College hockey’s premier event, the NCAA Frozen Four, is set to begin this week.
The annual tournament begins Thursday with the regional semi-finals. Sixteen schools will be vying for a spot in the Frozen Four and a chance to lift an NCAA title trophy.
Teams will compete in four four-team regions. The winners of the regionals will play the final competition two weeks later in Boston.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the Frozen Four College Hockey Tournament.
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When is the 2022 NCAA Frozen Four tournament?
- Regional: March 24-27
- Semi-finals: April 7
- Finals: April 9
Regional tournaments will begin on Thursday March 24 or Friday March 25. Regions that start on Thursday will play their finals on Saturday, March 26. The regions that start on Friday will play their final on Sunday, March 27.
Both Frozen Four semi-finals are scheduled for Thursday, April 7. The championship match will take place on Saturday, April 9.
Here is a breakdown of dates and times for the entire tournament:
|March 24||Albany Regional Semi-Final||No. 1 Minnesota State 4#4 Harvard 3||Midday|
|March 24||Loveland Regional Semi-Final||No. 2 Minnesota Duluth 3, No. 3 Michigan Tech 0||3 p.m.|
|March 24||Albany Regional Semi-Final||No. 2 North Dakota 2, No. 3 Notre Dame 3||6 p.m.|
|March 24||Loveland Regional Semi-Final||No. 1 Denver 3, No. 4 UMass Lowell 2||9 p.m.|
|March 25||Worcester Regional Semi-Final||#1 West Michigan vs. #4 Northeast||Midday|
|March 25||Allentown Regional Semi-Final||No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 AIC||3 p.m.|
|March 25||Worcester Regional Semi-Final||Minnesota No. 2 vs. UMass No. 3||6 p.m.|
|March 25||Allentown Regional Semi-Final||No. 2 Quinnipiac vs. No. 3 St. Cloud State||8 p.m.|
|March 26||Albany Regional Final||Minnesota State No. 1 vs. Notre Dame No. 3||1 p.m.|
|March 26||Loveland Regional Final||No. 1 Denver vs. No. 2 Minnesota Duluth||1 p.m.|
|March 27||Worcester Regional Final||To be determined||To be determined|
|March 27||Allentown Regional Final||To be determined||To be determined|
|April 7||National semi-finals||To be determined||5 p.m.|
|April 7||National semi-finals||To be determined||8:30 p.m.|
|April 9||National final||To be determined||8 p.m.|
Where is the NCAA Frozen Four being played?
- Albany Regional: Times Union Center, Albany, NY
- Allentown Regional: PPL Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania.
- Loveland Regional: Budweiser Event Center, Loveland, Colorado.
- Worcester Regional: DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.
- Four frozen: TD Garden, Boston
All five locations are considered neutral sites.
The Times Union Center is home to the National Lacross League’s Albany FireWolves as well as Siena College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Albany Devils, the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, played there before the team disbanded.
The PPL Center is the home arena for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Flyers.
The Budweiser Events Center is home to the Colorado Eagles, the AHL affiliate of the Avalanche.
The DCU Center is home to the Worcester Railers, the ECHL affiliate of the Islanders.
TD Garden is the home of the NBA Bruins and Celtics. This is the eighth time the city has hosted this event.
How can I watch the NCAA Frozen Four?
Frozen Four regional games will be televised on ESPN2, ESPNews or ESPNU. All can be streamed on ESPN+.
The National Semi-Finals and Final will air on ESPN2 and can also be streamed on ESPN+.
Who are the best players in the NCAA Frozen Four?
It takes talented players to rise to the top, and this year’s Frozen Four is no exception.
With the best programs competing for the title, some of the best players in college hockey will be playing. In fact, all 10 Hobey Baker Award finalists have their teams in the tournament.
Here’s a look at some of those top players;
Nathan Smith, Minnesota State
Smith is tied for second in the nation with 49 points in 34 games, averaging 1.44 points per game for the Mavericks, also good for second in the nation. He helped Minnesota State to one of four No. 1 seeds in the Frozen Four Regionals.
Dryden McKay, Minnesota State
One of the best goaltenders in college hockey over the past four years, McKay has once again been sensational for the Mavericks. His 35 wins are the best in the country, his 1.26 goals-against average is second and his .934 save percentage is fourth. He is once again a Mike Richter finalist for the best goaltender in college hockey.
Bobby Trivigno, UMass
A key element in UMass’ victory last year, Trivigno leads the way for a Minutemen team looking to repeat. His 48 points rank him fifth in the nation, with 20 goals and 28 assists. The Hobey Baker finalist has generated a lot of interest in the NHL as an undrafted free agent.
Devon Levi, North East
The second-year Huskies goaltender holds the best save percentage in the nation at 0.952%. His goals-against-average isn’t too bad either, sitting in third place with a 1.52 average. Levi has been the backbone of Northeastern throughout the season.
Matty Beniers, Michigan
The No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft had a strong second season, registering 19 goals and 22 assists, posting a total of 41 points in 34 games. Beniers is one of many talented members of the Wolverines and is looking to finish his college career with a national title before signing with the Kraken.
Bobby Brink, Denver
No one has scored more assists or points than Brink in the NCAA this season, recording 41 assists and 55 points in 37 games. His 1.49 also ranks the highest in the country. He’s trying to give the Pioneers their first title since 2017.
Yaniv Perets, Quinnipiac
Perets has been putting up video game numbers this season. The Bobcats sophomore has an insane 0.97 against this year, the best in the country this season. He paired that with a .948 save percentage, good for second place behind Levi. He is in line for the Mike Richter and is also a Hobey Baker finalist.
Ethen Frank, West Michigan
While Brink led the nation in points and assists, Frank leads in goals with 26 in 36 games. He helped the Broncos get to the national tournament for the first time since 2017 and is looking to get the program its first title in program history.
Who are the former NCAA Frozen Four champions?
Michigan has the most collegiate hockey championships, with nine. His last dates back to 1998.
Denver and North Dakota have eight each, Wisconsin has six, and Boston College, Boston University and Minnesota have five each.
Tournament winners in the last 10 years:
- 2021: UMasse
- 2020: Tournament canceled due to COVID-19
- 2019: Minnesota-Duluth
- 2018: Minnesota-Duluth
- 2017: denver
- 2016: North Dakota
- 2015 : Providence
- 2014 : union
- 2013: Yale
- 2012: Boston College