We are finally back to Quarterfinals on campus sites and Boston is once again hosting. After an exciting preliminary game we have earned a rematch of last year’s National Championship game.
This is going to be a battle. Both teams have been ranked number one in the polls at different times and both were all but locks for home ice most of the season before the Badgers slumped a bit in the second half of the season. There has already been plenty of drama relating to the deciding goal from last year’s meeting.
How to Watch: CBS Sports Live
Listen: WRBB Radio
Game Time: 1PM ET
Location: Matthews Arena
Keys to the Game
The Huskies are an awe inspiring 24-0-1 when scoring first, the only tie was their last road game of the season when the traveled to Connecticut for their senior day when those Huskies were desperately trying to build a resume to make the tournament. Northeastern needs to punch Wisconsin in the mouth to not allow their opponents to settle into their game plan.
Become the Boogeyman
Northeastern is no longer one of the little sisters of the poor that should be grateful just to make a conference championship game. They have been one of the two best teams consistently over the last few seasons, Wisconsin is the other team in this conversations. It is time for them to act like the higher ranked team, which they are in this game, and breakthrough to the Frozen Four once again.
A lot has been made of their semifinal win over Duluth last year when the Huskies came out and were unable to handle the speed of their WCHA opponent for the first half of the game. They were able to recover and win then played a good game against Wisconsin in the final, but they might not have the leash to come back if they let the Badgers get out big and early.
Been There Done That
There are only four teams that have ever won this tournament, and Wisconsin defeated one of them on Thursday night, add in the WCHA being 19-2 against HEA teams, Wisconsin is personally 7-0, and you can see why they are favored by a lot of people. So Wisconsin just needs to behave like they belong (which they do) and that could lead them to yet another trophy.
Northeastern did notch one of those wins last year and this is only the fourth time that the WCHA has ever travelled to a HEA school for a QF, they are 2-1 in those games.
Far From Home
Thursday night was Wisconisin’s first ever trip to Historic Matthews Arena. They said after the game that it took them some time to adjust, but felt comfortable after a bit. This is very rare for the Badgers to Tavel to a good Eastern team’s rink as they will sometimes schedule trips to Merrimack and such.
Chip on the Shoulder
Wisconsin does not belong here in Boston as the 6 seed. Had any result for either them or Yale been different they would probably at the least be in Hamilton, but here they are. The Badgers will want to say they are being disrespected, though this is determined by math not emotion, and come out and prove they belong in the Frozen Four.
Northeastern 2- Wisconsin 1 OT
This is going to be a brutal game for everyone involved. Wisconsin fans expect to win but Northeastern fans are desperate. This will be the last game in Matthews for their graduating class and could be one of the last chances Northeastern has at a National Title. Neither team likes each other, they have had three one goal games, two have gone to OT, where it has gotten chippy and anger has flowed. Both teams have fire power for days and are great on defense. The deciding factor is likely to be the defending Patty Kaz winner Aerin Frankel who had an opportunity to go to Wisconsin after she was recruited during her time at Shattucks, but chose to be closer home and history was made.