NCAA Midwest Regional Preview


Saturday: Notre Dame vs. St. Cloud State, 1:30 p.m. ET (TV: FSN North, ESPN3)
Miami vs. Minnesota State, 5 p.m. ET (TV: FSN North, ESPN3)
Sunday: Regional Final, 4 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNU)

Location: Notre Dame, Ind.
Record: 25-12-3 overall (17-8-3 CCHA, second)
Qualified: CCHA tournament champions
NCAA Championships: None
NCAA Appearance: Sixth (most recent, 2011)
Head Coach: Jeff Jackson
Key Players: Anders Lee, F, Jr. (40 GP, 20-18—38); Bryan Rust, Jr., F (40 GP, 15-18—33); Robbie Russo, D, So. (40 GP, 5-18—23); Steven Summerhays, G, Jr. (21-11-2, 1.94 GAA, .922 save pct.)
What You Need To Know: The Fighting Irish enter the weekend with a six-game winning streak and a nine-game (7-0-2) unbeaten streak, the longest in the country. The only team with a better win streak? Canisius—the Golden Griffins have wins in their last eight games.

Burning Question: Will Notre Dame’s formula for success—the Fighting Irish are proficient in every facet of the game but don’t excel in one particular area—work in the NCAA Tournament? They’re an interesting team to watch; they seem to be in fairly closely matched games every night, but look up at the scoreboard in the third period and they’ve got the lead.

Most Recent Notre Dame Line Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing Notes
22-Mario Lucia
18-T.J. Tynan
27-Austin Wuthrich
Tynan’s goal totals have dropped from 23 as a freshman to 13 as a freshman to 10 this year.
11-Jeff Costello
9-Anders Lee
21-Bryan Rust
17-Nick Larson
10-David Gerths
20-Kevin Nugent
14-Thomas DiPauli
26-Steve Fogarty
15-Peter Schneider
Defense Defense Goalies
25-Kevin Lind
28-Stephen Johns
1-Steve Summerhays
Summerhays played 2000-plus minutes this season, the fifth time in the last seven seasons an Irish goalie has eclipsed that mark.
23-Eric Johnson
5-Robbie Russo
32-Mike Johnson
3-Shayne Taker
8-Sam Calabrese
31-Joe Rogers

Location: Oxford, Ohio
Record: 24-11-5 overall (17-7-4 CCHA, first)
Qualified: At-large bid
NCAA Championships: None
NCAA Appearance: 11th (most recent, 2012)
Head Coach: Enrico Blasi
Key Players: Riley Barber, F, Fr. (38 GP, 15-23—38); Austin Czarnik, F, So. (40 GP 14-24—36); Matthew Caito, D, Fr. (40 GP, 5-16—21); Ryan McKay, G, Fr. (12-6-2, 1.37 GAA, .948 save pct.)

What You Need To Know: Not only does Miami have one of the best penalty-killing units in the nation—the RedHawks rank sixth in the country with an 88.1 percent success rate—but they’ve also scored eight shorthanded goals, second only to Robert Morris in that department.

Burning Question: It sounds simple, but it’s true: when the RedHawks don’t score, they don’t win. Miami has potted just six goals in its 11 losses. So obviously, the RedHawks are far better when playing with the lead. Can they get an early score and take the pressure off freshman goalie Ryan McKay, who struggled mightily in the RedHawks’ 6-2 loss to Michigan in last weekend’s CCHA tournament semifinals?

Most Recent Miami Line Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing Notes
16-Curtis McKenzie
9-Sean Kuraly
27-Marc Hagel
Miami has had a Hobey Baker finalist in each of the last four years—Austin Czarnik, Reilly Smith, Carter Camper and Andy Miele, and Cody Reichard.
10-Alex Wideman
7-Austin Czarnik
11-Riley Barber
14-Cody Murphy
22-Kevin Morris
12-Alex Gacek
19-Max Cook
25-Blake Coleman
20-Jimmy Mullin
Defense Defense Goalies
44-Steve Spinell
8-Matthew Caito
35-Ryan McKay
The RedHawks have allowed two or fewer goals in 31 of its 40 games and one goal or less in 20 matches.
26-Joe Hartman
5-Chris Joyaux
1-Jay Williams
24-Garrett Kennedy
2-Taylor Richart

Location: Mankato, Minn.
Record: 24-13-3 overall (16-11-5 WCHA, tied for fourth)
Qualified: At-large bid
NCAA Championships: None
NCAA Appearance: Second (most recent, 2003)
Head Coach: Mike Hastings
Key Players: Matt Leitner, F, So. (40 GP, 17-30—47); Eriah Hayes, F, Sr. (40 GP, 20-16—36); Zach Palmquist, D, So. (40 GP, 7-18—25); Stephon Williams, G, Fr. (21-11-2, 1.96 GAA, .925 save pct.)

What You Need To Know: Minnesota State ranks 10th nationally in scoring offense at 3.17 goals per game, and increase of more than half a goal from 2011-12 when the Mavericks ranked tied for 38th in the country at 2.66 goals per game.

Burning Question: See above. Like Miami, the Mavericks are far better team when playing with a lead. Unlike the RedHawks, however, Minnesota State has a penchant for getting locked into tight games through two periods—its goal differential through two periods is +13 compared to +17 in the third period. Can the Mavs emerge from with a lead after 40 minutes? If so, their chances of winning increase greatly.

Most Recent Minnesota State Line Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing Notes
21-Chase Grant
18-Matt Leitner
9-Bryce Gervais
Hayes fired a NCAA-high 183 shots on goal, an average of 4.58 shots per game. He’s second in the nation with 13 power-play goals.
26-Dylan Margonari
23-Teddy Blueger
25-Eriah Hayes
24-Brett Knowles
12-J-P Lafontaine
8-Max Gaede
19-Zach Lehrke
29-Eli Zuck
22-John McInnis
Defense Defense Goalies
16-Tyler Elbrecht
27-Brett Stern
35-Stephon Williams
Grosenick has allowed a total of five goals in his last five starts, and has a sparkling .966 save percentage during that run.
4-Nick Buchanan
7-Zach Palmquist
30-Phil Cook
28-Jon Jutzi
2-Josh Nelson

Location: St. Cloud, Minn.
Record: 23-15-1 overall (18-9-1 WCHA, tied for first)
Qualified: At-large bid
NCAA Championships: None
NCAA Appearance: Ninth (most recent, 2010)
Head Coach: Bob Motzko
Key Players: Drew LeBlanc, F, Sr. (39 GP, 13-37—50); Nic Dowd, F, Jr. (39 GP, 14-25—39); Nick Jensen, D, Jr. (39 GP, 4-26—30); Ryan Faragher, G, So. (22-13-1, 2.29 GAA, .914 save pct.)

What You Need To Know: The Huskies rely on their depth—they have eight players with more than 20 points and seven skaters with 10 or more goals. In many respects, they’re not unlike Notre Dame; they don’t have a real weakness but aren’t outstanding in any one facet of the game.

Burning Question: Can St. Cloud State shake off last weekend’s disappointing showing at the WCHA Final Five where the top-seeded Huskies were bounced by Wisconsin in Friday’s semifinal? SCSU flew under the radar for the majority of the season only to emerge as the WCHA regular-season co-champs. With the target on its back in the postseason, the Huskies didn’t play well. As the underdog in Toledo, will they recover?

Most Recent St. Cloud State Line Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing Notes
11-Kalle Kossila
19-Drew LeBlanc
22-Jonny Brodzinski
Brodzinski has 21 goals this season, tops among NCAA freshman. He and Kossila are tied for ninth among the nation’s rookies in scoring with 32 points.
10-Ben Hanowski
26-Nic Dowd
16-Jimmy Murray
27-Nick Oliver
8-Cory Thorson
21-Brooks Bertsch
9-Joey Benik
13-Dave Morley
18-Garrett Milan
Defense Defense Goalies
28-Andrew Prochno
14-Nick Jensen
29-Ryan Faragher
St. Cloud State is the nation’s least-penalized team, averaging 8.5 penalty minutes per game. They’ve only been shorthanded 107 times this season.
7-Kevin Gravel
40-Tim Daly
33-Joe Phillippi
4-Taylor Johnson
12-Ethan Prow
35-Rasmus Reijola

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