So it’s early April again, the Frozen Four is just about set to face-off, and you find yourself wondering, “Who am I going to root for?”
All the Michigan teams are gone and even the familiar CCHA foes were knocked unconscious before they could even sniff the fine brats at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. The cupboard may seem a little bare when it comes to teams to root for, but take heart for we have found a few morsels that may sustain you through the final three games.
For starters, if you’re a Michigan Tech fan maybe your allegiances lie with the WCHA, so you might do the unthinkable and cheer for North Dakota or Wisconsin.
A Michigan backer or Ferris State slappie could conceivably use the “they had to get through us” card and find themselves in Boston College’s corner since they both tangled with the Eagles this season. The Wolverines dropped a 3-2 at Yost in mid-October and the Bulldogs fell to BC in an overtime shootout at the Denver Cup in late December.
I’m not sure why a Michigan State diehard would pull for the Black Bears after Maine sprung the 5-4 win at this year’s NCAA East Regional Final, but who knows. Stranger things have happened.
So, maybe those aren’t the best reasons, but it’s something to keep the interest up. And oh yeah, here are some more tidbits to get you through Saturday night….
* Boston College freshman forward Nate Gerbe (pictured) is from Oxford, graduated from Ann Arbor Huron and skated with both the HoneyBaked Midget Major AAA travel team and the U.S. National Under-18 Team. Eagle teammates Stephen Gionta and Mike Brennan also laced ‘em up for the US Under-18 squad.
* First year Fighting Sioux defenseman Zach Jones is also an alum of the US Under-18 team.
* It’s a stretch, but North Dakota assistant coach Cary Eades skated for the better part of seven seasons in the now-defunct IHL for the Kalamazoo/Michigan K-Wings franchise
* Another former US Under-18 skater, Greg Moore, wears the “C” for Maine.
* Wisconsin boasts four former US Under-18 players with Jake Dowell, Robbie Earl, Jeff Likens and Jack Skille. Badgers' assistant coach Mark Osiecki played a full season in the “I” for the K-Wings and four glorious games for the legendary Detroit Vipers.
Special thanks to the Internet Hockey Database at HockeyDB.com for some of the best tidbits in this story. (Personal note, if you haven’t been to the HockeyDB yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Good times!)
Gerbe photo courtesy of the Boston College Athletics Department.