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Colorado Avalanche prospect report: Forget that, let’s preview the Frozen Four semi-final

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Seriously. I got nothing else.

THOM KENDALL FOR UMASS ATHLETICS

I’m switching up the format because there’s just no point in continuing to use the old one when there’s only one player who played this past week.

Eliminated Prospect News

Congrats on graduating from this prospect report, Nick!

Brandon Saigeon

The Generals are down 2-1 in their second round series against Niagara. Saigeon had a goal and two assists in three games. The Gens really struggled in their first two games, but appear to be turning things around now that the series has shifted to Oshawa.

Cale Makar

If you somehow missed it, or live under a rock, Makar is a top three finalist for the Hobey!

Also, he somehow still keeps winning awards. This will never end, by the way.

Now, onto the real reason you’re reading this right now.

UMass vs. Denver Pionees Game Preview

April 11th, 2019 — 5:00pm EST
Keybank Center, Buffalo NY
Channel: ESPN2

UMass-DU Stats

Team Conference Conference Record Regular Season Record Playoffs Record Regional Semi-Final Regional Final
Team Conference Conference Record Regular Season Record Playoffs Record Regional Semi-Final Regional Final
Massachusetts HE - 1st 18-6-0 26-8-0 4-1-0 W 4-0 Harvard W 4-0 ND
Denver NCHC - 4th 6-9-3 19-10-5 4-1-0 W 2-0 OSU W 3-0 AIC

For most Avalanche fans, it might be pretty hard to decide who to root for in this one. On the one hand, some will want Denver to redeem themselves after a regional final loss to Ohio State last year. On the other hand, it would be great to see Cale Makar wrap up his amazing collegiate career with a Frozen Four title.

It’s worth noting that even if Makar and UMass win the Frozen Four, there’s still an excellent chance that he’ll join the Avalanche before their first round against Calgary ends.

This should be an interesting one — both UMass and Denver have not allowed a single goal in the NCAA playoffs. The Minutemen have scored eight goals in two games, while the Pioneers have five goals in two games. Both teams have blown expectations out of the water this season. UMass only won 22 games in the last two seasons and had never made a Frozen Four until this season. Denver wasn’t even expected to contend for a national championship this year, having lost their head coach, their starting goalie, and their top three forwards from last season to the professional leagues.

Makar may headline the Minutemen, but UMass is far from a one-man wrecking machine. Freshman goalie Filip Lindberg (undrafted) has gone 4-1 in the playoffs with a .968 save percentage and three shutouts. They’ve got an extremely consistent and mobile number 1-A defenseman in Mario Ferraro (San Jose) who can play and excel in all areas of the ice. UMass rolls its four lines with confidence, as they’ve been getting offensive contributions from everyone. Their depth is probably the strongest of all the four teams left competing. Lack of playoff experience hurt them in the Hockey East playoffs, but they’ve turned it around in the NCAA playoffs. They’ll need contributions from everyone if they want to play for their first NCAA championship in program history.

Meanwhile, Denver has enjoyed a surprising season as well — in his first season a head coach, 29-year old David Carle has brought the Pioneers back to the NCAA playoffs, Denver’s 12th straight appearance. Their goaltender Filip Larsson (Detroit) came up huge in the NCAA regional, stopping 50 shots in two games as the Pioneers knocked out Ohio State and American International en route to the Frozen Four. Denver’s strength is their defense, having only allowed four goals in six playoff games. However, their offense has faltered as of late, and they’ll need some goals of their own in order to play for their second national championship in three years.


Poll

Who are you cheering for on Thursday?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    UMass (and Cale Makar)
    (222 votes)
  • 43%
    Denver
    (173 votes)
395 votes total Vote Now