Frozen Four's Finest Round 2:
'87 North Dakota vs. '61 Denver
Which team is the greatest in the history of the Frozen Four? We're giving you a chance to help decide.
Each weekday through Oct. 3, we'll present you with a matchup from our bracket. You decide which team moves on to the next round. After the final matchup on Oct. 3, we'll have your choice for the greatest team in the history of the Frozen Four.
The 1987 North Dakota squad won an NCAA-record 40 games en route to the national title.
Coach Gino Gasparini’s team won 24 of its final 26 games, including a 5-3 victory against Michigan State in the championship game.
Tony Hrkac had perhaps the greatest individual season in NCAA history with an NCAA-record 116 points (46 goals and 70 assists), a mark which stands to this day. Hrkac was so dominant in winning the Hobey Baker Award winner as well as the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player that the team came to be known as the "Hrkac Circus."
Bob Joyce was also an offensive juggernaut; he scored a school-record 52 goals. Defensively, Ian Kidd had an outstanding season, earning All-America honors as well as earning a spot on the NCAA All-Tournament team.
Freshman phenom Ed Belfour compiled a 19-3 record between the pipes before embarking on what would turn into a 13-year NHL career and ultimately a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The 1961 Pioneers squad had perhaps the most dominant performance in NCAA tournament history.
Coach Murray Armstrong’s team beat Minnesota 6-1 in the semifinals and Saint Lawrence 12-2 in the championship game. The latter remains the most lopsided NCAA final in history, even though the Saints scored the first goal of the game.
Bill Masterson, who led the team in scoring with 80 points on 24 goals and 56 assists, had a hat trick in the championship game en route to Most Outstanding Player honors.
Masterson was joined on the all-tournament team by defensemen Marty Howe and Grant Munro as well as fellow forwards Trent Beatty and Jerry Walker.
Denver finished the season with a 30-1-1 record. Its only loss came to Michigan Tech by the score of 3-2.
The Pioneers would get their revenge as they would defeat the Huskies in the other three matchups that season by a combined score of 22-5.
Frozen Four's Finest