WCHA Final Five tickets on sale now

CC Alexander Krushelnyski roadI assume the time announced is Central Time, meaning 9 a.m. Mountain, when the press release arrived.

From the WCHA …

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Xcel Energy Center and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) announced today that all tournament packages for the 2013 Red Baron WCHA Final Five, to be held March 21-23 at Xcel Energy Center, go on sale at 10 a.m. today, Monday, Dec. 10. All tournament packages are $165 and $80 and can be purchased at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone using Ticketmaster TDD/TTY, call 800-359-2525. Groups (10+) call 651-312-3486.
Fans can celebrate college hockey with music, interactive games, food, beverages and more at the WCHA Fan Fest Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Bud Light Blue Line Bar and Grill (Xcel Energy Center – Gate 4). Cheerleaders, mascots and WCHA pep bands will also be present at this event with live music from Uncle Chunk on Friday and Playback on Saturday. The WCHA Fan Fest is free and open to the public.
College hockey fans will once again have the opportunity to get in on the tournament action with the return of the “Pick Your Final Five Sweepstakes.” Fans who enter will have a chance to win a prize of four (4) ticket packages to the 2014 WCHA Final Five.
Here’s how the sweepstakes works:
  • Visit www.xcelenergycenter.com/WCHA starting at 12:01 a.m. CT on Monday, Dec. 10.
  • Choose the six (6) WCHA teams you predict will make it to the 2013 Red Baron WCHA Final Five.
  • Choose the two (2) teams you predict will make the Championship game.
  • Choose the 2013 Red Baron WCHA Championship winning team.
  • Guess how many total goals will be scored during the 2013 Red Baron WCHA Final Five.
  • If more than one (1) person correctly answers all four (4) questions, all contestants with correct answers will be entered into a random drawing to determine the prize winner. If no one correctly answers all four (4) questions, those persons that answer the most number of questions correctly will be entered into a random drawing to determine the winner. The contest begins at 12:01 a.m. CT on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, and ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on Friday, March 8, 2013. The winner will be announced by noon CT on Sunday, March 24, 2013.
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  The “Pick Your Final Five Sweepstakes” is subject in all respects to the complete Official Rules available at www.xcelenergycenter.com or by sending a S.A.S.E. to “Pick Your Final Five Sweepstakes – Rules Request”, c/o Saint Paul Arena Company, LLC, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., Ste. 501, St. Paul, Minnesota  55102.  Open only to entrants who, as of the entry date, are permanent legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years old.  Void outside the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and where prohibited or restricted by law.  Sweepstakes entry period begins at 12:01 a.m. Central Time (“CT”) on Dec. 10, 2012 and ends at 11:59 p.m. CT on March 8, 2013.  LIMIT: One (1) entry per person (regardless of method of entry) or address (physical or email).  Entry methods, limits, restrictions and instructions, and prize information and restrictions are set forth in the Official Rules.  Sponsor: Saint Paul Arena Company, LLC, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., Ste. 501, St. Paul, Minnesota  55102. Click here to view complete Official Rules.

Friday reading: Tigers in AHL, ECHL playoffs; Johnson, Kilpatrick win Norway title; Bidwill injury; Canzanello in German playoffs; NCHC postseason venue; Hakstol deal; Bjugstad ponders future

Houston defenseman Kris Fredheim defends a San Antonio player earlier this season.

Former Tiger Bill Sweatt scored the opening goal for Chicago and Mark Cullen assisted the next San Antonio goal in the Rampage’s 5-4 OT win in game 1 of their AHL Western Conference playoff series.

Bridgeport’s Trevor Frischmon, Rochester’s Colin Stuart and Houston’s Kris Fredheim and Chad Rau all lost their openers on Thursday night. Nate Prosser (unknown reason) did not play for Houston, which could really use his help on defense.

Click this link for a full list of former Tigers in the AHL playoffs and the Calder Cup postseason schedule.

Alaska, which has Tim Hall and Brian Swanson on its roster, travels to Stockton, which includes former CC captain Ryan Lowery, travels to California for two games Friday and Saturday.

No. 5 East seed Florida could eliminate No. 1 Elmira, which includes former CC captain Nick Dineen, tonight.

The Stavanger Oilers won the top Norwegian league championship on April 13, beating Lorenskog on the road 2-1 to win the final series, 4-3. Jimmy Kilpatrick and Tyler Johnson both played for the Oilers.

Kilpatrick, pictured at left, recorded 42 points (16g,26a) in 33 regular season games and 17 points (5g,12a) in 12 playoff games, including a goal and assist in the finals.

Johnson recorded 10 points (8g,2a) in eight regular season games, and added nine points (4g,5a) in 14 playoff games including two assists in the finals. Johnson joined the Oilers after being traded from the now-defunct Chicago Express of the ECHL.

Arthur Bidwill suffered an undisclosed injury during the CHL playoffs. It was suffered in Game 5 last week and he did not return for Game 6 when the Allen Americans were eliminated by their crosstown rivals, the Texas Brahmas. He had been playing in the No. 2 defenseman pairing.

Andy Canzanello takes a shot for the Straubing Tigers. Canzanello, who lives in Vail during the summer, has spent five years playing for a professional hockey league in Germany. This year, the Tigers have enjoyed their most successful season in recent years and made the league playoff semifinals

Andy Canzanello, shown in green to the left, is in the middle of the top German league playoffs. This feature from the Vail newspaper talks about life in Germany for the former Tiger.

The Big Ten announced its plans for its postseason tournaments and the long-rumored plan to have the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference alternate with them has been contradicted by another report from the “new” WCHA sources, according to Puckato, the Mankato beat writers’ blog:

“Last month, it was reported that the Big Ten was working with the WCHA to have the latter’s tournament in those buildings in opposite years (2014, ’16 at the Joe; ’15, ’17 at the X), and that the NCHC was in negotiations with the Target Center in Minneapolis for its championship weekend.

“According to Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman, the “new” WCHA is still looking into its championship, but he didn’t expect anything to be decided until a June meeting. Buisman said representatives of the future league will not have much time together at next week’s coaches convention in Florida despite regular conference calls.”

Ultimately, it may not matter a ton, although the Target Center is considered by many to be a second-tier hockey venue, because wherever North Dakota goes, a large fan contingent will follow in force.

Here is CBS analyst Dave Starman‘s reaction to North Dakota coach Dave Hasktol’s new six-year contract deal announced on Thursday. There is a new college prospects blog that looks pretty solid so far.

Minnesota’s leading scorer Nick Bjugstad (25 goals) will wait until semester’s end before deciding on returning or heading to the pros.

Monday reading: Playoff scenarios, polls, AFA-CC series

The Tigers need to rally this weekend to get home playoff ice and keep their slim NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

The Western College Hockey Blog explained the WCHA playoff scenarios. Thank you Chris.

CC is in better shape than some may fear, though it will take a good run starting this weekend, and some help, to make the NCAAs.

The Tigers fell to No. 19 in the USCHO.com poll, just ahead of No. 20 Air Force. CC, rated No. 21 in the Pairwise rankings,  did not receive a vote in the USA Hockey poll. The Falcons did.

The Gazette is excited about the very strong chance (early October is my guess) of a home-and-home series between the Falcons and CC. It makes great sense from travel expense and ticket sale standpoints for both programs.

The Wisconsin Badgers are feeling better about themselves after a road sweep at Bemidji State.

Minnesota State Moorhead will not add Division I hockey after falling short of the $37 million needed to start. This opens the door for Alabama-Huntsville to become the 10th WCHA school in fall 2013. Here’s hoping that pans out.

Pine Creek High School graduate Emily West’s two goals Saturday, three on the weekend, helped the Minnesota women advance to the WCHA Final Faceoff.  Host Minnesota Duluth (20-13-1) faces top-rated Wisconsin (31-3-2)  at 4:37 p.m.  CT Friday at Amsoil Arena, while No. 2 Minnesota (29-5-2) plays No. 5 North Dakota (22-10-3) at 7:37 p.m. The title game, with an automatic NCAA tournament berth at stake, is 7:07 p.m. Saturday.

Tuesday reading: DU’s NCAA hopes are dim; Jaden video; Sioux nickname

After a loss and tie against CC this weekend, the Pioneers will have a difficult time making the NCAAs.

Minnesota Duluth will honor its four Hobey Baker winners this Friday during the home series against North Dakota.

The Big Ten plans to use a neutral site for its postseason tournament.

Minnesota’s version of the Beanpot Tournament is getting people excited. A comment suggesting they name the tournament the Herbie after Herb Brooks is a great idea.

Here’s video of the Jaden Schwartz goal from Saturday. Wow. DU coach George Gwozdecky said the goal would give him nightmares for some time. You can see why. Denver was in control up to that moment with CC tying the game three minutes later.

This debate will never die: A petition being submitted Tuesday night could restore the Sioux nickname at North Dakota, dependent on forcing a state referendum.