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College hockey's Frozen Four to start Thursday

April 03, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • Boston College celebrates a goal during the second period of their regional championship victory over Minnesota-Duluth on Sunday.
Boston College celebrates a goal during the second period of their regional… (Winslow Townson / Associated…)

Now that the Final Four is over, it’s time for the Frozen Four.

The NCAA Division I men’s hockey semifinals and finals will take place this week at  the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., home of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The site might be nontraditional but that's fitting because there are some nontraditional semifinalists involved.

In Thursday’s first semifinal, at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time, Union College of Schenectady, N.Y., will face Ferris State of Big Rapids, Mich., in a matchup of first-time semifinalists. In the other game, scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, top-ranked Boston College — vying for its third national title in five years — will face Minnesota, which scored 12 goals in two games in the West regional. Both games are scheduled to be on ESPN2/ESPN3. The final will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. Pacific time.

Union College (26-7-7) is a small liberal arts school that doesn’t award athletic scholarships. The Dutchmen have become the darling of the tournament, and deservedly so. Ferris State (25-11-5) upset Denver and Cornell to reach the semifinals.

Boston College (31-10-1) is coached by Jerry York, one of the most successful coaches in college hockey history. He led Bowling Green to the championship in 1984 and guided the B.C.  Eagles to titles in 2001, 2008 and 2010.

Minnesota (28-13-1) is coached by Don Lucia, who went to the Frozen Four twice while coaching Colorado College and three times with the Gophers, winning with Minnesota in 2002 and 2003.

Keep an eye on B.C. forward Chris Kreider, who was drafted 19th overall by the New York Rangers in 2009 and is considered a premier NHL prospect.

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College hockey's Frozen Four to start Thursday

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