Three Capitals Prospects to Play in NCAA Tournament
/ Washington Capitals
Trio includes the team’s two first-round picks in 2005 Entry Draft Washington, D.C. – March 20, 2006 – Three Washington Capitals prospects – forward Andrew Joudrey and defensermen Sasha Pokulok and Joe Finley – will participate in the 2006 NCAA tournament, which announced its field of 16 teams yesterday. The tournament begins on Friday with the start of regional play.
Pokulok (14th overall) and Finley (27th) were the Capitals’ two first-round selections in the 2005 Entry Draft. Pokulok’s Cornell team is the second seed in the Midwest Regional and will face Colorado College Saturday in Green Bay, Wis. Finley and North Dakota are hosting the West Regional in Grand Forks, N.D., where the second-seeded Fighting Sioux will face Michigan on Friday. North Dakota won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoff championship last weekend in St. Paul, Minn.
Joudrey, an eighth-round pick in the 2003 Entry Draft (249th overall), is part of the NCAA tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, Wisconsin. The Badgers will face Bemidji State Saturday in Green Bay, Wis. Joudrey had a goal in the WCHA third-place game, which the Badgers won, 4-0, against Minnesota.
Two other Capitals prospects saw their teams narrowly miss the NCAA tournament. Washington’s seventh-round selection in the 2004 Entry Draft (197th overall), forward Andrew Gordon, was the leading scorer for St. Cloud State (20 goals, 20 assists in 42 games) as the Huskies fell just one win short of qualifying for the tournament. Gordon had two goals and three assists in the WCHA Final Five. Andrew Thomas, the Capitals’ fourth-round pick in the 2005 Entry Draft (109th overall), is a defenseman for Denver, which did not receive an invitation after winning the last two NCAA championships.
The NCAA tournament concludes with the Frozen Four April 6 and 8 in Milwaukee, Wis. The Verizon Center will host the Frozen Four in Washington, D.C., in 2009.