accomplishment for this team. I'm not talking about the program, but about this team specifically.
They struggled with consistent defense early in the year, and Petersen struggled somewhat behind them. At one point in the second half of the season they had dropped to 21st in the RPI, and climbing out of that hole to finish 14th overall (13th in the PWR) showed some character. Anders Bjork handled the pressure of needing to carry the team quite well, Evans and Gross continued to play excellent hockey and Cal Petersen rounded into form quite well, leading the NCAA in shutouts and Hockey East in save %. Oglevie and Gilbert finished off great sophomore campaigns.
I think Manchester is a winnable region for this team. Minnesota is a solid team but I think we match up well. I think we can find a way to get behind Cornell's defense and score a few goals against them. They are not a dynamic offensive team either. UML might be the problem, but I wonder if they are that much better than Notre Dame or are we just snake bit against them. The 4-1 win against them earlier in the season was probably one of the best 2 or 3 games we played all year. I would like nothing more than to shove a FF berth up the hind end of a Hockey East team as we leave that conference.
The program needs to step forward and reclaim the momentum they had a few years ago. That's on the coaching staff. They need this team to be prepared to beat Minn on Saturday afternoon and then let the chips fall where the fall on Sunday. But the guys on this team dug deep enough to make it this far when it looked iffy on February 1st.
We've proven to fare better in regionals when we are a 3 or 4 seed, and in regionals nowhere near South Bend. Both are true this year. Let's continue that odd tradition and make it to Chicago.
"tree zone hockey", as the new coach likes to put it. Seriously, the kid actually makes great passes in tight situations without being noticed. He needs work on his skating but his decision-making and vision are excellent.