Hey there Hockey college hockey fans! As we draw ever so close the to the dropping of the puck for next week's NCAA Frozen Four Men's Hockey Championships, we wanted to drop by and give you some insight to each team and the path taken to the Frozen Four! All four teams are well deserving and I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to some awesome games!
Boston College has done it again, returning to the Frozen Four for the 23rd time, making its third visit in the past five years. The Eagles defeated University of Minnesota Duluth Sunday night, 4-0, keeping their 17 game winning streak in play.
This is nothing new for the Eagles back in the semifinals, with their 31st NCAA tournament appearance. The hockey powerhouse has reached the championship game seven times in the last 14 years winning two of the last four NCAA championships. Sunday's win improved BC coach Jerry York's NCAA tournament record to 35-19-1 all time, and 30-9 with the Eagles. The Eagles have taken the national championship crown four times, in 1949, 2001, 2008 and 2010. BC’s players to watch are Nathan Gerbe, a junior forward.
He has racked up 30 goals and 30 assists in 41 games and ranks second in the nation in scoring, named first-team Hockey East and the league's playoff MVP, the Dodge Holiday Classic MVP and was the Hockey Commissioner's December National Player of the Month. Goaltender Parker Milner was named the regional’s most outstanding player, stopping 33 shots with two consecutive shut outs. Brian Dumoulin was named a Hobey Baker finalist.
University of Minnesota
For The University of Minnesota, they know what hard work is and persevered to get through the past few years the program has encountered. The complete turnaround has them setting foot on the ice of the Frozen Four. This will be the Gophers first visit since 2005 to the Frozen Four. Winning the West regional by defeating North Dakota 5-2, and taking the last nine of eleven games, they have one more step to take when they get off the plane in Tampa.
UM has won five NCAA titles, the last one in 2003. 2012 is the Gophers 20th Frozen Four, 33rd NCAA tournament visit. Players to watch in the Gophers line up are Eric Haula, sophomore forward, leading the team in points and shots. Freshmen forward Kyle Rau, Named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team. Nick Bjugstad, sophomore forward first team All-WCHA. Goalie, Kent Patterson named to the All-WCHA First Team and won also the WCHA Goaltending Champion title with a 2.06 goals-against average in league games.
Union College out of Schenectady New York will be participating in its first Frozen Four at the Division I level. The Dutchmen played in the Division III Final Four during 1984 and 1985. Union took the East Regional title game defeating UMass-Lowell 4-2. This continues to be an exciting season for first year coach Rick Bennett, keeping the team poised and ready to go for the semifinal. This year’s team has had one of the best years in its history, hitting the height of national polls. Goaltender Troy Groseniek was named a Hobey Baker finalist. Another player to watch is junior forward Jeremy Welsh, named East Regional Most Outstanding Player.
The Bulldogs started the season picked to finish ninth in the conference, by Valentine’s Day they were ranked number one in the country by all three major Division I polls. They just took out Denver and Cornell each holding multiple championship crowns. Ferris State has proven that you don’t need mega star roster, just hard work. Ice hockey is the only sport that the school participates in at the Division I level. They do not have one player drafted by an NHL team, and prior to this year 2003 was their only trip to the NCAA tournament. They could be the next Cinderella story hitting the ice in Tampa. Check out player Taylor Nelson who received Midwest regional MVP honors.
Well folks, there's your re-cap! Be sure to keep checking back with us for more Tampa Bay sports and Frozen Four updates!