Frozen Four and Clarkson Cup: more women’s hockey coming down the pipeline!
The Olympics are over and with them, most of the women’s hockey fervor has died down. But these women aren’t just folded into a drawer during the 3 years they’re not playing in the Olympics. Two major events are coming up: the Clarkson Cup playoffs and the NCAA Division I playoffs. We’ll be covering both, with recaps of the playoff games and the Frozen Four games.
With nine games and just two weekends left in the regular season, the CWHL drive for the playoffs is in full swing. The top four teams in the league will advance to play for the Clarkson Cup. Unlike the NHL’s Stanley Cup, the tournament is single-elimination, not a series format. The games will be played over March 19th – 22, in Markham, Ont.
The current top four are the Montreal Stars, the defending Cup champions the Boston Blades, the Toronto Furies, and the Calgary Inferno. The Inferno are nine points ahead of the remaining Brampton Thunder. However, Brampton has five games left to play, while Calgary has three, all of which are against Brampton, so that playoff berth isn’t assured yet. The Furies and the Blades are also only a point ahead of Calgary, with games left to play, so this could be interesting.
Several of the Olympians who left their CWHL teams are expected back for the post-season, which could tip things depending on who returns where and how that affects line ups that haven’t had them all season.
All of the Clarkson Cup games will be streamed online for free except for the final championship game. That will be shown live on TSN; we’re looking into options for those of us outside of Canada, and if we find something legal, we’ll share that.
|Wednesday, March 19, 2014||3rd vs. 4th||11:00am EST|
|Wednesday, March 19, 2014||1st vs. 2nd||7:30pm EST|
|Thursday March 20, 2014||2nd vs. 4th||11:00am EST|
|Thursday March 20, 2014||1st vs. 3rd||7:30pm EST|
|Friday, March 21, 2014||1st vs. 4th||11:00am EST|
|Friday, March 21, 2014||2nd vs. 3rd||7:30pm EST|
|Saturday, March 22, 2014||Championship Final||2:00pm EST|
NCAA Div I Championship
With Selection Sunday this weekend, the NCAA Div I teams are really starting to shift themselves out. In case you need a refresher on how the women’s tournament here works out, the 8-team tournament takes the top four teams and seeds them 1-4. The other four teams are placed in brackets based on strength, but only if the pairings don’t result in additional flights. This is unlike the men’s tournament, where they try to set up matches that will increase attendance. (You can find the rulebook on this here if you’re VERY curious.) For an example of how this could work out, and a good run down from Boston College’s perspective, take a look at Grant Salzano’s article over at BC Interuption.
This weekend, like we said above, is Selection Sunday, when the teams are finalized and seeded. The, on March 14th or 15th, there will be the Quarterfinals, and then on the 21st, the Semifinals. Then on March 23rd, the Championship game will be played.
Once the tournament gets into the Semi-Finals and Finals, it’s called the Frozen Four– because there are four teams left. Got it? Good.
The Patty Kazmaier award, which is awarded to the top women’s ice hockey player in the US, is generally given during this weekend as well. This year’s finalists have been selected– you can see them over at USA Hockey.