The Bemidji State Beavers will face Notre Dame Saturday in the first round of the NCAA men's hockey tournament. The 71 Bar north of Bemidji was filled with coaches, players and fans as the announcement was made Sunday morning.
The Bemidji vs. Notre Dame contest will be played at 6:30 p.m., following an afternoon regional semifinal between Cornell and Northeastern.
Bemidji State, champion of College Hockey America, takes an 18-15-1 record into the national tournament. It is seeded 16th out of a 16-team field. Notre Dame is 31-5-3 after winning the Central Collegiate Hockey Association title.
The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. The four regional winners advance to the Men's Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination format.
Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of six conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at large.
Boston University was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, were Notre Dame, Denver and Michigan.
The dates, sites, times and pairings of this year's championship are as follows:
East Regional, March 27-28
Bridgeport Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Friday, March 27, 3 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 1 Michigan (29-11-0) vs. No. 4 Air Force (27-10-2)
Friday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 2 Yale (24-7-2) vs. No. 3 Vermont (20-11-5)
Saturday, March 28, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
East Regional Championship
West Regional, March 27-28
Mariucci Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Friday, March 27, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2 HD/ESPN360.com
No. 1 Denver (23-11-5) vs. No. 4 Miami (Ohio) (20-12-5)
Friday, March 27, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
No. 2 Minnesota Duluth (21-12-8) vs. No. 3 Princeton (22-11-1)
Saturday, March 28, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD
West Regional Championship
Midwest Regional, March 28-29
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Saturday, March 28, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
No. 2 Northeastern (25-11-4) vs. No. 3 Cornell (21-9-4)
Saturday, March 28, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Classic (TBD)/ESPN360.com (Live)
No. 1 Notre Dame (31-5-3) vs. No. 4 Bemidji State (18-15-1)
Sunday, March 29, 8 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
Midwest Regional Championship
Northeast Regional, March 28-29
Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire
Saturday, March 28, 2 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/ESPN360.com
No. 2 North Dakota (24-14-4) vs. No. 3 New Hampshire (19-12-5)
Saturday, March 28, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/ESPN360.com
No. 1 Boston University (31-6-4) vs. No. 4 Ohio State (23-14-4)
Sunday, March 29, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU
Northeast Regional Championship
Men's Frozen Four, April 9 and 11
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Thursday, April 9, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2 HD/ESPN360.com (order of games TBD)
Northeast Regional Champion vs. East Regional Champion
West Regional Champion vs. Midwest Regional Champion
Saturday, April 11, 7 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN HD/ESPN360.com