The Road to the Frozen Four
Regionals Round One
With April just around the corner, so are the Frozen Four games for the college hockey season. The first four regional games kicked off on March 23, with Minnesota vs Canisius and St. Cloud State vs. Minnesota State in the Fargo seed, Boston University vs. Western Michigan and Denver vs. Cornell in the Manchester seed.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers had a hefty win against their Golden Griffins opponent with a score of 9-2. The Gophers are first in their seed with a record of 26-9-1 while the Griffins were fourth at 20-18-3. The second seed St. Cloud Huskies had a shutout against the Mavericks with a four point win. The Mavericks ended their season with a 25-12-1 record while the Huskies continued on with a 24-12-3.
The Boston University against Western Michigan game was the first for the Manchester seed. The Boston Terriers won the game at 5-1, with one being an empty net goal after the Broncos’ Cameron Rowe was pulled. The Terrier’s goalie, Drew Commesso, had 24 saves this game and one that slid past him. Western had a seasonal record of 23-14-1 and Boston continued on with 27-10-0.
On the same day, the Denver vs. Cornell game went live. Denver’s 30-9-0 record failed to pull through in this game after Cornell’s Big Red had a two point lead over the Pioneers. With less than three minutes into the game, Jack O’Leary netted one with Ben Bernard doing the same with eight and a half minutes left in the period.
The Harvard vs. Ohio State match was just the start of the games that were held on March 24. The midwestern team came out on top despite their subpar record of 20-15-3. Harvard Crimson were only able to score one goal that afternoon while their opponents slipped a total of eight past their goalie.
Following that game was the Penn State Nittany Lions against the Michigan Tech Huskies. Despite having more wins than the other team, the Huskies left the PPL Center in Pennsylvania with a sore loss due to an eight point shutout.
The third game of the evening also ended in a shutout. Quinnipiac took on Merrimack and prevailed with five points against Merrimack’s zero. Two of those points were made in the second period while the remaining three were in the latter half of the third period.
Ending the first round of regionals was the Michigan vs Colgate game. Michigan proved to be an absolute beast by scoring 11 points throughout the course of the game compared to Colgate’s one. One of the points that the Michigan Wolverines made was in the first period, seven were in the second, and four rounded out the final period.
Heading into the second round of the Regional conference, Minnesota was matched up with St. Cloud State, Cornell was pitted against Boston University, Michigan found themselves taking on Penn State, and Quinnipiac was put with Ohio State.
Regionals Round Two
Kicking off round two was Cornell and Boston University. Their records had many thinking that Boston U would come out with a win, and they were right. The Terriers came out on top with a score of 2-1. The Minnesota and St. Cloud State game at SCHEELS Arena was the last game of the night. Minnesota had a three point lead over the Huskies with a final box score of 4-1.
The games on Sunday had some high scores from their previous games and it was all up in the air on who would actually continue on to the Frozen Four. Michigan ended their game at 11-1 while Penn State won 8-0. In this high stakes match, the teams went into overtime with the score at 1-1, but Michigan prevailed once again and solidified themselves in the semifinals.
The final game of round two was Quinnipiac and Ohio State. Quinnipiac entered the arena after winning a five point shutout in their last game while Ohio State had left the arena at 8-1. The Total Mortgage Arena hosted these two teams and paid witness to Quinnipiac winning 4-1.
The next round seems to be the most exciting round for collegiate hockey fans, it’s the Frozen Four. The first of these matchups will take place on April 6 at 5pm with Minnesota going up against Boston University and Michigan rivaling Quinnipiac at 8:30pm. The Championship game will be at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on April 8th at 8pm. All of these games will be aired on ESPN2 for fans to watch live and in the comfort of their own home.