Frozen Four Preview

Story posted April 8, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

We’ve finally made it to one of the best moments in the college hockey season: The Frozen Four.

Just like in this year’s March Madness tournament, however, things haven’t gone as expected. Each top four seed lost in the first two rounds, leaving us with four underdog stories.

Although Minnesota Duluth typically has the track record of getting to this point, it flew under the radar in this tournament. The Bulldogs finished the regular season ranked No. 9 in the country, but had a little luck in getting to this point.

Their first round matchup was supposed to be a good one against a young Michigan Wolverines squad. The Wolverines, who already had a COVID-19 pause earlier in the year, couldn’t play in the game for the same reason.

With the Bulldogs moving on, they were now thrown into a matchup against  No. 1 seed North Dakota. The game was a good one and took five overtimes to find a winner.

Luke Mylymok found the net and sent the Bulldogs onto the Frozen Four in upset fashion.

The Bulldogs will be facing a UMass team that has found itself on a roll to get to this point. The No. 6 ranked team in the country won both its games in blowout fashion.

The Minutemen started the run against Lake Superior State and aside from an early goal in the first period, they didn’t allow any more to find the back of the net. Jake Gaudet scored twice in the game as the Minutemen were onto the next round.

With the top team on their side of the bracket, Wisconsin, getting knocked out in the first round, UMass was given an easier matchup against Bemidji State. This time, the Minutemen allowed no goals and thanks to the help in the form of a hat trick from Carson Gicewicz, they rolled to a 4-0 victory.

On the other side, Minnesota State had a slightly harder road to get to this point.

That started in the first round where the Mavericks were in a tight battle against Quinnipiac. The Bobcats had jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the end of the first as well as a 3-1 lead by the middle of the third. Two late goals from Nathan Smith and Cade Borchardt kept the game alive and forced overtime. Ryan Sandelin won it in the first overtime for the Mavericks to complete the comeback.

The win sent the Mavericks into an in-state battle against the top seed in their bracket Minnesota. The Big Ten champs were outmatched from the start and the third best team in the bracket was upset by the No. 5 team in the country. A 4-0 win from the Mavericks boosted them to this point.

The final team to look at is similar to UMass in that it seems they haven’t broken a sweat to get to this point. St. Cloud State is another team coming off blowout wins in this tournament.

The Huskies started the road against Boston University but with three goals in each of the final two periods they would quickly advance. Two goals came from Easton Brodzinski, one in each of the two periods with goals.

They would then play the top team in their bracket in a well rested Boston College team that had advanced the round prior due to COVID-19. The rest wouldn’t pay off as after being down 1-0 at the end of the first period, the Huskies scored three in the second and an additional goal in the third to secure the 4-1 victory.

The No.7 team in the country secured the upset win and will face Minnesota State in the Frozen Four.

Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.