2015 Frozen Four Preview: Matchups, Players To Watch, And Where To Watch

The NCAA collegiate hockey tournament is ready to get revved up once again this week as the Frozen Four is taking place in at TD Garden in Boston, starting Thursday night.

The Frozen Four, which is being played nearly two weeks after the Regional tournament, features just two of the tournament’s top four seeded teams — No. 32 North Dakota and No. 3 Boston University. Nebraska-Omaha and Providence are the other two participants.

Providence College will tangle with Nebraska-Omaha in the first semifinal while Boston University takes on North Dakota in the second semifinal. The puck is scheduled to drop at 5 p.m. (ET) for the opening game and 8:30 p.m., for the second game on April 9. Both games will be shown on ESPN2 and ESPN3.

North Dakota (seven) and Boston (five) have combined for 12 hockey national championships. On the other side, Providence is making its first appearance in the Frozen Four since 1985, and Nebraska-Omaha is in the semifinals for the first time in program history.

Here’s a breakdown of the teams that are playing in the Frozen Four.

Boston University (27-7-5)
How they got to the Frozen Four: The Terriers captured the Hockey East regular season crown and then ran through the conference tournament, outscoring their opponents 20-6 in four games to claim the tournament crown as well according to Scott McLaughlin of WEEI Radio. BU then advanced to the Regional title by beating Yale (3-2) in overtime and Minnesota-Duluth in the championship game by the same score.

The lowdown: The Terriers, who are playing in their first NCAA tournament in three years, are the youngest team in the country. BU has just two seniors on its rosters and rely heavily on their freshmen — the Terriers played nine freshmen during the regional tournament, including four defenseman.

“Got 40 games under your belt in college hockey, you’re a seasoned freshman.”

One of the freshmen that the Terriers count heavily on is Hobey Baker finalist Jack Eichel. Eichel, who is projected to be one of the top picks in this year’s draft, has 24 goals and 43 assists.

BU has the No.2 offense and power play in the country. Their top line — Eichel, Evan Rodrigues, and Danny O’Reagan — has combined for 41 goals and 67 assists. The Terriers have seven former NHL draft picks on the squad.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY TERRIERS
Player Position NHL Team Draft
Brandon Hickey D Calgary Flames 2014, 3rd Round (64th)
Matt Grzelcyk D Boston Bruins 2012, 3rd Round (85th)
Danny O’Regan F San Jose Sharks 2012, 5th Round (138th)
Johnny MacLeod D Tampa Bay Lightning 2014, 2nd Round (57th)
Robbie Baillargeon F Ottawa Senators 2012, 5th Round (136th)
Doyle Somerby D New York Islanders 2012, 5th Round (125th)
J.J. Piccinich F Toronto Maple Leafs 2014, 4th Round (103rd)

North Dakota (29-9-3)