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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Four Penguins prospects are ready to start their quest to reach the NCAA Frozen Four.

Minnesota’s Andy Sertich and Alex Goligoski, Cornell’s Matt Moulson and Michigan State’s Tim Crowder will all be in action this weekend as the NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey championship tournament begins.

Minnesota (27-8-5) takes on Holy Cross (26-9-2) Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the West Regional at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. The second-seeded Golden Gophers are favored by many to make it to the Frozen Four at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee on April 6 and 8.

Goligoski and Sertich are powering Minnesota. A sophomore defenseman, Goligoski, Pittsburgh’s 2004 second-round pick (61st overall), has 10 goals and 28 assists. He ranks third on the Golden Gophers with 38 points and 28 assists.

Meanwhile, Sertich, a senior winger/defenseman, has eight goals and eight points for the Golden Gophers. He was Pittsburgh’s 2002 fifth-round choice (136th overall).

Minnesota also features star freshman Phil Kessel, who is one of the top prospects in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, as well as Hobey Baker Award candidate Ryan Potulny.

Cornell (20-8-4) meets Colorado College (24-15-2) Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the Midwest Regional at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.

Moulson, a senior left winger, will try to get the eighth-seeded Crimson past the ninth-seeded Tigers. Moulson, Pittsburgh’s 2003 ninth-round choice (263rd overall), has 17 goals and 19 assists. He leads Cornell in goals and points. In addition, he ranks ninth in the country with 11 power-play goals.

Michigan State (24-11-8) takes on New Hampshire (20-12-7) Saturday at noon in the East Regional at Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y. The Spartans are seeded fourth, while the Wildcats are 13th.

Crowder, a freshman, has 14 goals and 13 assists for Michigan State. The Penguins selected him in the fifth round (126th overall) in last year’s NHL Entry Draft.



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