Day 1 of the WCHA playoffs are over. The surprises came in the Mountain Time Zone with both Colorado teams losing at home. Below is a quick rundown of the playoff games and some notes about them.
Minnesota 2, Anchorage 1: To start playoff week, Anchorage booted its leading scorer, Mitch Bruijsten, off the team for failing to fulfill his academic responsibilities. Even so, the underdog Seawolves put up a good fight and nearly tied it up late in the third. Gopher forward Erik Haula potted both goals as the Gophers moved one step closer to their first Final Five since 2009.
Minnesota-Duluth 4, MSU-Mankato 2: Defenseman Brady Lamb scored twice for the Bulldogs, including the game-winner with 8:02 left in the third. MSU goaltender Phil Cook is injured and did not make the trip. Hobey candidate Jack Connolly was held off the scoresheet.
Wisconsin 1, Denver 0: The Badgers continued their bizarre dominance over Denver in postseason play, improving to 13-1. Sean Little scored his second goal of the year late in the third to win it. Of note, Denver went with rookie Juho Olkinuora in net. It will be interesting to see who the Pioneers come back with in Game 2. Joel Rumpel gets the 28-save shutout for UW.
Michigan Tech 3, Colorado College 1: The Huskies stayed in Colorado Springs all week (these teams played there last week, too) and they got a different result. They held the Tigers to just 17 shots on goal in winning Game 1. The Tigers are 6-9-2 in the year 2012. Tech is looking for its first Final Five trip since 2007, when they also took out Colorado College in the Springs.
St. Cloud State 4, Omaha 0: Omaha continues its huge swoon at the end of the season. The Mavs have lost five straight and have just two wins in the last 12 games. Coach Dean Blais has now lost six consecutive playoff games. The Huskies are 6-2-1 in their last nine games and have reached .500 for the first time since Thanksgiving. Mike Lee, who played under Blais in Fargo, gets the shutout.