Prov­i­dence, Min­nesota-Du­luth com­plete Frozen Four

Will join UMass, Den­ver at Key­Bank

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS -

Prov­i­dence Col­lege may have a ready-made lo­cal fol­low­ing for its game with de­fend­ing cham­pion Min­nesota-Du­luth.

In the other game, UMass and Den­ver will be a bat­tle of fresh­man goal­tenders from Scan­di­navia.

Those are just two of the sto­ry­lines for the Frozen Four that will come to Key­Bank Cen­ter to de­cide the NCAA Di­vi­sion I Men’s Hockey Cham­pi­onship.

Semi­fi­nal games on April 11 will be at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Both games and the cham­pi­onship fi­nal on April 13 at 8 p.m. will be shown on ESPN2.

Prov­i­dence and UM-Du­luth were the last to clinch berths to the Frozen Four with vic­to­ries in re­gional fi­nals on Sun­day.

Three of the four re­gion­als ended in shutouts.

Prov­i­dence shut out Cor­nell, 4-0, at Dunkin Donuts Cen­ter in Prov­i­dence, R.I., be­hind se­nior goalie Hay­den Hawkey, who had 19 saves, to win the East Re­gional.

UM-Du­luth de­feated Quinnipiac, 3-1, in the Mid­west Re­gional fi­nal at Allentown Pa. The Bull­dogs didn’t break through against Quinnipiac goalie An­drew Shor­tridge un­til Peter Krieger scored at 15:12 of the se­cond pe­riod.

Quinnipiac got on the board on a power-play goal by Craig Martin with 2:03 left, but Du­luth got its third goal from Parkay Mackay with 57 sec­onds left.

On Satur­day, UMass de­feated Notre Dame, 4-0, in the North­east Re­gional in Manch­ester, N.H., and Den­ver elim­i­nated At­lantic Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion cham­pion Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional, 3-0, in the West Re­gion in Fargo, N.D.

Prov­i­dence has Buf­falo and Rochester con­nec­tions.

For­mer Sabres coach Ron Rol­ston is in his se­cond sea­son as an as­sis­tant coach for the Fri­ars. Fresh­man for­ward Tyce Thompson is the brother of Tage Thompson, who played most of the sea­son with Buf­falo and is now with the Rochester Amer­i­cans of the AHL

The Fri­ars’ de­fen­sive corps in­cludes Ja­cob Bryson, who was Buf­falo’s fourth-round draft choice in

2017. Bryson had an as­sist on the first Prov­i­dence goal on Sun­day.

One of the top prospects on the Prov­i­dence team is Jack Du­gan, a 21-year-old fresh­man from Rochester.

It will be the fifth Frozen Four ap­per­ance for Prov­i­dence, but first since the Fri­ars won the NCAA cham­pi­onship in 2015.

UMass and Den­ver re­ceived shutout per­for­mances from first-year net­min­ders in their re­gional fi­nals.

Filip Lind­berg from Fin­land back­stopped the UMass vic­tory over Notre Dame. Den­ver’s Filip Lars­son from Swe­den turned back AIC.

The Den­ver Pioneers will be ap­pear­ing in their 17th Frozen Four, although one ap­pear­ance was va­cated by the NCAA. This will be their third ap­pear­ance in the last four sea­sons. Den­ver has won the tour­na­ment eight times, most re­cently in 2017.

The Min­ute­men, on the other hand, will be mak­ing their first Frozen Four ap­pear­ance. They will have one of the most-watched prospects at Key­Bank Cen­ter in de­fense­man Cale Makar. A sopho­more, Makar was a first-round NHL draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2017. Makar scored his 16th goal of the sea­son in Satur­day’s vic­tory and leads the na­tion with 32 as­sists.

It will be the third straight Frozen Four ap­pear­ance for UM-Du­luth, which has won two na­tional ti­tles and fin­ished as the run­ner-up twice.

None of this year’s Frozen Four ap­peared here in 2003, the last time the event came to Buf­falo. Min­nesota, with Sabres draft choice Thomas Vanek in the lineup, de­feated New Hamp­shire, 5-1, to win the cham­pi­onship last year.

Cor­nell and Michi­gan were the other Frozen Four teams.

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