Frozen Four Preview

Frozen Four Bracket

After a year off, the Eagles are back in the Frozen Four for the fourth time in five seasons. Let's take a look at each of the Frozen Four participants.

Location: Ford Field (200' x 85'), Detroit, Mi.
Date: Thursday, April 8 and Saturday, April 10, 2010
TV: ESPN2 (Thursday), ESPN (Saturday), ESPN3.com

Participants:

#1 Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (29-7-7, 21-2-5-2 CCHA)
Head coach: Enrico Blasi (Miami '94)
Leading scorers: Sr. Jarod Palmer (18-27-45), Jr. Andy Miele (15-29-44), Jr. Tommy Wingels (17-26-43), Jr. Carter Camper (16-27-43) 
Leading goaltender: So. Connor Knapp (10-3-4, 1.85 GAA, .926 SV%), So. Cody Reichard (19-4-3, 1.76 GAA, .925 SV%)
Frozen Four Appearances: 1
National Titles: 0
Last Title: N/A

#4 Boston College Eagles (27-10-3, 16-8-3 Hockey East)
Head coach: Jerry York
Leading scorers: So. Cam Atkinson (27-23-50), Jr. Brian Gibbons (16-30-46), Jr. Joe Whitney (16-23-39)
Leading goaltender: Jr. John Muse (17-8-2, 2.54 GAA, .907 SV%)
Frozen Four Appearances: 22
National Titles: 3
Last Title: 2008

#15 RIT Tigers (28-11-1, 22-5-1 Atlantic Hockey)
Head coach: Wayne Wilson (Bowling Green '84)
Leading scorers: So. Cameron Burt (16-31-47), Jr. Andrew Favot (13-32-45), Sr. Dan Ringwald (11-25-36)
Leading goaltenders: Sr. Jared DeMichael (27-9-1, 1.98 GAA, .924 SV%)
Frozen Four Appearances: 1
National Titles: 0
Last Title: N/A

#3 Wisconsin Badgers (27-10-4, 17-8-3 WCHA)
Head coach: Mike Eaves (Wisconsin '78)
Leading scorers: Sr. Michael Davies (19-32-51), So. Derek Stephan (10-40-50), Sr. Blake Geoffrion (27-21-48)
Leading goaltender: Jr. Scott Gudmandson (19-4-4, 2.32 GAA, .915 SV%)
Frozen Four Appearances: 9
National Titles: 6
Last Title: 2006

Schedule:

Thursday, April 8, 2010
National Semifinal #1: RIT vs. Wisconsin, 5:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
National Semifinal #2: Miami (OH) vs. Boston College, 8:30 pm ET (ESPN2)

Saturday, April 10, 2010
National Championship Game: 7:00 pm ET (ESPN)

 

It's hard to handicap this year's Frozen Four field, with four very different teams in the mix. You have Boston College, one of the hottest teams in the country (unbeaten in 11 straight games). You have Miami (Ohio), a program that has dominated all season, holding either the #1 or #2 spot in the national polls, only to struggle a bit down the stretch. The RedHawks failed to win the CCHA Tournament title after losing to Michigan.

In the other semifinal, you have a surprise team in the Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT has surpassed anyone's expectations for the program, becoming the first program to ever make the Frozen Four in their first postseason appearance. Finally, you have a battle-tested Wisconsin team from the WCHA who has spent much of the season in the top 4 of the national polls.

The Eagles first opponent will be top seed from the Midwest Regional, the Miami RedHawks. To get to the Frozen Four, the RedHawks scraped past Alabama-Huntsville (2-1) and Michigan (3-2 OT) to get back to the Frozen Four. This year marks the first time in program history the RedHawks have made back-to-back appearances in the Frozen Four. Jerry York's team will have to contend with the toughest defense in the country statistically. The RedHawks are giving up a minuscule 1.84 goals per game. Both Miami goaltenders rank 1-2 in the nation in GAA. After being bounced from the NCAAs the last four seasons by a Hockey East school from Boston, Miami certainly has something to prove when they face the Eagles again tomorrow.

In the other semifinal, the West Regional's top seed - Wisconsin - faces RIT. The Badgers feature a highly potent offense which includes senior forwards Blake Geoffrion and Michael Davies. Wisconsin is no stranger to Frozen Fours in Detroit, having won the tournament in both 1977 and 1990. 

RIT enters the Frozen Four as the hottest team in the country, winners of 12 straight. The Tigers last lost back on February 6 to Sacred Heart. Over that span, the Tigers, led by senior goaltender Jared DeMichael (27-9-1, 1.98 GAA, .924 SV%), have allowed a mere 16 goals. As a #4 seed in the East Regional, the Tigers advanced to the Frozen Four by shocking top seeded Denver 2-1 and blasting New Hampshire 6-2.

There are a few interesting Jerry York ties in this year's tournament. RIT's coach Wayne Wilson played on Jerry York's National Championship team at Bowling Green in 1984, while Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves two sons - Patrick and Ben - both played for the Eagles. Patrick is a member of the Detroit Red Wings and will definitely be rooting for a Wisconsin-Boston College championship game.

Predictions?

Go Eagles!

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