The 2011 CCHA hockey playoffs make their way to Joe Louis Arena today for the semifinals of the annual tournament. The first semifinal will be between Miami and Notre Dame at 4:35 p.m., and the second semifinal will feature Michigan and Western Michigan at 8:05 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on FS Detroit Plus.
The four teams still alive in the CCHA playoffs are the top four seeds. Michigan finished first during the regular season and swept Bowling Green at home last week. Notre Dame is the No. 2 seed and edged Lake Superior State in a series that went three games. Western Michigan, the No. 4 seed, also had its series go three games. It took an overtime victory over Ferris State last Sunday for the Broncos to advance. Finally, Miami (Ohio), the No. 3 seed, swept Alaska.
The way things stand right now, Michigan, Notre Dame and Miami are all set to make the NCAA hockey tournament without needing an automatic bid. Western Michigan is on the bubble, so it may take at least a win over Michigan to get into the field. A win over Michigan and then in the championship game would give the Broncos an automatic bid, of course.
The Wolverines are playing for the fourth No. 1 seed in the NCAA hockey tournament. They don't necessarily have to win the CCHA tournament to get a No. 1 seed, but a victory would put them in excellent position to receive one.