EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 25, 2017 – It's time for on-campus, playoff hockey! The participants and seeds have been set for the 2017 men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) tournament, which begins March 3-5 with the top four teams hosting a best-of-three, quarterfinal round series of the WCHA Playoffs. From there, the two highest remaining seeds will host a best-of-three WCHA Playoffs semifinal series the weekend of March 10-12. The tournament concludes with the single-game, 2017 WCHA Championship, held at the home venue of the top remaining seed Saturday, March 18.
The winner of the 2017 WCHA tournament receives the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship.
Pairings and start times for the best-of-three, quarterfinal round of the 2017 WCHA Playoffs (team's seed is in parentheses):
Games of Friday, March 3: (7) Lake Superior State at (2) Michigan Tech, 7:07 p.m. ET; (5) Ferris State at (4) Bowling Green, 7:07 p.m. ET; (6) Alaska at (3) Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m. CT; (8) Northern Michigan at (1) Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m. CT.
Games of Saturday, March 4: Lake Superior State at Michigan Tech, 7:07 p.m. ET; Ferris State at Bowling Green, 7:07 p.m. ET; Alaska at Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m. CT; Northern Michigan at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m. CT.
Games of Sunday, March 5 (if necessary): Northern Michigan at Bemidji State, 5:07 p.m. CT; Lake Superior State at Michigan Tech, 7:07 p.m. ET; Ferris State at Bowling Green, 7:07 p.m. ET; Alaska at Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m. CT.
Of note, the 2017 WCHA tournament will not follow a straight bracket. In the semifinal round of the 2017 WCHA Playoffs, the highest remaining seed will host the lowest remaining seed in one series; in the other, the second-highest remaining seed will host the second-lowest.
Bemidji State (20-6-2-2, 64 points), which won the MacNaughton Cup as 2016-17 WCHA regular season champions, will be the tournament's top seed. Michigan Tech (15-7-6-3, 54 pts) outlasted Minnesota State (15-9-4-2, 51 pts) for the second seed. Bowling Green (14-13-1-1, 44 pts.) used a final-weekend sweep to secure the fourth seed and the final home ice slot, holding off a late charge by fifth-seeded Ferris State (12-12-4-3, 42 pts.). Alaska (10-13-4-3, 37 pts.) plays its regular season finale tonight as the sixth seed, while Lake Superior State (8-13-7-4, 35 pts.) finished as the No. 7 seed. Northern Michigan used an 8-3-2-1 run over its final 13 games to go from last place to eighth, cementing the final playoff spot with a win on the season's final night (finishing 10-15-3-1, 34 pts.).