College Hockey: Quinnipiac gets No. 1 overall seed in NCAA tourney; Gophers top seed in West Regional
Top-ranked Quinnipiac is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA hockey tournament despite a loss in its conference semifinals.
The Bobcats are joined by UMass-Lowell, Minnesota and Notre Dame as the No. 1 regional seeds in the 16-team field announced Sunday.
Quinnipiac (27-7-5), which lost to Brown 4-0 in the ECAC tournament, is the No. 1 seed in the East Regional and will play Canisius on Saturday in Providence, R.I. The other two teams playing in Providence are ECAC tournament champion Union and defending national champion Boston College.
UMass-Lowell (26-10-2) backed up its Hockey East regular-season title by winning the league tournament for the first time and is the top seed in the Northeast Regional. The River Hawks play Friday against Wisconsin in Manchester, N.H., just about 30 miles north of their campus. Denver faces New Hampshire in the other Northeast game.
Minnesota (26-8-5) is No. 1 in the West Regional and will play Yale on Friday in Grand Rapids, Mich. The winner will play either North Dakota or Niagara.
Notre Dame (25-12-3) claimed the top seed in the Midwest Regional by beating Michigan 3-1 in the final Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship game Sunday. The Irish head to Toledo, Ohio, to face St. Cloud State on Saturday. Miami (Ohio) and Minnesota State round out the field in the Midwest.
Five conference champions and 11 at-large teams make up the field. Among the schools not making the cut were Michigan, ending its run of 22 straight NCAA appearances, and five-time national champion Boston University, runner-up in the Hockey East tournament.
BU beat rival Boston College 6-3 in the conference semifinals Friday night, extending the Terriers’ hopes of sending off retiring coach Jack Parker with another league title and a shot at his fourth national championship.
UMass-Lowell dashed the sentimental story line, though, with a 1-0 victory in the championship game Saturday. It was by no means an upset for the River Hawks, who beat the Terriers four times this season and became the first team other than BC or BU to win the Hockey East tournament since Maine in 2004.
“I think there’s a time where you have to say, ‘Why not Lowell?’ And I think that’s this year,” said coach Norm Bazin, who played for the River Hawks when they lost to BU in the 1994 Hockey East title game. “It was very important because I think there’s a lot of skeptics out there and there’s certainly a lot of detractors that felt we were going to come up short again.”
Boston College (22-11-4) has been playing the postseason without coach Jerry York, who is recovering from a detached retina. The Eagles hope to have York back behind the bench as they go for their fourth national title in six years.
“We’re still alive and we’re still playing,” senior forward Pat Mullane said after the Eagles allowed five straight goals against BU in a game they led 2-0. “It’s nice to be able to go back and have practice Monday and take some lessons from that game and use them to get better.”
The Frozen Four will be held in Pittsburgh from April 11-13.