Big Ten has 3 teams at Frozen 4

Published 7:22 am Thursday, April 5, 2018

ST. PAUL (AP) — Considering the force of the impact it made on the sport, the Big Ten hockey conference sure started with a soft launch.

Five years in, its presence has finally been felt. Three teams have reached the Frozen Four after four members comprised the top 12 seeds for the NCAA Tournament.

“I think this is what everyone envisioned when the new leagues all started to form, that the Big Ten would be like this,” Michigan coach Mel Pearson said.

Email newsletter signup

Minnesota Duluth, the outlier in these national semifinals, plays Ohio State in the first game on Thursday. The Michigan-Notre Dame matchup follows.

“We were very fortunate to get the lead that we had in the regular season with that winning streak that we had, because we found out in the second half how challenging the conference is and how much better it got,” said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson, whose team won 16 consecutive games from Oct. 27 through Jan. 19.

UMD has a proud flag from the National Collegiate Hockey Conference to wave, too.

The Bulldogs have the most recent national championship of this football-defined quartet, in this building in fact.