Who has the best shot at a Frozen Four title?

Tim Kolupanowich: The Stanley Cup and Memorial Cup finals are still two months away, but hockey fans don’t have to wait that long to watch championship hockey. The NCAA Frozen Four will take place in Tampa, Florida later on this week with the final taking place on Saturday at 7:00. The number nine ranked Ferris State University Bulldogs will take on the number three Union College Dutchmen in the first semi-final and for both teams, it is their first Frozen Four appearance. Ferris State is in for a challenge as Union was not only fourth in offense this season, but also the top team in goals-against average. Ferris State was pretty good themselves, finishing tied for fifth in that category so scoring in this game will definitely be at a premium. Who do you like in this one, Jeff?

Jeff Blay: Both teams finish the season with similar records; Ferris State went 25-11-5, while Union went 26-7-7, so both teams have proven their worth heading into the tournament. Jordie Johnston and Matthew Kirzinger, who finished the regular season with a combined 70 points, lead Ferris’ offense. You’re spot on about Union, though. They look like the more offensively dangerous squad and will definitely be eager to take a shot at their first Frozen Four title. Kelly Zajac and Daniel Carr both had exceptional seasons for Union and, under their leadership, the team should have no trouble picking up where they left off and give Ferris State a tough go. I give the edge to Union, although Ferris should not be underestimated and the match up will definitely be a close and intense battle. This game airs April 5 at 4:30 p.m.

The other semifinal game comes between two high profile collegiate teams in the Boston College Eagles and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. While Boston College has won two of the last four NCAA championships and heads into the 2012 semifinals on a 17-game winning streak, the Gophers are the lowest seed remaining in the tournament, although they have quite the history at the Frozen Four as well. What do you think about these two? This will surely be the bigger of the two matchups, as both Union and Ferris State’s expectations aren’t quite as high as BC or Minnesota.

TK: No doubt about that – the two semi-final games are going to determine who gets the right to play David and who will play Goliath. Boston is led in goal by Parker Milner who has a 1.70 goals-against average and .935 save percentage, but they also have six players with 30 or more points including the New York Rangers’ 2009 first round pick Chris Kreider and Calgary Flames prospect John Gaudreau. But as impressive as that is, Minnesota finished just ahead of them and led the NCAA in goals for and have seven players with at least 30 points. They are led by Minnesota Wild pick Erik Haula and Florida Panthers prospects Kyle Rau, who was a third-rounder in 2011, and Nick Bjugstad, who was drafted in the first round in 2010. They both have similar offenses, but Boston College has the superior defense. Both are led by long-time, established coaches as well. Jerry York has been with Boston College since 1994-95 and has four national titles, three with Boston College and one with Bowling Green, and Don Lucia has been at the helm of Minnesota since 1999-2000, coaching them to consecutive championships in 2001-02 and ’03-04. Who would you give the edge to?

JB:This is definitely a tough call. The easy pick would be Boston College, but I’m going to go with Minnesota for the win. As Aimee Hirsch also sounded off in her Frozen Four preview, Minnesota brings one of the most powerful offenses in the country to the tournament and had no trouble powering past Boston University 7-3, followed by another decisive 5-2 win over North Dakota to earn them the Frozen Four birth. While the first-seed Boston College is likely the favourite in this one, I think Minnesota has everything to prove here and will use their thorough offense to their advantage. It could very well be a case of who can score more goals, and I think Minnesota has the tools to come out with the win.

With the puck drop for the Union/Ferris State game scheduled for Thursday afternoon, followed by the BC/Minnesota game in the evening, it will certainly be interesting to see if our predictions are right. Nonetheless, the championship game will certainly be a David and Goliath matchup as Tim mentioned, so we’re definitely in for some good hockey over the weekend.

That concludes this segment of Two For Roughing. Be sure to tune in next week for another interesting discussion.

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Comments

  1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I
    think that you could do with some pics to drive the message
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    • timkolupan says:

      Thank you for the kind words, we really appreciate that. We’re trying very hard to entertain and inform our readers on a topic we are very passionate about and we’re glad you enjoy.

      As for the pictures, it is difficult to find photos we can legally use for free. There are a few public forums out there, but if an appropriate picture doesn’t come up and we don’t have one of our own to use, then we really can’t post any on this website. It is unfortunate, but we are a small operation and cannot afford to pay for the use of photos at this time.

      Thank you for reading!

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