And then there were four.
The NCAA Frozen Four is set to kick off this weekend as the final four teams in college hockey will square off in Boston to determine who the 2022 national champion is.
The regional tournaments finished up two weeks ago with Michigan, Minnesota, Denver and Minnesota State winning their respective regions.
Michigan won the Allentown region by making quick work of AIC in the regional semifinals 5-3 before staving off a Quinnipiac comeback in the finals, holding onto a 7-4 win.
Denver earned a couple of one-goal wins in the Loveland region, sneaking passed UMass Lowell 3-2 before defeating Minnesota-Duluth by a score of 2-1 to punch their ticket to the Frozen Four.
Minnesota needed overtime to take down the reigning national champions UMass in their regional semifinals of the Worcester region, but came out victorious with a 4-3 win thanks to a goal by captain Ben Meyers. In the finals, the Golden Gophers blanked Western Michigan 3-0.
Finally, Minnesota State came out on top of two tightly-contested matchups in the Albany region. The Mavericks beat Harvard 4-3 before shutting out Notre Dame 1-0 in the regional final.
Now, the four teams are two steps closer to hoisting that national trophy.
Here is everything you need to know about the 2022 NCAA Frozen Four.
When is the 2022 NCAA Frozen Four tournament?
- Semifinals: April 7
- Finals: April 9
Both semifinal games of the Frozen Four are scheduled for Thursday, April 7. The championship game will take place Saturday, April 9.
Here is a breakdown of the dates and times for the entire tournament:
|April 7||National semifinals||Michigan vs. Denver||5 p.m.|
|April 7||National semifinals||Minnesota State vs. Minnesota||8:30 p.m.|
|April 9||National final||TBD||8 p.m.|
How to watch the 2022 Frozen Four
Frozen Four TV schedule
All Frozen Four games will be broadcast on ESPN2 or ESPN U. The Denver-Michigan game will be on ESPN2 while the Minnesota-Minnesota State game is slated to be on ESPNU.
The national championship will be on ESPN2.
|Michigan vs. Denver||ESPN2|
|Minnesota State vs. Minnesota||ESPN U|
Frozen Four streaming options
For those looking to stream Frozen Four games, they will be available on Watch ESPN and the ESPN app.
|National semifinals||Watch ESPN, ESPN app|
|National championship||Watch ESPN, ESPN app|
Canadian viewers can watch all three games on TSN.ca or through the TSN app.
Where is the NCAA Frozen Four being played?
- Frozen Four location: TD Garden, Boston
The TD Garden is the home of the Bruins and the NBA’s Celtics. This is the eighth time the city has hosted the event.
It’s also home to the annual Beanpot, the annual college hockey tournament featuring the four major college hockey schools of the Boston area — Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern and Harvard.
Who is the favorite in the Denver-Michigan game?
- Michigan: -185
- Denver: +130
Michigan enters as the favorite in the matchup against Denver, according to Sports Interaction. It’s a contest between two of the best college hockey programs in history.
The Wolverines finished No. 2 in the USCHO rankings with a record of 29-9-1. Mel Pearson’s team won the programs’ second Big 10 title, taking down Minnesota 4-3 in the conference championship.
The Pioneers ended up right behind the Wolverines at No. 3 in the final rankings. David Carle’s squad went 27-9-1 this season, falling in the NCHC semifinals to Minnesota Duluth, the eventual conference champion.
The last time these two teams met was in 2022 in the regional finals. Michigan came out on top 5-3 to punch its ticket to the Frozen Four before falling in the semifinals to Minnesota.
The Wolverines have the last six matchups against the Pioneers, but Denver has the edge in the overall record, 46-36-1. However, the program has never beaten Michigan in tournament play.
Who is the favorite in the Minnesota-Minnesota State game?
- Minnesota State: -155
- Minnesota: +110
Entering the semifinal matchup, Minnesota State is the favorite, according to Sports Interaction. The two programs are quite familiar with each other, despite not playing in the same conference.
The Mavericks of Minnesota State finished as the No. 1 team in the nation according to the USCHO rankings. Mike Hastings’ crew put together a record of 35-5-0, winning the CCHA title in the conference’s return after an eight-year hiatus.
The Golden Gophers ended as the No. 5 team in the rankings. Bob Motzko’s team concluded the regular season with a record of 24-12-0 and made it all the way to the Big 10 title game before falling to Michigan.
These two programs met last season in the regional tournament. The Mavericks blanked the Golden Gophers 4-0 to win their region and punch their ticket to the Frozen Four.
Overall, Minnesota has dominated head-to-head action, owning a 37-17-6 record against Minnesota State, however the Mavericks have won the last three tournament contests between the two.
Where are future NCAA Frozen Fours taking place?
The NCAA has already determined the next locations of the Frozen Four up to 2026. One of the most notable ones is Las Vegas in 2026, as it will be the first time the Frozen Four is played in Vegas.
It also marks the first time the NCAA will hold a tournament in a state that allows legalized gambling since the association changed its stance back in May 2018.
|2024||St. Paul||Xcel Energy Center|
|2025||St. Louis||Enterprise Center|
|2026||Las Vegas||T-Mobile Arena|
Who are the past champions of the NCAA Frozen Four?
Michigan has the most college hockey championships, with nine. Its last one came in 1998.
Denver and North Dakota have eight each, Wisconsin has six and Boston College, Boston University and Minnesota have five each.
Here are all the tournament winners over the past 10 years:
- 2021: UMass
- 2020: Tournament canceled because of COVID-19
- 2019: Minnesota Duluth
- 2018: Minnesota Duluth
- 2017: Denver
- 2016: North Dakota
- 2015: Providence
- 2014: Union
- 2013: Yale
- 2012: Boston College