NCAA Game Night: 3-17-12

Colgate Raiders 0 @ No. 13 Cornell Big Red 3
ECAC Consolation

D/W Kirill Gotovets, COR: 0-0-0, , 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 22 GP, 1-6-7, +13, 12 PIM

Gotovets was back on defense after playing forward in Cornell’s semifinal loss to Harvard on Friday. He registered one shot on goal as Cornell took the Consolation Game win in Atlantic City.

No. 19 Harvard Crimson 1 @ Union Dutchmen 3
ECAC Semifinals

F Alex Killorn, HAR: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 6 SOG
Season totals: 34GP, 23-23-46, +13, 47 PIMs

In what was probably his final collegiate game, Alex Killorn scored his team’s only goal and led the Crimson with five shots on net, but Harvard lost to Union 3-1 in the ECAC Championship Game. It was Union’s first ECAC title. Any slim shot Harvard had at getting an invitation to the big dance went by the wayside when Union and Western Michigan both got automatic bids. Killorn came back to school for his senior year to do just this – have a strong offensive campaign and lead his team to new heights. Hopefully he holds his head high. The Killorn contract watch now begins, as he’s a lock to sign his name on the dotted line with the Lightning. It’s just a matter of when.

No. 7 Miami RedHawks 4 vs. Bowling Green Falcons 1
CCHA Consolation

F Jimmy Mullin, MIA: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Season totals: 35 GP, 11-15-26, +17, 10 PIM

After a tough loss to Western Michigan in the semifinals Friday, Miami defeated upstart Bowling Green in the CCHA Consolation Game. Miami is a lock for the national tournament and will await their seeding on Sunday.

Note: Brendan O’Donnell (North Dakota) is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery. North Dakota won their third straight WCHA tournament championship.

No. 3 Michigan Wolverines 2 vs. No. 14 Western Michigan Broncos 3
CCHA Finals

D Luke Witkowski, WMU: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 39 GP, 2-11-13, +8, 47 PIM

Fear the beard. Witkowski and Western Michigan won their first CCHA tournament title since 1986 as they held on to beat Michigan, 3-2. Witkowski was strong all night with his partner, free agent Dan DeKeyser. Witkowski’s dump-in and the hybrid icing rule led to the eventual game-winning goal, scored in the closing minutes of the second period. Witkowski, who came into the game with seven points in his last eight games, was beaten one-on-one for Michigan’s first goal, which came while WMU was on the power play, but was strong in his own zone as the Broncos killed off a five-minute major penalty that ended with three minutes to go. He was very poised and strong on the puck in his own end, and at one point in the final minute enabled a clear when he beat two Wolverines to a loose puck while he was on his knees after breaking up the previous play. During the broadcast, Fox Sports Detroit said WMU coach Andy Murray mentioned that all six WMU defensemen would be back next year. The announcers didn’t seem to put a ton of stock in the comment, but it’s the first indication that DeKeyser – and Witkowski – are staying in school. DeKeyser, who was named to the CCHA All-Tournament team, will be offered a contract from most every NHL team and Witkowski has played well enough to start a contract conversation among the Lightning brass. Time will tell, but right now Witkowski, his beard – which got a kiss from the Broncos backup goaltender during the celebration, and WMU will wait and see what damage they can do in the national tournament. They earned an automatic bid with the tournament championship. (Luke's photo from his Twitter feed, @LWitko28)

*USCHO poll used