2016 Frozen Four Preview

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The 2016 NCAA hockey tournament is officially set. All conference tournaments are finished and teams know who they will be facing on March 25th and 26th in their respective regionals. Prior to next weekend’s games here is what you should know.

The championship playoff format involves four regional sites with four teams at each site. The four regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The championship uses a single-elimination format. Last Word is taking a look at the 2016 Frozen Four favorites.

The dates and times of this year’s tournament are as follows:

East Regional, March 26-27

 Times Union Center, Albany, New York

Saturday, March 26, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN

No. 1 Quinnipiac (29-3-7) vs. No. 4 RIT (18-14-6)

 Saturday, March 26, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN3/WatchESPN

No. 2 Massachusetts Lowell (24-9-5) vs. No. 3 Yale (19-8-4)

 

Sunday, March 27, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN

East Regional Championship

 

Northeast Regional, March 25-26

DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts

 

Friday, March 25, 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN3/WatchESPN

No. 1 Providence (27-6-4) vs. No. 4 Minnesota Duluth (18-15-5)

 

Friday, March 25, 8 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN

No. 2 Boston College (26-7-5) vs. No. 3 Harvard (19-10-4)

 

Saturday, March 26, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN

Northeast Regional Championship

 

Midwest Regional, March 25-26

U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio

 

Friday, March 25, 2 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN

No. 1 North Dakota (30-6-4) vs. No. 4 Northeastern (22-13-5)

 

Friday, March 25, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN

No. 2 Michigan (24-7-5) vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (19-10-7)

 

Saturday, March 26, 6 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN

Midwest Regional Championship

 

West Regional, March 26-27

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

 

Saturday, March 26, 3 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNews/WatchESPN

No. 1 St. Cloud State (31-8-1) vs. No. 4 Ferris State (19-14-6)

 

Saturday, March 26, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN

No. 2 Denver (23-9-6) vs. No. 3 Boston U. (21-12-5)

 

Sunday, March 27, 5 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN

West Regional Championship

 

Men’s Frozen Four, April 7 and 9

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

Thursday, April 7, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN

(order of games TBD)

 

East Regional Champion vs. Northeast Regional Champion

Midwest Regional Champion vs. West Regional Champion

 

Saturday, April 9, 8 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN/WatchESPN

National Championship

 

Teams to Watch:

By stats, Quinnipiac is the best team in the tournament and along with the number one seed, they are the favorite to win. They have a record of 29-3-7 and were one of the best teams in college hockey for the entire season. Along with that Quinnipiac captured the ECAC championship over Harvard.  The Bobcats are the first seed in the East region and will face RIT in their first game of the tournament. The winner of that game will face the winner of Yale and UMass Lowell.

The University of Michigan is the second team that college hockey fans should keep an eye on. The Wolverines were Big Ten tournament champions and missed winning the Big Ten regular season by two points. Michigan will have a tough road to get to the Frozen Four, as they are in a conference with North Dakota, Northeastern and Notre Dame. They have the three top scorers in NCAA hockey with Kyle Connor, J.T. Compher and Tyler Motte. If the Wolverines can make it through their region, they can do some damage in the Frozen Four.

Tournament play will begin March 25th in their respective regions. All games will be broadcast on ESPN networks for fans to watch. The Frozen Four will be played at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, the home of the Tampa Bay lightning. For a full bracket head here.

 

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