BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 17, 2019 – After completing two-game sweeps in their respective Western Collegiate Hockey Association Semifinal series on Saturday evening, WCHA regular-season champion Minnesota State will host No. 3 playoff seed Bowling Green on Saturday, March 23, in the 2019 WCHA Championship.
The single-game matchup is set for 7:07 p.m. CT at the Verizon Center in Mankato, Minn. The winner will take home the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy and will earn the league's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship. Fans can watch the action live on FloHockey.tv.
Nationally second- (USCHO.com) and third- (USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine) rated Minnesota State (31-7-2 overall/22-5-1-1 WCHA, 68 points) swept No. 4 seed Lake Superior State, 2-1 and 2-0, in Mankato over the weekend to advance to the league championship game for the first time since 2016. MSU opened the postseason with a two-game sweep of No. 8 seed Alabama Huntsville (3-1, 4-1) in the WCHA Quarterfinals. The Mavericks lead the nation in wins with 31 victories this year and captured their fourth WCHA regular season title in the last five seasons this year (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019).
Bowling Green (25-9-5 overall/16-8-4-3 WCHA, 55 points), which began the semifinal weekend ranked No. 15 in the USCHO poll, went on the road to defeat No. 2 seed Northern Michigan, 6-1 and 2-1 (2OT), at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich. After a resounding 6-1 win to open the series on Friday evening, the Falcons needed double overtime to secure victory in Game 2 and advance to the WCHA Championship Game for the second time since joining the league prior to the 2013-14 season. BGSU swept No. 6 seed, and two-time defending WCHA Postseason champion, Michigan Tech, 3-2 and 6-2, to reach the Semifinals.
The two teams met just twice in the regular season in 2018-19, with home-standing Bowling Green sweeping the two-game set, Dec. 14-15, at the Slater Family Ice Arena with a pair of 4-1 wins.