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What to Expect from the Frozen Four

by Wes Crosby / Pittsburgh Penguins

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When Pittsburgh hosted the 2011 Winter Classic and the 2012 NHL Draft, they turned those events into a celebration of hockey in the city by surrounding them with a bunch of free activities for fans to enjoy.

The 2013 Frozen Four will be no different, with the NCAA and local organizing committee getting all of the fun started on WEDNESDAY.

That day, the doors to CONSOL Energy Center open at 10:30 a.m. Come over to the arena during lunch or bring the family to watch the open practice sessions…

Yale 11 a.m. – noon
UMass-Lowell 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
St. Cloud State 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Quinnipiac 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

There are two games scheduled for THURSDAY, with Yale and UMass-Lowell playing at 4:30 p.m. and Quinnipiac facing off with St. Cloud State at 8 p.m. If you don’t have tickets to the games, come by anyway. There will be a special “Frozen Fest” starting at 1 p.m. and lasting until 4:30 p.m., which will take place in the Centre Avenue parking lot directly across from CONSOL Energy Center. It will include live entertainment, sports activities and product displays, championship merchandise and more – all family-friendly fun.

In addition, red-carpet arrivals of the players from the participating teams begin at 2 p.m. and last until 5:30 p.m. that day.

No games are scheduled for FRIDAY, but it’s perhaps the busiest day of the week. Like Wednesday, the practice sessions (10:15 – 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.) will be open to the public and doors to the arena open at 9:45 a.m. Members of the teams that reach the championship game will be signing autographs on the concourse of CONSOL Energy Center on Friday from 4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. – so come and meet the stars of college hockey and tomorrow.

In addition, Hobey Hat Trick Finalists forward Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College – who also starred for Team USA as they won gold at the 2013 World Junior Championship in January – goalie Eric Hartzell of Quinnipiac and forward Drew LeBlanc of St. Cloud State will also be signing autographs. The Hobey Baker Award, which goes to the top player in college hockey, will then be presented at 6 p.m.

After, there will be a Friday evening public skate held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. There will be four 30-minute sessions on a first come-first served basis. Bauer will provide skates for free. Fans also may bring their own skates.

The Frozen Four concludes on SATURDAY,, with the championship game being played at 7 p.m. There will be plenty going on even if you don’t have tickets, as “Frozen Fest” will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the player red-carpet arrivals begin at 5 p.m.

Which of these free event(s) can we expect to see YOU at?

After battling through two rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, four teams will converge upon Pittsburgh this week to compete in the 2013 Frozen Four, hosted by CONSOL Energy Center and Robert Morris University. The tournament has produced some surprises, with North Dakota, Minnesota and Notre Dame all being sent home early – but has left the semifinals with intriguing storylines.

The field has been narrowed to Quinnipiac and UMass-Lowell (two of the nation’s top-three ranked teams), St. Cloud State (one of the nation’s most explosive offenses) and Yale (a team that beat No. 1 seed North Dakota and No. 2 seed Minnesota in the first two rounds). The biggest storyline entering Thursday will be the success of the New England trio – Quinnipiac, UMass-Lowell and Yale. The Bobcats and Riverhawks have never made a Frozen Four while Yale’s lone appearance was in 1952.

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, April 11
UMass-Lowell vs. Yale – 4:30 p.m.
Quinnipiac vs. St. Cloud State – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 13
National Championship Game – 7:00 p.m.

UMass-Lowell and Yale could turn into a defensive battle, as both teams’ back lines have been nearly impenetrable in the first two rounds. Lowell has surrendered just one goal in the tournament thus far, defeating Wisconsin 6-1 and New Hampshire 2-0 to punch its ticket to Pittsburgh. Yale won a tight 3-2 contest over Minnesota in the first round before taking down North Dakota 4-1.

Quinnipiac will enter its matchup with St. Cloud State as the nation’s top-ranked team with a 29-7-5 record while the Huskies lost four of their last eight regular-season games. But the Huskies have breezed through the postseason, beating Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio) by a combined score of 9-2, while Quinnipiac suffered a scare in the first round. They barely got by Canisius in a 4-3 win before defeating Union (NY) 5-1.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s participants:

Eastern College Athletic Conference
29-7-5 Overall, 17-2-3 ECAC
Bench Boss: Rand Pecknold, 19th season, 366-237-66 overall at Quinnipiac


  • Quinnipiac owns the nation’s stingiest defense, holding a 1.63 goals-against average, and best penalty killing unit, killing off 90.6 percent of opposition power plays.
  • The Bobcats went on a 21-game point streak in the middle of the season, going 18-0-3 from Nov. 9 to Feb. 9.
  • Since a 4-0 loss against Robert Morris on Oct. 14, Quinnipiac has earned a point in 32 of 37 games.


Points: Jeremy Langlois and Matthew Peca (30)
Goals: J. Samuels-Thomas (16)
Assists: Jeremy Langlois (18)
Plus/Minus: Mike Dalhuisen and Dan Federico (+21)


Eric Hartzell: 29-6-5, 1.55 GAA, .933 SV%


The senior goalie has been the main force behind Qunnipiac’s top-ranked defense this season. He is ranked 3rd nationally in GAA (1.55) and shutouts (5), and eights in save percentage (.933). He has started all but one game for the Bobcats, earning at least one point in 34.

Western Collegiate Hockey Association
25-15-1 Overall, 18-9-1 WCHA

Bench Boss: Bob Motzko, 8th season, 162-124-35 overall at St. Cloud State


  • St. Cloud State showcases the nation’s second most proficient offense, averaging 3.41 goals per game.
  • Forward Drew LeBlanc leads the nation is assists with 37 and is seventh in points with 50.
  • In their two previous tournament games, the Huskies allowed a combined 39 shots against Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio).


Points: Drew LeBlanc (50)
Goals: Jonny Brodzinski (22)
Assists: Drew LeBlanc (37)
Plus/Minus: Jonny Brodzinski (+27)


Ryan Faragher: 24-14-1, 2.23 GAA, .916 SV%


The 6-foot senior has been the nation’s premier distributor this season with 37 assists in 41 games. He earned a point in 21 of 24 games in the middle of the season from Nov. 24 to March 1.

Hockey East Association
28-10-2 Overall, 16-9-2 Hockey East
Bench Boss: Norm Bazin, 2nd season, 52-23-3 overall at UMass-Lowell


  • The Riverhawks are fueled by the nation’s third-best defense, posting a 2.00 GAA
  • UMass-Lowell has won its last seven games by a 21-6 margin
  • Penguins prospect Scott Wilson has produced 37 points (16G-21A) in 40 games


Points: Scott Wilson and Joseph Pendenza (37)
Goals: Scott Wilson (16)
Assists: Joseph Pendenza (23)
Plus/Minus: Chad Ruhwedel, Christian Folin and Joe Houk (+17)


Connor Hellebuyck, 20-2-0, 1.31 GAA, .953 SV%


Not only is the sophomore forward the Riverhawks’ most efficient offensive player with 16 goals, but he is also a Penguins prospect. The Penguins drafted Wilson in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Draft.

Eastern College Athletic Conference
20-12-3 Overall, 12-9-1 ECAC – Ranked 15th poll
Bench Boss: Keith Allain, 7th season, 136-84-19 overall at Yale


  • Yale enters the Frozen Four after winning seven of its last nine games.
  • The Bulldogs entered the third period down 1-0 in their second round matchup with North Dakota before exploding for four unanswered goals, leading to their 4-1 victory.
  • Forward Jesse Root was raised in Mt. Lebanon. The local product has scored 22 points (11G-11A) this season.


Points: Kenny Agostino (40)
Goals: Kenny Agostino (17)
Assists: Kenny Agostino (23)
Plus/Minus: Ryan Obuchowski (+12)


Jeff Malcolm: 19-6-2, 2.35 GAA, .916 SV%


The junior forward and former Penguins prospect – sent to Calgary as part of the Jarome Iginla trade – has carried the Bulldogs while leading the team in points, goals and assists. Agostino is ranked 17th in points nationally, earning multiple points in 15 games this season.

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