INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The NCAA Div. I Men's Ice Hockey Committee announced on Sunday afternoon the 16-team field for this weekend's upcoming 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship, which included four Hockey East schools in Boston College, Boston University, the University of Maine and UMass-Lowell.
The Eagles, who won the league's automatic qualifier for winning the 28th annual Hockey East Championship on Saturday night vs. the Black Bears by a 4-1 score at the TD Garden in Boston, earned the tournament's No. 1 overall seed in the Northeast Regional hosted by Holy Cross at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. The Eagles will face No. 4 seed Atlantic Hockey foe Air Force on Saturday, March 24 at 4pm live on ESPNU/ESPN3 in high definition (HD). No. 3 Maine will take on the defending national champions, the No. 2 seed Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs on Saturday at 7:30pm on ESPN3 at the DCU Center. The Northeast regional final will be played on Sunday, March 25 at 8pm for the right to go to the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla. on April 5 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. BC becomes the 14th team to win both the regular-season and league tournament championship and of those teams, nine have made the Frozen Four with seven advancing to the title game and four having won the NCAA Championship.
The No. 3 seeded River Hawks, who return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996, will face No. 2 seed Miami- Ohio on Friday, March 23 at 6:30pm in Bridgeport, Conn., at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. The game will be shown live on ESPNU and ESPN3 (HD). The winner of that matchup would then face either No. 1 seed Union or No. 4 Michigan State in the East Regional finals on Saturday, March 24 at 6:30pm on ESPNU HD/ESPN3.
No. 3 seed Boston University will compete in the West Regional at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. vs. No. 2 seed Minnesota on Saturday, March 24 at 5pm (EST) on ESPN3. The winner of that matchup will square off with the winner of North Dakota/Western Michigan on Sunday, March 25 at 5:30pm in the West Regional final.
The Eagles are making this 31st NCAA Tournament appearance, including their 13th under coach Jerry York. Snooks Kelley and Len Ceglarski each led BC to nine NCAA Tournament berths. BC and Air Force have five times in school history. The Eagles have won all five match-ups between the teams, including an 8-2 win in the most recent game on Dec. 29, 2007. Saturday's game will mark the first contest between the schools in NCAA Tournament play. The Eagles enter the 2012 NCAA Touranment with a 29-10-1 record and have won each of the last 15 games.
Maine and Minnesota-Duluth have played eight times with the Bulldogs holding a 5-3-0 lead in the all-time series. The two teams last met in the 2005 Florida College Classic with Minnesota-Duluth winning 4-1. Maine is making its 18th NCAA appearance and first since the 2007 season.
UMass Lowell has made trips to the Division I NCAA Tournament in 1988, 1994 and 1996, posting a 2-3-1 record in six games. In their last two appearances, the River Hawks have been matched up against Michigan State in the first round and have defeated the two-time NCAA Champions on both occasions.
BU (23-14-1) will be making its 32nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its first since capturing the program's fifth national title in 2009.
With the four entries into the tournament, Hockey East has now placed 88 teams into the NCAA Tournament in the 28-year history of the league. League teams own an impressive 113-94-1 record in the NCAA's all-time. It also marks the ninth time the league has sent four or more teams to the NCAA Tournament. Over the last fourteen seasons, Hockey East has boasted 21 of the 52 Frozen Four qualifiers, the most of any conference.
For more information about the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship visit www.ncaasports.com
The Hockey East Association is a 10-team Division I college men's hockey conference founded in 1984 and an eight-team Division I women's league which began play in 2002-03. The men's league has won seven NCAA championships in the past 19 years.
Since 1999, Hockey East has won five NCAA Championships and have placed 18 teams in the Frozen Four, along with 45 teams in the NCAA Tournament.
East Regional, March 23-24
Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Friday, March 23, 3 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD/ESPN3
No. 1 Union (New York) (24-7-7) vs. No. 4 Michigan State (19-15-4)
Friday, March 23, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD/ESPN3
No. 2 Miami (Ohio) (24-12-2) vs. No. 3 Massachusetts-Lowell (23-12-1)
Saturday, March 24, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD/ESPN3
East Regional Championship
Midwest Regional, March 23-24
Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Friday, March 23, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Syndication HD/ESPN3 (ESPNU HD tape delay – Friday, March 23, 11:30 p.m. Eastern time)
No. 2 Ferris State (23-11-5) vs. No. 3 Denver (25-13-4)
Friday, March 23, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD/ESPN3
No. 1 Michigan (24-12-4) vs. No. 4 Cornell (18-8-7)
Saturday, March 24, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD/ESPN3
Midwest Regional Championship
West Regional, March 24-25
Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saturday, March 24, 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Syndication HD/ESPN3 (ESPNU HD tape delay – Sunday, March 25, 12:30 p.m. Eastern time)
No. 1 North Dakota (25-12-3) vs. No. 4 Western Michigan (21-13-6)
Saturday, March 24, 5 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Syndication HD/ESPN3 (ESPNU HD tape delay – Sunday, March 25, 3 p.m. Eastern time)
No. 2 Minnesota (26-13-1) vs. No. 3 Boston University (23-14-1)
Sunday, March 25, 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD/ESPN3
West Regional Championship
Northeast Regional, March 24-25
DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Saturday, March 24, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD/ESPN3
No. 1 Boston College (29-10-1) vs. No. 4 Air Force (21-10-7)
Saturday, March 24, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN Syndication HD/ESPN3 (ESPNU HD tape delay – Saturday, March 24, 11:30 p.m. Eastern time)
No. 2 Minnesota Duluth (24-9-6) vs. No. 3 Maine (23-13-3)
Sunday, March 25, 8 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU HD/ESPN3
Northeast Regional Championship
Men's Frozen Four, April 5 and 7
Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Thursday, April 5, 4:30, ESPNU HD/ESPN3 and 8 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2 HD/ESPN3 (order of games TBD)
Northeast Regional Champion vs. West Regional Champion
East Regional Champion vs. Midwest Regional Champion
Saturday, April 7, 7 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2 HD/ESPN3
The following conferences and teams received automatic qualification:
Atlantic Hockey Association – Air Force
Central Collegiate Hockey Association – Western Michigan
ECAC Hockey – Union (New York)
Hockey East Association – Boston College
Western Collegiate Hockey Association – North Dakota
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