The semifinals are set for the 2012 CCHA championship. Michigan will face Bowling Green, the most surprising team in the nation right now, and Western Michigan will take on Miami (Ohio).
Michigan advanced to the semifinals by sweeping the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Yost Ice Arena. The Wolverines won 3-1 on Saturday night to finish off the sweep. That win came one day after Michigan beat Notre Dame 2-1 in double overtime to take a 1-0 series lead. On Saturday, the Wolverines didn't allow it to get that far and took care of business in regulation.
Bowling Green followed up its 3-2 overtime victory on Friday with a 7-4 loss on Saturday, forcing a third and deciding game in the series. On Sunday, the Falcons climbed out of a big hole at Ferris State to make it to the semifinals. The Falcons were down 3-0 after the first period in Sunday's game, but they battled back to tie it up and send it to overtime. In the extra session, Bowling Green's Dan De Salvo scored his third goal of the game and ended the series only 2:30 into overtime.
Because Bowling Green is the lowest seed in the tournament and Michigan is the highest remaining seed with Ferris State out, the Falcons and Wolverines will meet in the semifinals on Friday.
The other matchup in the semifinals is between Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan. Both teams swept their respective series. Western Michigan beat Lake Superior 4-2 on Friday and 5-2 on Saturday to advance on in the tournament. Miami (Ohio) smoked Michigan State 6-0 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday to move on to play the Broncos.
Currently, the start times for Friday's games are to be determined. One of the semifinals will take place at 4:35 p.m. and the other will be played at 8:05 p.m. If the CCHA were smart, it would put Michigan in the early game since the Wolverines' game against Ohio in the NCAA basketball tournament is at 7:20 p.m. on Friday. Doing so would avoid a conflict for fans and be the smart move. Knowing the CCHA, however, I would bet on Michigan/Bowling Green being played at 8:05 p.m.
Both of the semifinals will be shown on FOX Sports Detroit Plus. The championship game will be on FOX Sports Detroit at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The third-place game for the two teams that lose on Friday will be held at 3:35 p.m. on Saturday.
UPDATE: As expected, Michigan's game against Bowling Green will begin at 8:05 p.m. Miami and Western Michigan will play in the earlier game.