Notes: Conference titles at stake as NCAAs loom
Sixteen-team field to be unveiled Sunday night

Bemidji State faces top-ranked Minnesota State in the CCHA championship (Photo: Bemidji State Athletics)

By Jayson Hajdu

With the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Selection Show just days away, six conference playoff champions will be crowned this weekend at sites across the country:

  • American International faces Mercyhurst, and Air Force meets RIT in the Atlantic Hockey semifinals on Friday (Utica, N.Y.).
  • Minnesota hosts Michigan in the Big Ten championship game Saturday (Minneapolis).
  • Bemidji State visits top-ranked Minnesota State in the CCHA title tilt (Mankato, Minn.).
  • Quinnipiac meets Colgate, and Clarkson battles Harvard in the ECAC Hockey semifinals (Lake Placid, N.Y).
  • Friday’s Hockey East semifinals at the TD Garden feature UConn vs. Northeastern and UMass vs. UMass-Lowell (Boston).
  • North Dakota clashes with Western Michigan, and Denver faces Minnesota Duluth in the NCHC semifinals on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul).
For conference playoff brackets and additional information, visit the tournament homepages below:

Conference Tournament Websites

Atlantic Hockey | Big Ten | CCHA | ECAC | Hockey East | NCHC

The NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Selection Show airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Daily Scoreboard | Weekly Schedule | TV Schedule | Stat Leaders

Must Read:

College Hockey News: Gamebreaker Gaber: UND sophomore gives Fighting Hawks a chance in St. Paul
Duluth News Tribune: Bulldogs ready to introduce new generation to Xcel Energy Center
Mankato Free Press: Mavericks have lived up to lofty expectations
MLive: Michigan hockey’s banner quest begins in Big Ten championship vs. No. 2 Minnesota
Mass Live: UMass hockey has become Defenseman U with an assembly line of NHL-caliber blue-liners
The Athletic: Drew Helleson on his bond with Trevor Zegras
The Colgate Maroon-News: Men’s and women’s hockey begin the road to NCAA Tournament glory
The Hockey News: What is Montreal getting in Ty Smilanic?

Must Hear:

Analytics and Eyeballs (Breaking down the final weekend of conference tournament play)
CHN Insiders Podcast (Conference championships preview)
The Pipeline Show (Campus Report featuring College Hockey News Managing Editor Adam Wodon)
The Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 Edmonton (Featuring Denver sophomore F Carter Savoie)
The Rink Live (UMD women head to Frozen Four, NCHC Frozen Faceoff, Big Ten championship game)
USCHO Weekend Review (Who’s in the NCAAs, who can get in, who needs help; let’s talk Hobey)

Hobey Baker Top 10:

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Committee unveiled the 10 finalists for the 2021-22 season on Wednesday, as chosen by a vote of Division I men’s head coaches and online fan balloting. The list of 10 included six forwards, three goalies and one defenseman:

  • Matt Beniers, So., F, Michigan
  • Bobby Brink, Jr., F, Denver
  • Brian Halonen, Sr., F, Michigan Tech
  • Luke Hughes, Fr., D, Michigan
  • Devon Levi, So., G, Northeastern
  • Dryden McKay, Sr., G, Minnesota State
  • Ben Meyers, Jr., F, Minnesota
  • Yaniv Perets, So., G, Quinnipiac
  • Nathan Smith, Jr., F, Minnesota State
  • Bobby Trivigno, Sr., F, Massachusetts

The three “Hobey Hat Trick” finalists will be announced March 31, with the winner to be unveiled April 8 during the Frozen Four in Boston.

Goalie Watch:

All three goaltending finalists for the Hobey Baker Award – Minnesota State’s Dryden McKay (UDFA), Quinnipiac’s Yaniv Perets (UDFA) and Northeastern’s Devon Levi (FLA) – are making a run at NCAA history:

NCAA Single-Season Wins Leaders
Rk Name, Team Year W
1. Dryden McKay, Minnesota State 2021-22 34
  Marty Turco, Michigan 1995-96 34
  Robb Stauber, Minnesota 1987-88 34
4. Marty Turco, Michigan 1997-98 33
  Marty Turco, Michigan 1996-97 33

NCAA Single-Season Shutout Leaders
Rk Name, Team Year SHO
1. Greg Gardner, Niagara 1999-00 12
2. Yaniv Perets, Quinnipiac 2021-22 11
3. Devon Levi, Northeastern 2021-22 10
  Dryden McKay, Minnesota State 2019-20 10
  Thatcher Demko, Boston College 2015-16 10
  David McKee, Cornell 2004-05 10
  Ryan Miller, Michigan State 2000-01 10

NCAA Single-Season GAA Leaders
Rk Name, Team Year GAA
1. Yaniv Perets, Quinnipiac 2021-22 0.89
2. Jimmy Howard, Maine 2003-04 1.19
3. David LeNeveu, Cornell 2002-03 1.20
4. David McKee, Cornell 2004-05 1.24
5. Dryden McKay, Minnesota State 2021-22 1.28

NCAA Single-Season Save Percentage Leaders
Rk Name, Team Year SV%
1. Jimmy Howard, Maine 2003-04 .956
2. Devon Levi, Northeastern 2021-22 .954
3. Yaniv Perets, Quinnipiac 2021-22 .952
  Connor Hellebuyck, UMass Lowell 2012-13 .952
5. Ryan Miller, Michigan State 2000-01 .950

McKay was recently named CCHA Goaltender of the Year – his third such conference honor in a row – while Levi earned the same honor in the Hockey East Association. Perets was named both ECAC Player of the Year and ECAC Goaltender of the Year.

NHL Note of the Week:

Several former and current NCAA standouts have been dealt in the week leading up to Monday’s NHL trade deadline:

  • On Monday, Anaheim traded veteran defenseman Josh Manson (Northeastern, 2011-14) to Colorado for a draft pick and the rights to Boston College junior defenseman Drew Helleson, who later signed an entry-level contract with the Ducks.
  • One day later, Colorado dealt center Nico Sturm (Clarkson, 2016-19) to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Tyson Jost (North Dakota, 2016-17).
  • On Wednesday, Florida traded the rights to Quinnipiac sophomore forward Ty Smilanic to Montreal in a package for veteran defenseman Ben Chiarot, and also sent forward Frank Vatrano (UMass, 2013-15) to the New York Rangers.

Track all of the NHL comings and goings with the College Hockey Inc. NHL Matchup Tool.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

Eleven players have already reached the 20-goal plateau this season, the most in NCAA Division I men’s hockey since 2017-18 when there were 18 … Western Michigan’s Ethen Frank (UDFA) leads the country with 26 goals and is aiming to become the first Bronco in program history to top the nation in that category … Denver junior forward Bobby Brink (PHI) holds a seven-point lead in the national scoring race, having racked up 55 points (14 goals, 41 assists) in 36 games. Denver’s last (and only) national scoring champion was Ed Beers, who amassed 84 points in 42 games during the 1981-82 campaign … The 2021-22 Mike Richter Award finalists will be announced by the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) on Thursday, March 24.

Conference Champions (reg. season):

Atlantic Hockey – American International (fourth in a row)
Big Ten – Minnesota (first since 2017)
CCHA – Minnesota State (unprecedented fifth outright in a row; first four came in WCHA)
ECAC Hockey – Quinnipiac (second in a row)
Hockey East – Northeastern (first time in program history)
NCHC – Denver, North Dakota (co-champs; North Dakota’s third straight)

College Hockey Inc. Resources: