Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Follow Team Wisconsin at Nationals

Tomorrow is a HUGE day for hockey in the state of Wisconsin. Our Badgers may be out of the NCAA tournament, but the state of Wisconsin is still being well represented on the national level.

As you're already well aware, Team Wisconsin midget minors are participating in the USA Hockey Tier 1 U16 National Tournament in Chesterfield, MO. Team Wisconsin advanced to Nationals by beating (then ranked #2 in the country) Team Illinois, and Russel Stover.

Team Wisconsin, who is currently ranked #12 in the nation, opens up the tournament tomorrow morning when they play the #52 ranked Connecticut Wolves at 1:00 PM. Thursday they open up early when they play #50 ranked Thunder Hockey at 10:10 AM. The toughest game in pool play for Wisconsin will be Friday when they take on #14 ranked Alaska All Stars at 4:30 PM.

For the most part, Team Wisconsin got a fairly easy draw in the tournament. Thier first two games are against the two worst teams in the enitre tournament. 4 teams from each pool advance to the next round (There are 6 teams in each pool). If Wisconsin takes care of business there should be no reason they won't advance. It would be great if Wisconsin could sweep pool play so they don't have to face off against Compuware or the Long Island Gulls (ranked #2 and #3 respectively in the nation) right away in the first game of the playoff round. Compuware is stacked and they are my pick to win the entire tournament.

This seasons national tournament will have unprecedented coverage. In addition to live scoring for every game, and updates on twitter, all the games will be broadcast live from fasthockey.com. To view the games, you must create a free account. Users can then buy game credits - a single game ranges from $6.99 (when one game credit is purchased) to $3.99 (when 100 game credits are purchased).

EDIT: No Sleep Till Madison has some great previews for Team Wisconsin's pool play games.

NSTM Game Preview #1: Wisconsin vs Connecticut Wolves
NSTM Game Preview #2: Wisconsin vs Thunder AAA Hockey
NSTM Game Preview #3: Wisconsin vs Alaska All Stars