The sixteen-team NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament gets underway starting today, with games on Saturday and Sunday also. The teams are split into four different regions, with this year's Frozen Four to be played at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center. The championship game will take place on April 12th. Among the participants in this year's tourney will be a whopping eight Florida Panthers prospects.
The forwards representing the Panthers will be North Dakota's Rocco Grimaldi (14G-22A), Minnesota's Kyle Rau (12G-22A), and Vermont's Connor Brickley (5G-10A).
Boston College's dynamic duo of Mike Matheson (3G-14A) and Ian McCoshen (4G-8A), and Wisconsin's Eddie Wittchow (1G-6A) are the Cats' blue line prospects playing in tourney.
Florida draftees Sam Brittain (2.11 GAA) and Evan Cowley (1.95 GAA ) are the University of Denver's one-two punch in goal, with Brittain being the unquestioned, workhorse starter.
Rau's Golden Gophers are the 3/1 betting favorites to capture the crown, which was won last year by Yale, who didn't make this year's tournament.
The ESPN family of networks has got you for coverage, with ESPN2 and ESPNU carrying the bulk of the games. The title tilt will be on ESPN proper at 7:30 p.m. on April 12th.
First Round games:
East Regional (Bridgeport, CT)
Union (1) 28-6-4 vs. Vermont (4) 20-14-3 ESPNU 2:00 p.m. Friday
Quinnipiac (2) vs. Providence (3) ESPNU 5:30 p.m. Friday
Winners will meet in the second round game at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday on ESPNU
Northeast Regional (Worcester, MA)
Boston College (1) 26-7-4 vs. Denver (4) 20-15-6 ESPNU 4:00 p.m. Saturday
UMass Lowell (2) 25-10-4 vs. Minnesota State (3) 26-13-1 ESPN3 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Winners will meet in the second round game at 3:00 p.m. Sunday on ESPN2
Midwest Regional (Cincinnati, OH)
Wisconsin (1) 24-10-2 vs. North Dakota (4) 23-13-3 ESPNU 8:00 p.m. Friday
Ferris State (2) 28-10-3 vs. Colgate (3) 20-13-5 ESPN2 4:30 p.m. Friday
Winners will meet in the second round game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPNU
West Regional (St. Paul, MN)
Minnesota (1) 25-6-6 vs. Robert Morris (4) 19-17-5 ESPN2 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Notre Dame (2) 23-14-2 vs. Saint Cloud State (3) 21-10-5 ESPNU 9:00 p.m. Saturday
Winners will meet in the second round game at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU.