Monday, March 31, 2014

2014 Frozen Four Field a Familiar One

The participants for the 2014 NCAA Division Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four in Philadelphia have been revealed.

The first semifinal on April 10 at the Wells Fargo Center will pit the top-ranked Union College Dutchmen against the Boston College Eagles at 5 p.m. Union won the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn. over the weekend, while 2008-2010-2012 NCAA champion B.C. claimed the Northeast Regional crown in Worcester, Mass. for the fourth time in its last four trips to the DCU Center. The Dutchmen defeated the Eagles, 5-1, last spring in an NCAA East Regional semifinal in Providence, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools, before Union was eliminated by eventual national runner-up Quinnipiac.

The second national semifinal next week will see a pair of former WCHA foes face-off for the right to play in the NCAA championship game, in the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. UND won the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati by defeating Ferris State in overtime, 2-1, while Minnesota rolled to the West Regional title in St. Paul with convincing victories over Robert Morris and St. Cloud State. UND and the Gophers last played one another in January 2013 in Minneapolis, with Minnesota posting a win and a tie.

UND last won an NCAA title in 2000, while Minnesota won back-to-back national championships in 2002 and 2003. UND has seven national crowns to its credit overall, while Minnesota and B.C. have five each, and Union is seeking its first in its just its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance.

UND's win over Ferris in Cincinnati prevented a duplication of the Frozen Four field that played at Tampa in 2012, when B.C. defeated Ferris, 4-1, to win the national title. Ferris defeated Union in the semifinals that year, 3-1, while B.C. beat Minnesota, 6-1.

The winners of the April 10 semifinal games in Philadelphia will advance to the NCAA national title contest on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. The semifinals will be televised live on ESPN2, while the title game will be shown live on ESPN.

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