March Madness: A day without hoops

March Madness Dispatch

While most eyes were on NCAA hoops, pucks were our main agenda on the ‘Green Line’ Thursday, as we split time on both sides of the Twin Cities.

The four NCHC semifinals opponents all practiced on the ice, where underneath lies the Minnesota Timberwolves-Lynx court in downtown Minneapolis.

North Dakota practicing
North Dakota practicing

“It was really good. The boards are nice,” reported Minnesota Duluth’s Andy Welinski. UMD plays North Dakota Friday in the first NCHC semifinals.

“The ice is great,” added Denver’s Grant Arnold, whose team plays St. Cloud State Friday in the second semifinals.

Then it was off to downtown St. Paul for two quarterfinals games at the Big Ten men’s hockey tournament.

Penn State staked out to a two goal lead in the first period that stood up in their 5-2 win over Wisconsin.

Denver practicing on the ice
Denver practicing on the ice

“I thought they got a couple of fortunate goals,” said Wisconsin Coach Mike Eaves afterwards.

“Every win is a good win in the playoffs,” noted PSU Coach Guy Gadowsky. The Nittany Lions plays Michigan Friday in the first semifinals.

Minnesota plays Ohio State Friday in the second semifinals. In overtime, the Buckeyes defeated Michigan State 4-3 late Thursday in a back and forth contest.

OSU scored twice in the first period, then MSU came back with three second period power play goals. But the eventual winners evened things at three apiece early in the third period.  The sudden death game winner came with 6:13 left in the extra period.

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com.