As expected, the Eagles of Boston College have claimed a one-seed in the 2010 NCAA Hockey Tournament, sitting atop the Northeast Region. Those regional games will be played at the DCU Center in Worcester beginning on Saturday, March 27. Their region, as one might also expect, is not going to be easy to clear.
The #4 Eagles' (25-10-3) first game will be against fourth-seeded Alaska-Fairbanks (18-11-9), who are ranked #17 in the nation by the USA Today poll, and #18 by the USCHO poll. Most recently, the Nanooks advanced to the quarterfinals of the CCHA Tournament, but were defeated in their best-of-three series by Northern Michigan. The Michigan Wolverines, placed in the Midwest Region, eventually won that tournament. Back to Alaska: the Nanooks featured the eighth-best scoring offense in their conference, but had the fourth-best defense and were third on power play conversions. There will be much more to follow on this particular game later this week.
Should Boston College win that game, they would face the winner of the Yale-North Dakota game for a chance to go to the Frozen Four. If the Eagles emerge from the Northeast Region, they will play the winner of the Midwest Region: it could be Miami-Ohio, Alabama-Huntsville, Bemidji State, or Michigan. In the national championship game, should BC be fortunate enough to get there, they would play the winner of the West-East game.
The Hockey East conference overall did fairly well on Hockey Selection Sunday, getting three of its teams in the tournament. Aside from the auto-bid Eagles, the New Hampshire Wildcats and Vermont Catamounts will both play on. New Hampshire is in the East Region while Vermont is in the West and the only time BC could face either one would be in the national championship game.
The Boston College-Alaska game has been scheduled for Saturday at 1:30pm Eastern. If the Eagles play in the second game, that would be Sunday at 5:30pm Eastern.
During the selection show this morning, neither ESPN analyst in-studio picked the Eagles to make the Frozen Four, believing that North Dakota would dismiss Boston College in the second round. What say you, BCI enthusiasts?