College Hockey National Championship Preview
Many games down. One to go.
The stage is officially set for the men’s hockey National Championship with the Denver Pioneers and Minnesota State Mavericks set to battle it out in Boston on Saturday.
Both top seeds managed to defeat Big Ten opponents to get past the first stage of the Frozen Four and will now look to use that momentum to get one last win.
Denver managed to beat the tournament's top overall seed in the Michigan Wolverines.
They were able to do so in thrilling fashion as the Pioneers scored the game-winning goal in overtime to capture a 3-2 victory.
Carter Savoie proved to be the hero for the Pioneers as he scored the overtime winner.
That one-goal victory wasn't the only time the Pioneers have found themselves in close games this tournament as they have won all three of their games by that amount also beating UMass Lowell and Minnesota Duluth by that margin.
The Pioneers have a deep roster of goal scorers to rely upon for the National Championship as eight skaters have double-digit goals and all of them have over 30 points on the season.
Denver is looking to put the finishing touches on a fantastic season that saw them compile a 30-9-1 record on the year to go along with their first NCAA tournament appearance since the 2018-19 season where the Pioneers made it to the Frozen Four semifinal and lost against UMass.
Following back-to-back one-goal wins in both regional games of this tournament, the Mavericks had zero problems in the semifinals defeating the in-state Minnesota Golden Gophers.
In a blowout 5-1 victory, the Golden Gophers scored the first goal of the contest before the Mavericks ran away with it in the final two periods.
All five goals were scored by different players and David Silye was the only player to pick up two points in the game with a goal and assist.
While the Pioneers will bring a top offense into this game, the Mavericks have arguably one of the nation's best goaltenders in Dryden McKay who allows just 1.27 goals per game and has a .934 save percentage in his 42 starts this season.
The Mavericks come into the game with a 38-5 record to go along with the CCHA conference championship.
They are looking to finish the job this season after falling in last year’s Frozen Four semifinals in a 5-4 loss against St. Cloud State.
Can Dryden McKay take down another top offense in Denver? It’s anyone’s guess and my answer is yes.
Predictions: Minnesota State 3, Denver 2
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism