Friday Roundup: Clarkson Cup, Frozen Four, and weekend reading

Friday Roundup: Clarkson Cup, Frozen Four, and weekend reading

Concept art for the 2014 Clarkson Cup Championship rings tweeted out by Caroline Ouellette.
Concept art for the 2014 Clarkson Cup Championship rings tweeted out by Caroline Ouellette.

IT’S FRIDAY, EVERY ONE! This has been a long and trying week for me, so I’m glad to see the tail end of it. However, the ongoing Clarkson Cup games have been a bright spot, so let’s recap:

  • Wednesday: Toronto beat Calgary, 3-2, and Boston beat Montreal a very tightly contested 1-0
  • Thursday: Boston beat the Furies, 2-1, and Montreal beat Calgary 5-4.

As of the time of this post being written, Calgary is out of Finals contention, but have one last game this morning against an unbeaten and Finals-bound Boston. Montreal and Toronto will play for that second Finals slot versus Boston this evening. Finals will be played on Saturday, at 2pm EDT. However, they will not be streamed live. They will be shown on TSN midnight Saturday and Monday at 7:30 pm, EDT. No word yet on what those of us south of the border or otherwise out of TSN coverage will be able to do.

The commentary on these streaming games has been done by Nicco Cardarelli, whose voice may be familiar to you from regular-season CWHL streaming games, and Asher Roth, who you may remember from last year’s Clarkson Cup commentary. They’ve been pretty charming in their enthusiasm for the CWHL and women’s hockey in general, and have been great about interacting with questions or comments tweeted at them during the games. A little startled by how much interest the Clarkson Cup has been getting outside of Canada, however. 🙂 Aly Munro has been doing some great interviews rink-side, and commentary as well.

NCAA Frozen Four!

Minnesota is set to take on Wisconsin today at 5 PM EDT today! For an excellent preview of the game, check out Nicole Haase’s over at Bucky’s 5th Quarter.

Mercyhurst takes on Clarkson at 8 PM EDT today as well! This is Clarkson’s first trip to the Frozen Four. Remember, all of these games will be streamed on NCAA.com.

The winners of these games will meet in the National Championship game on Sunday, at 3 PM EDT. The Patty Kazmaier will be awarded on Saturday, as part of the NCAA Championship weekend.

Weekend Reading:

I know, I missed the normal link round-up for this week, but here’s some stuff to read while you’re waiting to find a copy of the Clarkson Cup final to watch:

Frozen Four and Clarkson Cup: more women’s hockey coming down the pipeline!

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.

Clarkson Cup

Clarkson Cup logo
CWHL Clarkson Cup Logo

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.

 

Date Match Up Time
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.