Saturday, March 17, 2012
2012 Conference Champions Crowned
The automatic bids for the 2012 NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament were awarded on Saturday to the respective conference championship winners:
Atlantic Hockey (Rochester, NY): Air Force 4, RIT 0
Central Collegiate Hockey Association (Detroit): Western Michigan 3, Michigan 2
Eastern College Athletic Conference (Atlantic City, NJ): Union 3, Harvard 1
Hockey East Association (Boston): Boston College 4, Maine 1
Western Collegiate Hockey Association (St. Paul, MN): North Dakota 4, Denver 0
Both Boston College and North Dakota won their respective league tournaments for the third straight season, with BC becoming the first school to win three consecutive Hockey East playoff championships. Western Michigan claimed its first CCHA Tournament crown since 1986, after finishing runner-up a year ago. The Broncos are now headed to their second straight NCAA Tournament, as are Union and Air Force.
Also expected to garner one of the other 11 bids to the NCAA Tournament, according to the Pairwise Rankings, are Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Ferris State, Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota, Boston University, Maine, Denver, Massachusetts-Lowell, Cornell and Michigan State.