The “Other” big March-April tournament in the NCAA kicks-off this weekend, as the 2014 Men’s Division l Ice Hockey Tournament opens up with Regional games across the United States. The field has been paired down to 16 teams that are trying to punch their ticket to the Frozen Four Championship in Philadelphia early next month.
There’s plenty of Vees flavour in this year’s tournament, as 23 alumni are on 10 of 16 teams competing for the National Championship. North Dakota has the most former Vees on their roster with four, followed by Minnesota, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State who each have three. The 10 teams that feature former Vees are Minnesota, Robert Morris, St.Cloud State, Notre Dame, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Boston College, Denver, Minnesota State and Quinnipiac; some big-time programs in that list.
Regional games start tomorrow in four cities across the US ( St. Paul, Cincinnati, Worcester and Bridgeport) and wrap up on Sunday. From there it goes down to eight teams in Regional Finals and then the four winners head to Philadelphia for the Frozen Four, which starts April 10th with the National Semifinals.
What You Need to Know:
Official NCAA Tournament Bracket
TV Schedule (Need to have a good satellite package if you live up here in Canada)
College Hockey News’ Experts Picks
The links above should help you guide your way through the tournament if you’re new to it; I’m still learning myself. Like I said, it’s tough to watch these games north of the border, unless you have a cable package that gets the full ESPN treatment. I know there’s online streaming around the interwebs and you can jump on schools websites to find out if they will have streaming audio broadcasts.
Twitter is also a resourceful place to follow along and I’ve compiled some links below that are the Twitter accounts for the teams featuring former Vees.
Follow on Twitter
Minnesota (Connor, Mike and Ryan Reilly)
Robert Morris (Rob Mann)
St. Cloud State (Joey Benik, Joey Holka and Garrett Milan)
Notre Dame (Steven Fogarty, Chad Katunar and Mario Lucia)
North Dakota (Brendan O’Donnell, Mark MacMillan, Wade Murphy and Troy Stecher)
Wisconsin (Joel Rumpel and Jedd Soleway)
Boston College ( Isaac MacLeod)
Denver (Joey Laleggia)
Minnesota State (Nick Buchanan, Sean Flanagan and Bryce Gervais)
Quinnipiac (Mike Garteig & Travis St.Denis)
Best of luck to all 23 Vees alumni taking part in this year’s tournament and here’s to at least one lifting the National Championship trophy over his head in April. Who’s your pick to win it all?