After an exciting weekend of college hockey, the 2016 Frozen Four is set. North Dakota, Boston College, Denver and Quinnipiac will be heading to Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay to compete for the NCAA hockey national championship.
The first semifinal will feature Boston College vs. Quinnipiac. After that, North Dakota will face conference rival Denver University.
Last Word on Sports is taking a look at the four teams and who is most likely to raise a National Champion banner next season.
The Bobcats had no problem getting to the Frozen Four. Frankly, they had no problem getting into the tournament. Quinnipiac opened the tournament with a 4-0 shutout against RIT then rolled past UMass-Lowell 4-1. After winning both the ECAC regular-season and tournament championships for the first time in school history, they’ll be looking for three in a row with the National Championship. This is the second time the Bobcats have made it to the Frozen Four, the first time being in 2013 when they lost to Yale in the National Championship.
Sam Anas will be the player to watch for QU. He is the team’s top scorer. Anas came into the tournament with apparent shoulder injury but he suited up for both games over the weekend. After scoring this goal against Umass-Lowell, he’ll look to continue his scoring ways against Boston College.
That filthy goal from Sam Anas in widescreen, the chip pass off the boards springs him pic.twitter.com/4UIuXFVJAY
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 28, 2016
The Eagles are back in the Frozen Four for the 25th time in school history. No team in the history of college hockey has made it to as many Frozen Fours as Boston College. The Eagles knocked out Harvard team led by free agent Jimmy Vesey then pulled through a tough game with Minnesota Duluth. They will be looking for their fourth national title since 2008. Coach Jerry York recently hit 1,000 career wins and his veteran Eagles team will be hungry for another championship.
Thatcher Demko, a prospect of the Vancouver Canucks, has been phenomenal this season. He has posted a .936 save percentage and the lowest goals against average in his three-year career at BC. He and several other NHL prospects will be fighting hard for another national championship.
Easily one of the best teams in the tournament, the Fighting Hawks come into the Frozen Four after rolling past North Eastern 6-2 and Michigan by a score of 5-2. This will be North Dakota’s 22nd time making it to the Frozen Four. Their last championship being in 2000, the Fighting Hawks will look to change that this season.
Led by the CBS line with Canucks first-rounder Brock Boeser, Chicago Blackhawks first-rounder Nick Schmaltz and senior Drake Caggiula, a top college free agent, this team has no problem scoring. Look for more goals like this against Denver this weekend.
A little tic-tac-TOE from North Dakota!
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 25, 2016
Once again, Denver is another team to not have a problem making it to the Frozen Four. The Pioneers smashed Boston University 7-2 then rolled past Ferris State winning 6-3. This will be Denver’s first Frozen Four in 11 years. They have not been back to the Frozen Four since they won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005. No school has managed to win back-to-back titles since then.
The Pioneers are led by Boston Bruins prospect Danton Heinen and freshman Dylan Gambrell. Heinen leads the team with 48 points while Gambrell is right behind with 47 points. They, along with every other team in the finals, have no problem putting goals on the board.
All four teams have no problem putting goals on the board and continued to do so through their first two games in the tournament. With that kind of scoring fire power, it should be a high scoring Frozen Four and an exciting one. Both games will be broadcasted on ESPN2 and the April 9th national championship will be broadcasted on ESPN at 8pm.