NCAA Women’s Frozen Four Predictions
It’s almost time for the highly anticipated Frozen Four.
On Friday, fans will gather inside the Pegula Ice Arena in State College for two semifinal matchups featuring some of the best teams in women’s hockey.
Here’s a look at each matchup.
No. 3 Northeastern vs. Minnesota Duluth
On tap first is a rematch.
These two squads met in last year’s Frozen Four, which saw the top-seeded Huskies take down the Bulldogs 3-2 before falling by one goal against Wisconsin in the championship game.
This year, though, the Huskies already got their revenge, as they defeated the Badgers in the quarterfinals to the tune of a 4-2 victory.
Northeastern has been on a dominant run as of late, with its last loss coming all the way back on Feb. 1 against Boston College.
This year’s unit has been led by the dominant play of senior forward Maureen Murphy, as the Providence transfer leads the team with 56 points on the season.
They take on a Minnesota Duluth team, which has been battle tested all season long.
During the season, the Bulldogs have played a total of 14 combined games against Ohio State, Minnesota and Wisconsin, who are all teams that made the tournament and are ranked inside the top six.
The Bulldogs won just six of those games, but the last one proved to be the most vital, as they defeated the No. 2 Golden Gophers 2-1 in the quarterfinals to get to this spot.
It’s been the duo of Elizabeth Giguere and Gabbie Hughes leading the Bulldogs, with 60 and 59 points, respectively, this season.
This battle should be the closer of the two and despite the Bulldogs coming off a big win, history could repeat itself here.
Prediction: Northeastern 5, Minnesota Duluth 2
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Yale
The action doesn’t stop there, as the nightcap sees a true David-versus-Goliath matchup.
Ohio State comes into the game on a roll, having won its last eight games, which includes wins in the WCHA Tournament against Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Buckeyes had a tougher time than expected in their last matchup in the quarterfinals against Quinnipiac, as they ended up winning 4-3 in double overtime.
Across the board, the top-seeded Buckeyes look like the top team in the sport with five players over the 40-point mark.
While Ohio State makes its second straight appearance in the Frozen Four, its opponent is making its first-ever appearance in this tournament.
The Yale Bulldogs took an unexpected step forward this season, after they were unable to play any games last season.
While their last game before the tournament ended with a loss in the ECAC Tournament against Colgate, Yale quickly bounced back in the quarterfinals with a win over that same Colgate team to get themselves to this spot.
They are led by sophomore Elle Hartje, who took a major step up this season by more than doubling her point total from 25 during the 2019-20 season to 51 this year.
While the run from Yale has been impressive, the power of high-end talent may be too much for the Bulldogs to handle.
Prediction: Ohio State 6, Yale 2
NCAA Championship Game Prediction: Ohio State 4, Northeastern 3
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.