Skip to content

PHT’s Frozen Four preview

Apr 10, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

2013 Frozen Four logo

This year’s Frozen Four in Pittsburgh offers up one of the great storylines for all the teams involved. One way or another, someone is going to win their first national championship in hockey.

For three out of the four schools (UMass-Lowell, Quinnipiac, St. Cloud State), it’s their first trip to the Frozen Four. Yale hasn’t made the national semifinals since 1952.

Thursday’s first semifinal matchup provides quite the contrast in styles. Hockey East champions UMass-Lowell bank on dogged defending and the play of budding superstar freshman goalie Connor Hellebuyck to lead them to glory. They’ve got some scorers in Scott Wilson, a Penguins prospect, as well as Joseph Pendenza, Derek Arnold, and Riley Wetmore. Make no mistake, if Lowell is going to win it all, it’ll be because of Hellebuyck.

Yale, on the other hand, loves to push play and use their speed to their advantage. Newly acquired Flames prospect Kenny Agostino (part of the Jarome Iginla deal) leads the way for them in scoring and has great support in a pair of seniors, Andrew Miller and Antoine Laganiere. Coach Keith Allain has helped Yale to become a consistent tournament team, but he’ll need senior goalie Jeff Malcolm to bring his “A” game to take out Lowell, something he’s done already in helping the Bulldogs upset Minnesota and North Dakota.

In the late game, Quinnipiac facing St. Cloud shows off a pair of regular season champions looking to prove that winning over the long haul of the season pays dividends.

source:  Quinnipiac has done their business all year thanks to a lineup that features 11 seniors. Making a run at the title is a heck of a way to go out with style. Goalie Eric Hartzell is a Hobey Baker finalist and the key to their season. The Bobcats have a host of talent up front in Lightning prospect Matthew Peca (not related to former Sabres/Islanders center Michael), Jets prospect Jordan Samuels-Thomas, senior Jeremy Langlois (pictured), and the super-twins Connor and Kellen Jones (the latter an Oilers prospect).

St. Cloud does things a bit differently. The bulk of their talent is made up of underclassmen with the lone exception being Hobey Baker finalist Drew LeBlanc. Junior and Kings prospect Nic Dowd has been a big time tournament player for them, but it’s a crew of freshmen that help steal the show. Jonny Brodzinski, Kalle Kossila, and Joey Benik have been big in the postseason. Senior and Flames prospect Ben Hanowski has stepped up big himself since being part of the Iginla deal.

If sophomore Ryan Farragher can keep holding things down in goal and silence the Quinnipiac attack, things are looking up for the Huskies.

Predictions: It’s impossible to pick against Connor Hellebuyck at this point. He and Lowell have been too strong. I like Lowell to take down Yale and then St. Cloud in the finals to win their first national championship.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Ducks to recall Gibson on Monday

    Oct 20, 2014, 12:43 AM EDT

    John Gibson Getty Images

    The goaltender was sent to the AHL for a pair of games over the weekend.

  2. Andersen picks up first career shutout in Ducks win over Blues

    Oct 19, 2014, 10:56 PM EDT

    Frederik Andersen Frederik Andersen

    Defenseman Sami Vatanen has first career two-goal game

  3. Report: Brodie’s contract extension with Calgary expected Monday

    Oct 19, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT

    T.J. Brodie #7 of the Calgary Flames skates with the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 12, 2013 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
(April 11, 2013 - Source: Derek Leung/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Five years with an annual average value of $4.6 million.

  4. Gaudreau leads Flames past Jets

    Oct 19, 2014, 9:46 PM EDT

    Johnny Gaudreau Getty Images

    Responds to being a healthy scratch by showing up on the scoresheet.

  5. Rangers blank Sharks

    Oct 19, 2014, 8:13 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three Getty Images

    Lundqvist makes 33 saves for his first shutout of the season.

  6. Blue Jackets’ McElhinney expected to miss a week

    Oct 19, 2014, 7:29 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Anton Forsberg recalled from Springfield.

  7. Video: Rangers score twice in record time

    Oct 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

    Martin St. Louis AP

    St. Louis and Nash give Rangers a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes.

  8. Lightning recall Drouin

    Oct 19, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT

    Lightning Camp Hockey AP

    Appeared in two AHL games on conditioning assignment.

  9. Stars make roster moves

    Oct 19, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Jokipakka recalled. Nichushkin placed on IR.

  10. Horvat (shoulder) sent on conditioning assignment

    Oct 19, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Bo Horvat Getty Images

    When he’s healthy, the Canucks will have to decide if he fits into their lineup.

  11. Lupul: Leafs fans in Detroit gave ‘better energy’ than in Toronto

    Oct 19, 2014, 2:42 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    He wasn’t alone in praising the out-of-market fans.

Featured video

Bruins faithful should be worried

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (3166)
  2. M. Gaborik (2591)
  3. E. Staal (2585)
  4. J. Drouin (2430)
  5. J. Spezza (2414)