The regional rounds of the 2015 NCAA hockey tournament are over, and we are left with five teams remaining on the road to the Frozen Four; North Dakota, the Boston University Terriers, the Providence Friars, and the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.
For the Mavericks, it is their first trip ever to the Frozen Four after they upset the RIT Tigers to advance out of the Midwest region. They will face an upstart Providence club who has defeated both Miami of Ohio and Denver to get out of the east.
Meanwhile, North Dakota and Boston University will duke it out in a battle of heavyweights. North Dakota was upset by rival St Cloud State to take home their conference, but it was the North Dakota club who has advanced behind their goaltender Zane McIntyre.
Boston University has been followed all season as a team to watch behind freshman phenom Jack Eichel. After scoring four times in the Hockey East playoffs, he has been held scoreless in the NCAA regionals.
BU had to defeat Yale, one of the last teams to get in, and Minnesota-Duluth to advance in their two games at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Providence is an underdog story, much like the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. This isn’t their first ever appearance, but the Friars have not seen the Frozen Four in over 30 years.
It wasn’t an easy path, either. They had to overcome two deficits to take down a very good Miami Redhawks team and then they knocked off the Denver Pioneers who had defeated Providence’s Hockey East rivals Boston College Eagles.
Nebraska-Omaha scored eight goals in total in their regional round, defeating Harvard and RIT. In fact, they were able to shut out a Tigers team that had been an emerging favorite in that regional round.
North Dakota defeated a very tough Quinnipiac team 4-1 and got their revenge on the St Cloud State Huskies in order to advance out of the west region.
Players to Watch
Obviously, Jack Eichel. The 66 point getter is projected to be a top NHL pick this June and has been the leader of the Terriers. Boston University is also full of other potential NHL prospects such as Evan Ridrigues.
Outside of the obvious, also keep an eye on Dominic Zombo on the Mavericks, who missed time with injury and has rejuvenated Nebraska-Omaha. Lastly, Andrew Panzarella might be finding a groove with North Dakota after a rough stretch.
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