The final game of the 2019 Frozen Four, the national championship for men's ice hockey, took place April 13 at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. Defending champion Minnesota Duluth added another trophy to its collection with a 3-0 win over Massachusetts.
|2019 Frozen four|
|Minnesota Duluth 4, Providence 1||Buffalo, N.Y.||5:00 p.m. ET||April 11||ESPN2|
|UMass 4, Denver 3 (OT)||Buffalo, N.Y.||8:30 p.m. ET||April 11||ESPN2|
|Minnesota Duluth 3, UMass 0||Buffalo, N.Y.||8:00 p.m. ET||April 13||ESPN2|
Meet the Frozen Four teams
Regular season record: 26-8
Conference record: 18 - 6
Overall record: 29-9
Postseason record: 5-1
Of the handful of teams who had a real shot at making a first-ever Frozen Four appearance, the Minutemen are the last ones standing.
UMass advances to the program’s first Frozen Four after dominant performances in its two regional performances and dramatic overtime win over Denver in Thursday's semifinal. The Minutemen blanked Harvard, 4-0, in an opening regional game and then put on a repeat performance for Notre Dame, shutting out the Irish 4-0.
In the semifinal matchup, the Minutemen took a 3-1 over Denver before the Pioneers launched a comeback attempt that sent the game into overtime. Marc Del Gaizo clinched the win for UMass in the extra frame with a slapshot that flew right by Larsson’s glove side.
FROZEN FOUR: Scores, schedule and updates for the 2019 tournament
- In Thursday's semifinal, netminder Filip Lindberg made 37 saves.
- Four separate Minutemen scored in the semifinal game: Bobby Trivigno, Mitchell Chaffee, John Leonard and Marc Del Gaizo.
- Should UMass win, Greg Carvel would be the eighth head coach to win a national championship in his first NCAA tournament appearance.
- Goaltender Matt Murray, who led the Minutemen all season, was pulled in the first game of the Hockey East quarterfinals and replaced by freshman netminder Filip Lindberg. Murray hasn’t seen action since.
- Massachusetts forward Bobby Trivigno has been suspended for one game under the NCAA’s supplemental discipline process as the result of a play in the semifinal game where Trivigno made contact with the head of a Denver player
- Defenseman Cale Makar ranks second in the NCAA in assists with 33. He leads the team with 49 points and is a finalist for the 2019 Hobey Baker Award. He is looking to become just the seventh player to win both the Hobey Baker and the national championship.
- Massachusetts earned its first-ever regular season title this season.
- This is the second time UMass has competed in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament. The team last had an appearance in 2007 where its run ended in the second round.
- The Minutemen have never played in a Frozen Four.
- Last season, UMass only had 17 wins for the season. Two years ago, the team won just five games.
Regular Season Record: 21-11-2
Conference Record: 8-9-1
Overall Record: 27-11-2
Postseason record: 7-0
The Bulldogs have seen a lot of adversity in this 2019 postseason, but for the third-straight season have found a way to be one of the last two teams standing.
Playing in what were arguably the tightest games of the first round, Minnesota Duluth held off fourth seed Bowling Green in a 2-1 overtime game. The Bulldogs then earned a late-game 3-1 win over Quinnipiac to advance to the semifinals.
In the semifinal matchup, Minnesota Duluth dug out a 4-1 win over Providence. The Bulldogs scored first, and despite a tying score from Providence on the power play, got the go-ahead goal from Billy Exell and secured the win with two more empty-net tallies.
- Minnesota Duluth is the men’s hockey defending national champion.
- Goaltender Hunter Shepard made his school-record 80th consecutive start in Thursday's game, making 28 saves and extending his NCAA tournament record to 7-0.
- Junior Josh Wilkins scored his career-high 20th goal of the season in Thursday's semifinal contest. Wilkins' 20 tallies are now the most goals of any player at the Frozen Four, breaking a previous tie with Denver's Jarid Lukosevicius.
- This year’s trip to the Frozen Four is a program-record third straight appearance.
- Before 2017, Minnesota Duluth had competed in the Frozen Four only four other times — and only twice since 2003.
- UMD head coach Scott Sandelin holds the best career NCAA playoff winning percentage (.760) of any active coach.
- Senior forward Parker Mackay has five points and three goals in his last four games, including both goals in UMD’s 2-1 overtime win against Bowling Green.
- Mackay will play in his 14th career NCAA tournament game on Saturday, the most of any player since a group of Boston College players in 2008.
CHAMPIONSHIP IN BUFFALO: Find all the Frozen Four info right here
Massachusetts and Minnesota Duluth advance to the championship game after defeating Denver and Providence, respectively. Take a look at what the Minutemen and Bulldogs were going up against, below.
Regular Season Record: 19-10-5
Conference Record: 6-9-3
Overall Record: 24-11-5
Postseason Record: 5-2
If you’d asked almost a year ago which teams would be playing in the Frozen Four, not many would have named Denver — whose head coach had just left for a job with the Dallas Stars. And even less may have taken a chance on Denver once David Carle was named the Pioneer’s new head coach — a then 28-year-old with no head coaching experience.
Fast forward ten months, and those doubts were wiped clean, with Denver heading to the team’s 16th* Frozen Four and sitting on the brink of its ninth national championship, in Carle’s first season.
Denver advanced to the semifinal round after a strong 2-0 performance over Ohio State and a 3-0 shutout of tournament surprise American International.
HOW WE GOT HERE: See the bracket
- Denver is currently enjoying the longest active NCAA tournament appearance streak, tallying the team’s 12th appearance this season.
- Since 2003 Denver has appeared in five Frozen Fours (including this year). Of the four appearances in the books, Denver won the national title three times.
- After winning back to back titles in ‘04 and ‘05, Denver saw a 10-year Frozen Four gap.
- At 29 years old, Pioneers head coach David Carle is the youngest head coach in NCAA DI college hockey.
- Freshman goaltender Filip Larsson had posted two shutouts so far in the tournament, turning away 50 shots on goal. The Detroit Red Wings draft pick had a .936 save percentage entering the tournament.
MEET THE CHAMPS: A history of the tournament
Regular Season Record: 21-9-6
Conference Record: 11-5-3
Overall Record: 24-11-6
Postseason Record: 3-3
By no means did Providence have a smooth-sailing season. But if the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament have showed anything, the Friars are by no means unworthy of a Frozen Four position.
Rallying from a 3-0 first period deficit, Providence proceeded to a 6-3 rolling of Minnesota State in the first round of regional play. The No. 4 Friars then shutout No. 3 Cornell 4-0 to secure a spot in Buffalo.
- This was Providence’s sixth NCAA tournament appearance since 2003, and its first Frozen Four appearance since winning the national title in 2015.
- The last time Providence and Minnesota Duluth met in the tournament was 2016, when the Bulldogs pulled off a 2-1, double OT upset over the top-seeded Friars.
- In Sunday’s win over Cornell, Providence netminder Hayden Hawkey earned his eighth shutout of the season and second in his NCAA tournament career.
- Providence has nine NHL draft picks on its roster, the most of any team in the Frozen Four. The highest drafted player is first-round pick Jay O’Brien, selected 19th overall by Philadelphia in 2019.
- Leading the team in offensive production were draft picks Jack Dugan, Brandon Duhaime and Kasper Björkqvist who are three of the top four point producers for the Friars.
*Denver's 1973 tournament appearance was vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions