PHILADELPHIA, Pa – The Frozen Four couldn’t have asked for more by having two terrific opening games by four great teams. For someone who had no rooting interest in any of the four teams, but does love and appreciates great hockey, the games between Union vs. Boston College and Minnesota vs North Dakota were more than enough to make anyone an immediate fan of college hockey.
That ultimately is the point of the Frozen Four. The NCAA has sent the F4 to different non- traditional arenas over the past few year as a great way to grow the game of hockey and college hockey in general. Cities that doesn’t normally have college hockey in their background has been vital to the F4’s success. In 2012 the F4 went to Tampa, FL, in 2009 it came to Washington, D.C, and in 2007 to St. Louis, Mo. The closest Philadelphia comes to having college hockey is in Princeton, NJ where the Tigers play in the same conference at top seeded Union College. Realistically Penn State, who now plays in the newly formed Big Ten conference, is the closest thing to college hockey in Philadelphia, especially when you consider how many PSU alumni work and live in Philadelphia as well.
The F4 got off to a terrific start last night. The Boston College Eagles and Union College Dutchmen played a wild 5-4 game with Union coming out on top. A large contingent of Union fans came and were not disappointed. Daniel Ciampini had the hat trick for Union in taking down the Eagles while the Eagles had four different goal scorers. Union outshot BC 41-38.
The North Dakota Fighting Sioux and the Minnesota Golden Gophers were more of a pro style of hockey game with very few risk taking by either team, while the previous game had more of an open flow to it with more long passes and cherry picking on either side.
Neither team scored until the third period when both teams scored 32 seconds apart midway through the third to keep things even. With time running out on the clock at the end of the game, on a 3-on-3, Justin Holl put the puck past NDU goaltender Zane Gothberg with only .6 seconds left to push Minnesota to the championship game Saturday night against Union. The title game is set for Saturday the 12th at 730 pm Est.
Union will be going for its first ever title where while Minnesota will be going for its sixth title, and first since 2003.