NCAA Regional Hockey [weekend thread]: Islanders prospects in action

Not in Tampa this year; they moved it to Richard Pilon's statue instead. - J. Meric

Watch, comment, play music, speculate.

The NCAA Regionals begin today, and this weekend's games feature at least two appearances from New York Islanders prospects playing in college. Consider this your open thread for discussing the goings-on (and signing speculation) throughout the weekend.

Regional Semifinals

For Islanders lenses, things kick off tonight when defenseman Scott Mayfield's Denver plays UNH in Manchester (8 p.m., ESPNU). Denver has been off for a couple of weeks, as they crashed out of their WCHA conference tournament early two weeks ago.

Saturday afternoon, Anders Lee and Robbie Russo's Notre Dame is the top seed in Toledo and plays St. Cloud at 1:30 Saturday (Fox regionals, ESPN3). Undefeated in their last nine, the Fighting Stereotypes are feeling good going into the NCAA tourney.

Regional Finals

If Denver wins, they play again in the regional final Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. against UMass-Lowell.

If Notre Dame wins, they play in their regional final Sunday at 4 p.m. against the winner of Miami vs. Minnesota State.

Here's a quick preview/overview of the whole tourney.

Of course, the interest for Islanders fans isn't just some pretty good hockey and a look at some solid Islanders prospects; it's also what happens after a prospect's team is eliminated.

Lee is the oldest of the trio and the most likely to depart, now after his third season with Notre Dame. Newsday's Arthur Staple and MSG's Butch Goring are among the insiders who have suggested it's likely to happen.

But there is some "depart and sign" buzz about Mayfield, who is used in more of a defensive role for Denver in his sophomore season, and less so about Russo, who mans the Irish powerplay point.

So once each team loses, the speculation and the twitter-crawling will ramp up. And should either or both team win out? The Frozen Four is April 11 and 13 in Pittsburgh, home of the newest statue for Jarome Iginla.

Juniors

Lots of CHL junior playoffs this week too. Feel free to chime in on those too.

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