Six WCHA teams make NCAA tournament
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.
Minnesota is one of six Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams to make the NCAA tournament this season.
The Gophers will be joined by rivals North Dakota in the West Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich.
St. Cloud State and Minnesota State-Mankato are in the Midwest Regional in Toledo, Ohio, and Wisconsin and Denver are in the Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H.
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 No. 2 seeded North Dakota (21-12-7) or No. 3 Niagara (23-9-5).
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 WCHA tournament champion Wisconsin in Manchester, N.H., just about 30 miles north of their campus. Denver faces New Hampshire in the other Northeast game.
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) will play Minnesota State in the other Midwest Regional game.
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.
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.
The Frozen Four will be held in Pittsburgh from April 11-13.