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Frenzy at the Frozen Four: A Recap of College Hockey’s Biggest Event of the Year

Courtesy of University of Denver Athletics

For hockey fans, the month of April is significant for many reasons. It marks the end of the NHL regular season and the beginning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, it also marks the biggest event of the year for the NHL’s collegiate rising stars and future franchise players: the Frozen Four. At this year’s Frozen Four, the University of Denver, Boston University, Boston College, and the University of Michigan all traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota to play for the crown and the title of best hockey team in the NCAA.

The University of Denver was the first team to make the cut for the Frozen Four this year. Going into the semifinals, the Pioneers had a record of 30 wins and nine losses, three of which were in overtime. They were also third in the NCAA. Though they may not be as popular or as well known as their competition, Denver is certainly no stranger to the pressure of the championship. After all, the Pioneers won the Frozen Four back in 2022 and are tied with Michigan for the most NCAA wins. Hungry for the taste of victory, Denver was not going to let this year’s championship escape. 

Courtesy of College Hockey News

Playing Denver in the semifinals was Boston University. Going into the semifinals, the number two ranked Terriers had a record of 28 wins and nine losses, two of which were in overtime. With a stacked roster full of NHL prospects as well as freshman Hobey Baker Award winner Macklin Celebrini, Boston University was ready to play for their shot in the national championship. However, the Pioneers were hot during the semifinals and the Terriers could not handle the heat. Beating Boston University in overtime, the Pioneers were headed to the finals. 

In the other semifinal, also vying for their spot in the Frozen Four was Boston College. Being the favorite for the championship, the number one ranked Eagles had a record of 33 wins and five losses, one of which was in overtime. Boston College has some of the best prospects in the NHL and in the world on their team, including 2022 fifth overall draft pick Cutter Gauthier, who was tied for the most points in the NCAA, as well as freshman goalie standout and Mike Richter Award finalist, Jacob Fowler. With such a highly decorated roster, the Eagles were ready to swoop in for victory. 

Courtesy of College Hockey News

Playing the Eagles was the University of Michigan. Ranked 17th in the NCAA with a record of 23 wins and 14 losses, three of which were in overtime; the Wolverines had a rags to riches story when making it to the semifinals this year, beating out their number four ranked rivals, Michigan State, to clinch the spot. Being another team with a highly decorated roster, such as Rutger McGroarty, Frank Nazar III, and Gavin Brindley, Michigan was looking to be the first team to reach double digit championship wins. However, the Wolverine’s winning streak was not enough to fend off the Eagles, who overtook them to punch their championship ticket. 

Courtesy of The Boston Globe

With the team with the best record and the team tied for most championship wins in the final, it was bound to be a close game. Both teams fought tooth and nail through the first period, however no one on any team was able to sneak a goal through the goaltenders. The Eagles made a rush to nearly open the scoring in the second period, however, the shot was blocked. In retaliation, it was the Pioneers that opened the scoring when they won a faceoff; with sophomore Rieger Lorenz passing a shot to his teammate Jared Wright, who fired a shot that bounced off Jacob Fowler and into the net. Six minutes later, Lorenz fired a wrist shot of his own, making the score 2-0. Going into the third period, Boston College desperately tried to gain an edge. Though they out-shot Denver 23-4, they could not find a way to land the pucks in the net. When the clock ran out, Denver made history by being the first program to win 10 national championships. Boston College had also set an NCAA performance record, with 34 wins and six losses.

There was a lot that was historic about this year’s Frozen Four. Denver, Boston University, Boston College, and Michigan were not only the youngest programs in NCAA hockey to make the championship, but also the group with the most wins. Going into the semifinals, the teams had a combined 28 national championship wins, which was the most wins between teams in the Frozen Four. With college hockey getting more and more competitive, the NCAA definitely has an impressive pool of athletes that can become legends in the NHL. The future is bright for hockey. 

Edited By Giana Robertaccio

Content Created By Caroline McGuinness

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