This is the second entry in a series of posts previewing the NCAA Frozen Four, which will take place Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The winners will advance to Saturday’s National Championship game. We will preview each of the 4 teams in the days leading up to the tournament.
Monday: Boston College
Thursday: North Dakota
Union is the 3rd overall seed in the NCAA Men’s Hockey tournament and the most unheralded of the semifinalists. The Dutchmen, from Schenectady, NY, are in their second ever Frozen Four and have just 1 NHL draft pick on their roster. The East region champs have all of 4 NCAA tournament appearances in their 23 year Division I history, granted they have come in each of the past 4 seasons. They made rather quick work of Vermont (5-2) and Providence (3-1) to punch their ticket to Philadelphia this year.
- The only NHL pick on their roster is defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a 2011 3rd round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers. Gostisbehere has been at the top of his game all year and many believe he will give Frozen Four foe Johnny Gaudreau a run for his money in Hobey Baker voting. It is believed that this may be the last one or two games of his NCAA career and he may turn pro following the tournament.
- Union’s roster doesn’t boast big names or big scorers, but they get it done. They are led is scoring by senior Daniel Carr (46 pts.), and they have 9 additional players with 20 or more points. They also have seven 10-goal scorers.
- This team has gotten to where they are by playing more disciplined hockey (averaging 2.5 fewer penalty minutes per game than their opponents) and making use of their special teams (21.6% PP, 83.0% PK)
- Union didn’t play any games this season against their fellow Frozen Four attendees, but it should be noted that they haven’t lost a game since the end of January.