Stage set for NCAA Frozen Four, LIVE Thursday on TSN+
The road to college hockey’s National Championship enters its final stanza as the NCAA Frozen Four gets under way from Tampa, Fla. on Thursday, LIVE on TSN+.
More than 40 NHL prospects will be under the spotlight as Boston University takes on Minnesota in the first semi-final (5pm et/2pm pt) and Michigan faces off against Quinnipiac (8:30pm et/5:30pm pt).
The winners advance to the Championship final, which can be seen live on TSN+ on Saturday at 8pm et/5pm pt.
Three of the four teams – Michigan (9), Boston University (5), Minnesota (5) – are responsible for all 19 of the NCAA titles in the field, while Quinnipiac is seeking the program’s first-ever national championship. Michigan’s nine national titles are the most of any program in the country.
Led by Montreal Canadiens prospect and Hobey Baker Award finalist Lane Hutson, the Terriers advanced by capturing the Manchester Regional with a 5-1 win over Western Michigan and a 2-1 victory over Cornell in the tournament. With 15 goals and 48 points this season, Hutson is the first defenceman in Hockey East history to lead the conference in scoring.
Boston University - a perfect 21-0 this season when scoring the first goal - boasts 17 players with double-digit point totals, 11 of whom have 20-plus points. Both are the most of any Frozen Four team.
The No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, the Golden Gophers cruised to 9-2 and 4-1 wins over Canisius and St. Cloud State, respectively, to capture the Fargo Regional.
Arizona Coyotes first-round pick Logan Cooley (A Hobey Baker Award Hat Trick finalist) and St. Louis Blues prospect Jimmy Snuggerud are the first set of freshman in program history to score 50-plus points each. Another player to watch up front will be Maple Leafs blue-chipper and Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist Matthew Knies, who has 21 goals and 41 points this season.
At the back end, Minnesota defencemen have generated a combined 139 points (27 goals, 112 assists), tops among Frozen Four teams. The Gophers are 23-0 when leading after two periods.
All eyes in Michigan will be on Hobey Baker Hat Trick Finalist Adam Fantilli, who leads the nation in points (35 GP, 29-35-64) and is projected to be a Top 3 pick in June.
The Wolverines opened the Allentown Regional with an 11-1 blitzing of Colgate, followed by a thrilling 2-1 overtime win over Big Ten rival Penn State. With a Frozen Four-leading 12 freshmen, Michigan is the highest-scoring team in the country, averaging 4.23 goals per game. The freshman class has racked up 238 points (90 goals, 148 assists) this season, by far the most in the Frozen Four field.
The hottest team in the field, Quinnipiac rolls into the Frozen Four having won 18 of 21 games since Christmas, including wins over Merrimack (5-0) and Ohio State (4-1) at the Bridgeport Regional.
Sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que. a finalist for both the Hobey Baker and Mike Richter (most outstanding goalie in Division I) awards, leads the nation in wins (32), is tied for the national lead in shutouts (10), and ranks second in save percentage (.932). Sophomore forward Collin Graf, another Hobey Baker Award finalist, leads the team with 20 goals and 56 points through 39 games.
Canadian Players To Watch:
Senior goalie, University Minnesota
Hometown: Kindersley, Sask.
Draft Status: Undrafted free agent
- Semifinalist for the 2023 Mike Richter Award
- Tied for second in NCAA in wins (25), ranks fourth in GAA (1.99) and SV% (.928)
- University’s Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year (all sports) in 2021-22
- Dad played VB at U of S, brother played sledge hockey for Team Canada Nat’l Develop. Team
Freshman forward, Boston University
Hometown: Paradise, Nfld.
Draft Status: Chicago, 2022 (2nd round, 57th overall)
- Named to Hockey East All-Rookie Team
- Ranks fourth on BU in scoring (37 GP, 9-22—31)
Ethan de Jong
Graduate forward, Quinnipiac
Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C.
Draft Status: Undrafted free agent
- Second-team All-ECAC in 2022-23
- Career points (143) and goals (60) leader among all players in NCAA Tournament
- Mother ran track at UBC
Notable Americans with Canadian NHL Rights in Frozen Four
Edmonton Oilers: Skyler Brind’Amour* (Quinnipiac, 2017 6th)
Montreal Canadiens: Lane Hutson (Boston University, 2022 2nd), Luke Tuch** (Boston University, 2020 2nd)
Toronto Maple Leafs: Matthew Knies (Minnesota, 2021 2nd), Mike Koster (Minnesota, 2019 5th)
Vancouver Canucks: Jacob Truscott (Michigan, 2020 5th)
Winnipeg Jets: Rutger McGroarty (Michigan, 2022 1st)
* Son of Carolina Hurricanes head coach and Michigan State alum Rod Brind’Amour
** Younger brother of Buffalo Sabres forward Alex Tuch
For the second straight year, the Frozen Four field will showcase 41 NHL Draft picks:
NHL Draft Picks, Last Five Frozen Fours
2017-18 – 25
2018-19 – 25
2019-20 – Tournament canceled due to COVID-19
2020-21 – 18
2021-22 – 41
2022-23 – 41
NHL Draft Picks by Team
14 – Minnesota
12 – Boston University, Michigan
3 – Quinnipiac
By NHL team
4 – New Jersey
3 – Arizona, Chicago, Montreal, Philadelphia
2 – Buffalo, Carolina, Detroit, NY Rangers, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington
1 – Anaheim, Boston, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Vancouver, Vegas, Winnipeg
Hobey Hopefuls: An impressive six of this year’s 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be competing in the Frozen Four: Boston University freshman D Lane Hutson (Chicago, Ill.); Michigan freshman F Adam Fantilli (Nobleton, Ontario); Minnesota freshman F Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and sophomore F Matthew Knies (Phoenix, Ariz.); Quinnipiac sophomore G Yaniv Perets (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que.) and sophomore F Collin Graf (Lincoln, Mass.).
Everybody and Their Brother: Each team in the Frozen Four features a brother duo: Boston University’s Lane and Quinn Hutson (Chicago, Ill.), Michigan’s Adam and Luca Fantilli (Nobleton, Ontario), Minnesota’s John and Luke Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.), and Quinnipiac’s Anthony and Joey Cipollone (Purchase, N.Y.).
Combined Point Totals
76 – Hutson Brothers (48 by Lane, 28 by Quinn)
71 – Fantilli Brothers (64 by Adam, 7 by Luca)
22 – Mittelstadt Brothers (18 by Luke, 4 by John)
15 – Cipollone Brothers (13 by Joey, 2 by Anthony)