Thursday, April 11, 2013

Frozen Four Finally Here

It's the most wonderful time of the year. One of them, anyway.

The NCAA Men's Hockey Frozen Four and the final weekend of the 2012-13 college hockey campaign are finally here.

The early game today at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh will feature Yale (18-12-3) vs. UMass Lowell (26-10-2) at 4:30 p.m. ET, followed by St. Cloud State (23-15-1) against top-ranked Quinnipiac (27-7-5). All four schools are seeking their first-ever hockey national championship. Only Yale has previously advanced to this point, albeit in 1952.

Yale advanced to this year's semifinals by besting WCHA opponents Minnesota and North Dakota two weeks ago at the NCAA West Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich. UMass Lowell, the only team at the Frozen Four that won its conference tournament championship, bested Wisconsin and Hockey East rival New Hampshire at the Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H., while St. Cloud upended a pair of CCHA schools, Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio), at the Midwest Regional in Toledo. Lastly, ECAC regular-season champion Quinnipiac ousted New York schools Canisius and Union at the East Regional in Providence to punch its ticket to Pittsburgh.

Both of today's contests will be televised live on ESPN2. The winners will advance to Saturday night's championship contest at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

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