Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NCAA FROZEN FOUR: Semifinals preview (Thursday 4/11)

The NCAA’s Frozen Four takes center stage at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Semifinal 1

UMass Lowell 28-10-2 vs. Yale 20-12-3
Semifinal 3:30 p.m. (CT) ESPN2 (209 DirecTV/144 Dish)

UMass-Lowell’s offense is ranked #21 nationally and #3 defense.
Yale’s offense is ranked #26 nationally and #27 defense.

UMass River Hawks Fun Facts: On December 1, 2012, the UMass Lowell River Hawks were swept by the UNH Wildcats and the River Hawks looked like a team that was going nowhere with a 4-7-1 record. On December 8, 2012, the River Hawks started an incredible run, going unbeaten in 11 games (10-0-1). UMass Lowell went 24-3-1 then rest of the way, winning the Hockey East regular-season and tournament championship. Since December, UMass Lowell has been one of the best teams in the country.

Yale Bulldogs Fun Facts: The Yale Bulldogs was the last team to make the NCAA tourney. If the Michigan Wolverines had beaten Notre Dame and made the NCAA tourney, Yale would have stayed home. WCHA Dominance, Yale was 4-0 against the WCHA this season beating Colorado College Denver University and North Dakota.  Three of those games went to overtime.

Players to watch

River Hawks Forwards: Scott Wilson (16g-21a—37pts), Joseph Pendenza (14g-23a—37pts), Derek Arnold (13g-16a—29pts), Riley Wetmore (15g-11a—26pts), Josh Holmstrom (12g-12a—24pts). Defense: Chad Ruhwedel (7g-16a—23pts), Christian Folin (6g-15a—21pts), Joe Houk (0g-11a—11pts). Goalie: Connor Hellebuyck, 20-2-0, 1.31 GAA, .953 save percentage.

Bulldogs Forwards: Kenny Agostino (17g-23a—40pts), Andrew Miller (16g-21a—37pts), Antoine Laganiere (14g-13a—27pts). Defense: Tommy Fallen (7g-16a—23pts), Ryan Obuchowski (3g-9a-12pts), Gus Young (2g-6a—8pts). Goalies Jeff Malcolm 18-6-2, 2.35 GAA, .916 save percentage.

Semifinal 2

Quinnipiac 29-7-5 vs. St. Cloud State 25-15-1
Semifinal 7:00 p.m. (CT) ESPN2 (209 DirecTV/144 Dish)
St. Cloud’s offense is ranked #2 nationally and #15 defense.
Quinnipiac’s offense ranked #18 nationally and #1 defense.

Saint Cloud State Huskies Fun stats: Saint Cloud State’s Drew LeBlanc (13g-37a—50pts) is the highest scoring players left in the NCAA tourney.  Saint Cloud State freshman Jonny Brodzinski’s 22 goals lead the nation for rookies.

Quinnipiac Bobcats Fun Facts: This season the Quinnipiac Bobcats never lost more than two games in a row and they only did this one time. Also, the Bobcats never lost more than three games during a month (March).

Players to watch

Quinnipiac Bobcats forwards:  Mathew Peca (15g-15a—30), Jeremy Langlois (12g-18a—30pts), Jordan Samuels-Thomas (16g-11a—27pts), Kellen Jones (12g-14a—26pts), Connor Jones (12g-14a—26pts). Defense: Mike Dalhuisen (8g-8a—16pts), Loren Barron (3g-13a—16pts), Zach Davies (2g-13a—15pts). Goaltender: Eric Hartzell 29-6-5, 1.55 GAA, .933 save percentage.

Huskies Forwards: Drew LeBlanc (13g-37a—50pts), Nic Dowd(14g-25a—39pts), Jonny Brodzinski (22g-11a—33pts), Kalle Kossila (15g-18a—33pts), Ben Hanowski (17g-14a—31pts). Defense:  Nick Jensen 4g-27a—31pts), Andrew Prochno (5g-23a—28tps), Ethan Prow (3g-12a—15pts). Goalie: Ryan Faragher 24-13-1, 2.22 GAA, .916 save percentage.

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