With a month remaining in the regular season, Minnesota and Wisconsin both have clinched home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs after recording league sweeps last weekend. Meanwhile, North Dakota, which collected five of six points on Jan. 24-25, needs just one more point to guarantee that it will finish in the top four and host a first round league playoff series.
Minnesota (24-1-1, 18-1-1-0 WCHA, 55 points) remains in the league lead, one point ahead of Wisconsin (21-3-2, 17-3-2-1 WCHA, 54 points), which has played two more games than the Gophers. North Dakota (16-5-3, 13-3-3-2 WCHA, 44 points) is nine points back but also holds two games at hand on UW and fourth place Minnesota Duluth (12-10-4, 10-8-4-3 WCHA, 37 points). Bemidji State (9-14-3, 6-12-2-1 WCHA, 21 points) holds on to fifth place, but just two points ahead of streaking Ohio State (9-12-5, 4-12-5-2, 19 points) which is unbeaten in five straight games. Minnesota State (9-19-0, 4-18-0-0 WCHA, 12 points) and St. Cloud State (4-20-3, 3-15-2-1 WCHA, 12 points) are tied for seventh place.
The WCHA postseason championship begins with a best-of-three first round Feb. 28-March 2. The four winning teams advance to the 2014 WCHA Final Face-off to square of for the WCHA crown at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn., March 7-8.
The Final Face-off begins with two semifinal games at 4:07 p.m. CT and 7:07 p.m. CT on Friday, March 7. The semifinal winners will then play at 7:07 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 8 in the championship game. The winner of the WCHA Final Face-off receives the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey Tournament.
Minnesota has won the last two WCHA Final Face-off titles, defeating Minnesota Duluth 2-0 in the 2012 title game and topping North Dakota 2-0 to claim the 2013 crown.
Single-game and tournament package tickets for the 2014 WCHA Final Faceo-off are now on sale. Tickets for all Sanford Center events may be purchased at the Sanford Center ticket office, any Ticketmaster retail location, Lueken's Village Foods, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
WCHA Final Face-off