Preview, picks for the 2016 WCHA championship

Preview, picks for the 2016 WCHA championship
Al Daniel
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2016 WCHA championship preview: Michigan Tech vs. Minnesota State

Mike Neville and the Huskies have one more title they want to take from Brad McClure and the defending champion Mavericks. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The new-look WCHA officially has its first great rivalry, and Michigan Tech is salivating to finish flipping the script on 2014-15. Meanwhile, Minnesota State is seeking a Broadmoor Trophy three-peat.

Are the Huskies and Mavericks a lock for a rematch in the conference tournament final? From a marketing standpoint, the league’s otherwise nonpartisan advocates could not root for a better scenario in the 2016 WCHA championship.

Of the quartet bound for Grand Rapids in the misnomer that is the WCHA Final Five, MSU and MTU are the only pre-alignment holdovers. Bowling Green and Ferris State are both transfers from the defunct CCHA.

The name of the league’s crowning event and the presence of the Huskies and Mavericks stand in sparse company as reminders of the old days. By “old days,” that means what the current senior classes experienced as freshmen.

Since the exits of Denver, Minnesota, North Dakota and St. Cloud State — among others — MSU and MTU have emerged as the two steadiest WCHA representatives. The second and third seasons of the new alignment have seen them wage a fevered footrace for first place.

The Huskies have already usurped that regular-season crown after getting the bulk of the head-to-head regular-season pie, as the Mavs did the year prior. Now the Broadmoor Trophy has traveled from Mankato, where it went directly from St. Paul last March, to within Michigan state boundaries.

The winner of Friday’s first semifinal, whether it is MTU or FSU, earns the right to keep it in that territory longer.

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Al Daniel

Along the Boards' NCAA editor, Al is an alumnus of Shattuck-St. Mary's and Providence College. His work has previously appeared in the Faribault Daily News, Let's Play Hockey, Access North GA, Beyond the Dashers, the Pawtucket Times, USCHO, USA Hockey Magazine and Bleacher Report.

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