By @MichaelCaples –
The 2018 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament field is set.
Time for the Wolverines and Huskies to get to work.
Michigan and Michigan Tech will represent the Great Lakes State in the national tournament, which kicks off next Friday at the Webster Bank Arena (Bridgeport, Conn.), the Denny Sanford Premier Center (Sioux Falls, S.D.), the DCU Center (Worcester, Mass.) and the PPL Center (Allentown, Pa.).
The bracketed road leads to the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., for the 2018 Frozen Four, which takes place April 5-7.
Michigan Tech secured an automatic bid to the national tournament with Saturday’s WCHA championship game victory over rival Northern Michigan in Marquette. It was a remarkable postseason run for the Huskies en route to the school’s second-straight league championship and NCAA Tournament appearance; MTU and new coach Joe Shawhan swept Bemidji State on the road in the first round, won a winner-take-all Game 3 in overtime against No. 1 seeded Minnesota State in the semifinals, then shut out their neighbor and rival in a hostile environment in the title game.
The No. 4 regional seeded Huskies will play No. 1 regional seed Notre Dame on March 23 in the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn.
That game will begin at 3 p.m., and will be televised on ESPN 2.
The winner of the Tech/ND game will take on the winner of Providence vs. Clarkson the next day – with a spot in the Frozen Four on the line.
Michigan’s second half of the season secured a tournament appearance under new coach Mel Pearson. The Wolverines posted a 13-7-1 record after the New Year, including weekend sweeps of then-No. 1 Notre Dame, then-No. 9 Minnesota and then-No. 12 Penn State.
At the start of this weekend, the Wolverines were ranked No. 11 on the USCHO college hockey poll.
The No. 2 regional seed Wolverines will play No. 3 Northeastern on March 24 in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.
That game will start at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, and it will be televised on ESPN News.
The winner of the Michigan/Northeastern game will take on the winner of the Cornell/Boston University contest in a Sunday contest.
West Regional, March 23-24
Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Friday, March 23, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN No. 1 St. Cloud State (25-8-6) vs. No. 4 Air Force (22-14-5)
Friday, March 23, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN3/WatchESPN
No. 2 Minnesota State Mankato (29-9-1) vs. No. 3 Minnesota Duluth (21-16-3)
Saturday, March 24, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN West Regional Championship
Midwest Regional, March 24-25
PPL Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Saturday, March 24, 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN No. 1 Ohio State (24-9-5) vs. No. 4 Princeton (19-12-4)
Saturday, March 24, 7 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN3/WatchESPN No. 2 Denver (22-9-8) vs. No. 3 Penn State (18-14-5)
Sunday, March 25, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN Midwest Regional Championship
Northeast Regional, March 24-25
DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Saturday, March 24, 1 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNews/WatchESPN No. 1 Cornell (25-5-2) vs. No. 4 Boston U. (21-13-4)
Saturday, March 24, 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNews/WatchESPN No. 2 Michigan (20-14-3) vs. No. 3 Northeastern (23-9-5)
Sunday, March 25, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN Northeast Regional Championship
East Regional, March 23-24
Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Friday, March 23, 3 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN No. 1 Notre Dame (25-9-2) vs. No. 4 Michigan Tech (22-16-5)
Friday, March 23, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN No. 2 Providence (23-11-4) vs. No. 3 Clarkson (23-10-6)
Saturday, March 24, 6 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN East Regional Championship