Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Women's Frozen Four, Men's Conference Championships This Weekend

The stage is set this weekend for the 2016 NCAA Division I Women's Frozen Four, along with the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey conference championships.

The women’s national champion will be crowned this weekend at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. Number-one ranked Boston College (39-0-0 overall) will face 2014 NCAA champion Clarkson (30-4-5) in the first semifinal at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, while defending national champion Minnesota (33-4-1) will take on WCHA rival Wisconsin (35-3-1) in the nightcap at 7 p.m. ET. BC is looking to earn a spot in its first national title game, which will be played Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, while Minnesota (six) and Wisconsin (four) have 10 national championships between them.

The conference championships in each of the six men’s hockey Division I conferences will also be contested this week, with a half-dozen automatic berths to the 2016 NCAA Tournament on the line. In all six conferences, the Friday semifinal winners will meet on Saturday to decide their respective conference crowns.

In Atlantic Hockey, Army will meet Robert Morris on Friday at 5 p.m. ET, while RIT will battle Air Force at 8:30 p.m. ET at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y. RIT won last year’s championship game.

The Big Ten Tournament starts Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., with Wisconsin taking on 19th-ranked Penn State at 4 p.m. CT, and Michigan State facing Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. CT. The winners will meet either Michigan (4 p.m. CT) or Minnesota (7:30 p.m. CT) on Friday, with Minnesota looking to defend its Big Ten title following a victory over Michigan last year in Detroit.

The Eastern College Athletic Conference will see Dartmouth face off with second-ranked Quinnipiac at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. at 4 p.m. ET Friday, followed by No. 17 St. Lawrence taking on No. 9 Harvard at 7:30 p.m. ET. Harvard won last year’s ECAC Tournament, for its first league title since 2006.

Hockey East will again contest its annual postseason tournament semifinals at TD Garden in Boston, with defending NCAA champion and third-ranked Providence skating against No. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell at 5 p.m. ET on Friday. That game will be followed by No. 5 Boston College playing No. 14 Northeastern at 8 p.m. ET. Boston University, last year’s winner, was ousted by UML in last week’s quarterfinals.

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Frozen Faceoff semifinals will take place at the Target Center in Minneapolis. No. 16 Minnesota-Duluth will vie with top-ranked North Dakota at 4 p.m. CT Friday, before No. 4 St. Cloud and No. 6 Denver hook up at 7:30 p.m. CT. Last year’s NCHC champion, Miami, was knocked out in the quarterfinals last weekend by Minnesota-Duluth.

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association semifinals return to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Friday, with Bowling Green testing No. 15 Minnesota State at 4 p.m. ET, followed by Ferris State meeting No. 12 Michigan Tech at 7:30 p.m. ET. MSU is the defending WCHA tournament champion.

The NCAA men’s hockey selection show will be televised Sunday at noon ET on ESPNU. The four Division I regional tournaments will be held on March 25-27 in Albany, Cincinnati, St. Paul and Worcester, Mass., to decide the participants for the NCAA Frozen Four on April 7-9 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

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