March 28, 2013
Minnesota and Wisconsin earned berths to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament, it was announced this week. The Gophers earned the top seed in the West Regional, while the Badgers claimed the No. 4 seed in the Northeast Regional.
Minnesota makes its 34th appearance in the NCAA Tournament after putting together a 26-8-5 record during the regular season, and will open play on Friday at 2 p.m. ET against No. 4 seed Yale at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Gophers are 52-34 all-time in NCAA Tournament games and have advanced to 20 Frozen Fours, including an appearance last year. With a win, Minnesota would face the winner of North Dakota/Niagara at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Wisconsin makes its 24th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament with a 22-17-7 mark after winning the WCHA Final Five and earning the conference’s automatic berth. The Badgers will face top-seeded Massachusetts-Lowell on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. The Badgers are officially 37-20-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 11 Frozen Four appearances. With a victory, Wisconsin would face the winner of New Hampshire/Denver at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The first round of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament will be played on Friday and Saturday with the regional finals scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. The winner of each regional will advance to the NCAA Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, Pa., with the semifinals set for April 11 and the championship game on April 13.
In June of 2011, the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors established men’s ice hockey as an official conference sport beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, including the institution of the Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament, with the winner earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, and a 20-game conference schedule with each team playing the other five schools four times.