joy and celebrate until the morning sun with the Messa Maniacs and my Alpha Pi brothers! Union College 4 – North Dakota 2.
 James James Holman: Union vs. Minnesota – Well I definitely did not plan on picking an All Chi Psi final, but wouldn’t it be great! Minnesota has 14 NHL drafted players on its roster, versus lone draftee, Shayne Gostisbehere, from the scrappy Dutchmen.  In a game that is incredibly close on paper, the difference is going to be talent and coaching. As much as I enjoy Brother Zolot, I will go with both my head and my heart in picking Minnesota to win the whole tournament. Gophers 3- Union-1. 
 Brinling copy Nathan Brinling: Union vs. Minnesota – That’s right, an all Chi Psi Alpha final!  Minnesota has looked absolutely dominant in the tournament thusfar, and I have taken them all year for wins.  Expect Minnesota to win another National Championship with a score of 3-1.
 Wil-Smith Wil Smith: Union vs. Minnesota – The boys from Alpha Pi vs. the boys from Alpha Nu should be a great showdown on Saturday night in Philly. Minnesota has two natty’s (as former Oregon CB Cliff Harris would call it) under head coach Don Lucia, but the Golden Gophers haven’t won since 2003. Although Union’s inexperience may be a factor, none of these players have ever been on this big of a stage, this game will be close, but my gut tells me Union College takes the title home, beating the Gophers 4-2.
 Connor Connor Leipold: Union vs. Minnesota – Although this is going to be a very close game, I think Minnesota has the skill and determination to make it all the way.
 Ahlberg Ryan Ahlberg: Minnesota vs. Union – Sorry Zolot. GOPHERS by 1. 
 SeanAaron Sean Aaron: Minnesota vs. UNION – National Championships are won with great defense and goaltending. Union has all of that and more. I look forward to watching the Dutchmen bring the championship trophy to the golden land of Schenectady! GO U!
 Justus Justus Johnson: Boston College vs. North Dakota – Boston College has been too dominant during this season. They’ve put in the work and earned this championship. Win to BC.


Remember your hockey teams aren’t the only ones competing for a National Title right now. Visit 
www.chipsi.org/AnnualFundChallenge to learn more about this year’s race to become Chi Psi’s National Champion. Check out all the stats and GIVE TODAY!

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One response to “Hockey Night in Chi Psi – Frozen Four

  1. Pingback: A Frozen Four to Remember | Updates from the Road·

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