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Miguel Rodriguez | The Buffalo News | April 11, 2019

UMass vs. Denver: Everything you need to know about this Frozen Four matchup

Denver hockey is thriving under a 29-year-old coach

Here what you need to know about the Denver-UMass Frozen Four game set for 8:30 p.m. ET. 

TV/Radio: ESPN2/550 AM

Records: UMass 30-9-0; Denver 24-11-5

FROZEN FOUR 2019: Schedule, bracket, scores and live updates

Coaches: Greg Carvel, eighth season, 138-136-22 (52-58-4 at UMass); David Carle, first season, 24-11-5 at Denver

Leading scorers: UMass: D Cale Makar 16 goals-32 assists-48 points; F Jacob Pritchard 16-29-45; F Mitchell Chaffee 17-24-41. Den: F Liam Finlay 16-20-36; F Emilio Pettersen 6-24-30; F Jarid Lukosevicius 19-10-29.

Netminders: UMass: Filip Lindberg 10-3-0, 4 shutouts, .939 save percentage; Den: Filip Larsson 13-5-3, 4 shutouts, .935 save percentage.

Road to the Frozen Four: UMass earned an at-large bid and No. 1 seed in the Northeast Region in Manchester, N.H. The Minutemen defeated Harvard, 4-0, and followed up by beating Notre Dame, 4-0, in the regional final to earn a spot in their first Frozen Four. Brett Boeing had two goals and an assist in two games, while Filip Lindberg posted back-to-back shutouts. A stingy defense led by Cale Makar yielded a total of 30 shots in both games. ... Denver, a No. 2 seed, advanced to its 16th Frozen Four by defeating Ohio State, 2-0, and American International, 3-0, in the West Regional in Fargo, N.D. Filip Larsson posted back-to-back shutouts of 24 and 26 saves to become just the sixth netminder to achieve the feat since the NCAA instituted the current regional format in 2003. Colin Staub had two goals in regionals, as four different players have scored in the tournament for the Pioneers.

PREVIEW: Meet the teams in this year's Frozen Four

Blue line: UMass has two players drafted by NHL teams: Mario Ferraro (San Jose) and Cale Makar (Colorado). Denver has six NHL draft picks on its roster. They are Ian Mitchell (Chicago), Slava Demin (Vegas), Emilio Pettersen (Calgary), Filip Larsson (Detroit), Cole Guttman (Tampa Bay) and Brett Stapley (Montreal).

In the crease: UMass's super sophomores lead the charge as that class has accounted for 135 of the team's goals the past two seasons. Three of the five who led UMass in scoring as freshmen rank in the top four this year: Makar, Chaffee and John Leonard (15 goals, 39 points). Pritchard, a senior, ranks second in points. UMass's special teams could tilt a close game in its favor. The Minutemen's power play ranks second in the nation at 28.2 percent, while the penalty kill ranks fourth in the country at 87.5 percent.

Denver's strength, out of necessity, has been its strong defensive play. The Pioneers, who average 2.8 goals per game, are 21-2 when allowing two or fewer goals. They do have a legit big-game scoring threat in Jarid Lukosevicius who has 105 points in 105 games. He leads all players at the Frozen Four with 62 career goals, including 20 game-winners.

TOP PLAYERS: These are the Frozen Four athletes to watch

Roughing: While special teams appears to be a strength of UMass, it's a weakness for the Pioneers. Denver ranks 48th nationally on the power play while its penalty kill is 21st. While Denver is making its 16th Frozen Four appearance, this is unchartered territory for UMass, which is appearing in its first national semifinal.

Faceoff: UMass ranks third in goals per game at 3.77. Although the Pioneers rank 21st in penalty kill, they have yet to give up a power-play goal in nine chances during the tournament.

From the point: Denver is 3-0 all-time against UMass. The Pioneers' eight national championships rank second all-time to Michigan (nine). North Dakota also has won eight national titles. UMass has set single-season program records for wins (30) and power-play goals (40), while Makar has set program marks for assists (32) and points (48) in a season. Matt Murray has set the program record for wins in a season (20), breaking the mark of 19 set by Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick.

GET READY: 71 facts to know before the 71st Frozen Four

Next: Winner advances to NCAA championship game at 8 p.m. on Saturday. 

This article is written by Miguel Rodriguez from The Buffalo News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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