NCAA Women’s Frozen Four schedule
at Ridder Arena – Minneapolis, Minn.
Semifinals – Friday
No. 1 Minnesota (39-0-0) vs. No. 4 Boston College (27-6-3), 6 p.m.
Mercyhurst (29-6-1) vs. No. 3 Boston University (27-5-3), 9 p.m.
Championship game – Sunday
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.
Note: All three games will be streamed live on NCAA.com. WMCE-FM/88.5 will broadcast Mercyhurst’s game tonight and Sunday’s championship game (if the Lakers advance).
Frozen Four teams at a glance
Mercyhurst Lakers (29-6-1)
Coach: Michael Sisti, 14th season (363-98-30)
Players to watch: Jr. F Christine Bestland (28 goals, 41 assists, 69 points), Sr. G Stephanie Ciampa (19-1-0 record, 1.37 goals-against average, .937 save percentage, 4 shutouts), Fr. F Jenna Dingeldein (14-27-41), Fr. F Emily Janiga (19-21-40), So. D Molly Byrne (8-24-32)
Frozen Four facts: Has reached the Frozen Four for the third time (2009-10, 2013) during a NCAA-record nine straight appearances in the national playoffs, but has never won a national championship. … Has a 1-2 Frozen Four record, with the lone win coming against Minnesota in the 2009 semifinals. … Lost to Wisconsin in the 2009 title game. … Lost to Cornell in the 2010 semifinals at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, site of this weekend’s Frozen Four. … Has a 4-7 record in the NCAA playoffs. … Has a 4-2 all-time record against Boston University, tonight’s semifinal opponent, including a 4-2 national quarterfinal loss in Boston in their last meeting (March 12, 2011).
Outlook: The Lakers are decided underdogs as the only unseeded team in the field. But is this the year they claim their first national title?
No. 3 Boston University Terriers (27-5-3)
Coach: Brian Durocher, 8th season (158-92-37)
Players to watch: Jr. F Marie-Philip Poulin (17 goals, 34 assists, 51 points), Jr. G Kerrin Sperry (23-4-3 record, 2.19 goals-against average, .914 save percentage, 4 shutouts), Sr. F Isabel Menard (15-29-44), Sr. F Jenelle Kohanchuk (23-20-43), Fr. F Sarah Lefort (23-19-42)
Frozen Four facts: Has reached the Frozen Four for the second time and the NCAA playoffs for the fourth straight time in the program’s eight-year history. … Reached the Frozen Four in 2011 at Erie Insurance Arena (beat Cornell 4-1 in the semifinal, but lost 4-1 to Wisconsin in the title game. … Lost to Cornell 8-7 in overtime in the 2012 quarterfinals. … Tied a school record for wins in a season. … Poulin was named to the Canadian Women’s National Team that will play in the IIHF Women’s World Championship next month in Ottawa, Ontario. … Menard transferred from Syracuse, Mercyhurst’s College Hockey America rival, after her sophomore season.
Outlook: The Terriers have another shot at the national title that slipped away in Erie two years ago. Mercyhurst stands in their way.
No. 1 Minnesota Golden Gophers (39-0-0)
Coach: Brad Frost, 5th season (145-36-16)
Players to watch: Jr. F Amanda Kessel (44 goals, 53 assists, 97 points), Sr. G Noora Raty (36-0-0 record, 0.88 goals-against average, .959 save percentage, 17 shutouts), Fr. F Hannah Brandt (31-49-80), Sr. D Megan Bozek (20-35-55), Fr. F Maryanne Menefee (16-19-35)
Frozen Four facts: Have won three national championships (2004, 2005, 2012) in nine trips to the Frozen Four (2002-06, 2009-10, 2012). … Was led in 2012 by Jen Schoullis, a Girard native who now plays for the Boston Blades (CWHL) and the United States National Team. … Has a 47-game winning streak. … Needed three overtimes to beat WCHA rival North Dakota in the quarterfinals. … Has all three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which honors the national player of the year (Bozek, Kessel and Raty). … Has won 21 games by shutout. .. Has outscored opponents 207-31. … Lost in the semifinals in the Frozen Four’s last trip to Ridder Arena in Minneapolis in 2010.
Outlook: The Golden Gophers are the clear favorite to win the natioal title on their home ice. They also have all the pressure on their shoulders.
No. 4 Boston College Eagles (27-6-3)
Coach: Katie King Crowley, 6th season (119-61-34)
Players to watch: So. F Alex Carpenter (32 goals, 37 assists, 69 points), Sr. D Blake Bolden (6-23-29), Fr. F Haley Skarupa (24-27-51), Sr. G Corinne Boyles (22-4-1 record, 1.79 goals-against average, .927 save percentage, 3 shutouts), So. F Emily Field (15-29-44)
Frozen Four facts: Has reached the Frozen Four for the third straight season. … Lost to Wisconsin in the semifinals the past two seasons – 3-2 in 2011 at Erie Insurance Arena and 6-2 a season ago in Duluth, Minn. … Enjoying the best season in program history, headlined by an offense that set a school record with 4.36 goals per game. … Lost to Northeastern in the Hockey East Association semifinals, but rebounded with a 3-1 NCAA quarterfinal win against Harvard last weekend. … Has a 1-4-1 all-time record against Minnesota, their Final Four opponent.
Outlook: The Eagles never have won a Frozen Four game. But a win over the defending champs could vault them to their first national title.
- Victor Fernandes