The muscle of the WCHA was flexed again today -- and probably for the last time given the league will be a revamped and watered-down version next season -- when six league teams were included in the 16-team NCAA tournament field.
Still playing are WCHA members St. Cloud State, Minnesota, North Dakota, Minnesota State-Mankato, Wisconsin and Denver. The other berths went to, in no particular order, Niagara, Notre Dame, Yale, Miami (Ohio), Canisius, Quinnipiac, Union, Boston College, UMass-Lowell and New Hampshire.
Five Alaskans will represent in the NCAAs -- goaltender Stephon Williams of Fairbanks and center Eli Zuck of Anchorage for Mankato (provided both are healthy; each left the club's last game with injury); goaltender Steve Summerhays and winger Austin Wuthrich of Anchorage for Notre Dame; and goaltender Adam Murray of Anchorage for Denver (doubtful he will actually see any tournament time in net).
If you're interested, one reason UAA had such a dismal season (4-25-7) is 22 of its 36 games came against NCAA teams -- the Seawolves went 2-17-3 in those matches, with wins over St. Cloud State and Canisius. (Just as an aside, here's how watered down the WCHA will be next season -- only one of the six WCHA teams that made the NCAAs today, Minnesota State-Mankato, will be in the league next fall).
In any event, the No. 1 regional seeds went to Minnesota, Notre Dame, Quinnipiace and UMass-Lowell.
Here are the regional matchups:
West Region -- Grand Rapids, Mich., Friday
Minnesota vs. Yale; North Dakota vs. Niagara
Northeast Region -- Manchester, N.H., Friday
UMass-Lowell vs. Wisconsin
Denver vs. New Hampshire
East Region -- Providence, R.I., Saturday
Quinnipiac vs. Canisius
Union vs. BC
Midwest Region, Toledo, Ohio, Saturday
Notre Dame vs. St. Cloud State
Miami (Ohio) vs. Minnesota State-Mankato
Doyle Woody, email@example.com