Men's hockey: Top seed, title
Sunday, March 10, 2013
MacNaughton Cup, the 100-year-old trophy awarded to the WCHA regular-season champion.
A precedent-setting men's Husky Hockey team returns to the National Hockey & Event Center (NHEC) this weekend with gifts for its fans.
A March 8-9 series split with University of Wisconsin earned the Huskies (18-9-1) the top seed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoffs. The Huskies play University of Alaska-Anchorage in a best-of-three series March 15-17 at the NHEC.
Game times are set for 7:37 p.m. Friday and 7:07 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Purchase $12 tickets at scsutickets.com.
Friday's 4-2 win in Madison secured a share of the WCHA title and its 100-year-old silver trophy, the MacNaughton Cup. The 2012-13 team is the first in school history to earn a WCHA title and No.1 WCHA seed. Read Friday's scsuhuskies.com game story.
The cup will be on display in the south concourse of the NHEC. A formal cup presentation will follow the final game of the playoff series.
Despite a 3-2 loss Saturday, the Huskies end the regular season with a league-leading 18 wins, two more than co-champion and second-seed, University of Minnesota (16-7-5), which had fewer losses and more ties. Read Saturday's scsuhuskies.com game story.
The top seed will pay dividends if the Huskies advance to the WCHA Final Five March 21-23 in St. Paul. Coach Bob Motzko's team would not play in the March 21 quarterfinal, known colloquially as the "play-in game," making the path to the March 23 championship game shorter, less exhausting. View the Red Baron WCHA Final Five fan guide (PDF).
The Huskies last played in the Final Five in 2010, beating Wisconsin 2-0 and losing in the championship game 5-3 to University of North Dakota.
St. Cloud State won the Final Five in 2001. A team lead by coach Craig Dahl, forward Brandon Sampair, All-American goalie Scott Meyer, junior defenseman Duvie Westcott, junior forward Mark Hartigan and Final Five MVP Tyler Arnason defeated North Dakota 6-5 in overtime.
Simultaneous with its WCHA playoff run, the Huskies will be eyeing the PairWise Rankings, a statistical poll which mimics the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine 16 participants for the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Tournament. The tournament culminates with Frozen Four national championship April 11 and April 13 in Pittsburgh.
View a postgame interview with Motzko:
St. Cloud State University