Montreal Canadiens: Cole Caufield Falls Short in Conference Championship, Moves on to Nationals

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospect Cole Caufield continued his hot streak with another goal last night, but it wasn’t enough for the Wisconsin Badgers to win.

They were playing the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Big Ten Championship game, and the Badgers fell way behind after two periods. Minnesota was up 5-1 and looked to be in full control heading into the final period.

However, a Caufield goal off a face-off in the Golden Gophers zone pulled the Badgers within one just over two minutes to play as they attempted a furious comeback in the third period.

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But that was as close as the Badgers would get. Minnesota added a late empty net goal to win the game 6-4 and end Caufield’s bid to win a conference title. This isn’t the end of the line for Caufield’s college season, though. Thanks to a first place finish in the regular season, and a trip to the conference final game, the Badgers are sure to get an invitation to the national playoffs.

College hockey has 16 teams named to the NCAA championship and they play a bracket style playoffs just like March Madness in basketball. There are six team given automatic bids when they win their conference playoffs, like Minnesota last night, and the other ten teams are picked by a committee.

Wisconsin will be picked by the committee.

Those 16 teams that are named will play next weekend, from March 26 – 28, until only four remain. Those four teams will move on to the Frozen Four and play the national semifinals on April 8 and the NCAA champion will be crowned on April 10.

Somewhere along the way Caufield will also officially be named the HObey Baker Award winner for the best player in college hockey this season. After scoring last night, he now has 28 goals and 49 points. The next closest goal scorer is ten behind Caufield.

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Last night was the first time in his last eight games that Caufield had less than two points. He just continued to get better and better all season. Let’s hope he saved his best for the NCAA Championships.