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. Ducks sign d-man Vatanen to two-year deal

    Jul 22, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT

    Sami Vatanen Getty Images

    Coming off an impressive rookie season.

  2. Penguins prospect Pouliot sees opportunity in Pittsburgh

    Jul 22, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    Portland Winterhawks v Kelowna Rockets Getty Images

    How ’bout that headline for some alliteration.

  3. NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15

    Jul 22, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT

    nbcsports11

    Click for the full schedule of games on NBC and NBCSN.

  4. Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal

    Jul 22, 2014, 10:19 AM EDT

    Antoine Roussel AP

    Had 14 goals and 15 assists, with 209 PIM, in 2013-14.

  5. Gunnarsson ‘on schedule’ after hip surgery

    Jul 22, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Carl Gunnarsson Getty Images

    Excited to join “the toughest team” the Leafs played last season,

  6. PHT Morning Skate: Tallon loves Ekblad’s hands

    Jul 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Dale Tallon Getty Images

    That and all the links to start your day.

  7. Capuano cautious about reuniting Kulemin/Grabovski

    Jul 21, 2014, 10:45 PM EDT

    Jack Capuano Getty Images

    He does know what the advanced stats say though.

  8. Blues sign Welsh, Prosser to one-year deals

    Jul 21, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    Nate Prosser Getty Images

    More depth for a Stanley Cup hopeful.

  9. Columnist: Character issues make Jets’ Kane a bad fit for Predators

    Jul 21, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    Evander Kane Getty Images

    Trade rumors around the Jets star never stop swirling.

  10. New Pens coach flying to Russia to meet with Malkin

    Jul 21, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    Mike Johnston, Jim Rutherford, Rick Tocchet AP

    Mike Johnston is going out of his way to know his players.

  11. Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation

    Jul 21, 2014, 6:04 PM EDT

    Thomas Vanek AP

    But hasn’t been charged with a crime.

  12. Draisaitl: ‘My goal is to play in the NHL next year’

    Jul 21, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT

    Leon Draisaitl Getty Images

    Edmonton’s 2014 first-round pick wants to stick around right away.

  13. Blackhawks waiting on Hayes as signing deadline approaches

    Jul 21, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    Kevin Hayes Getty Images

    He becomes an unrestricted free agent if he isn’t signed by Aug. 15.

  14. Habs sign ’14 first-rounder Scherbak to entry-level deal

    Jul 21, 2014, 3:18 PM EDT

    NikitaScherbak AP

    (He’s the tall one in the middle.)

  15. Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off

    Jul 21, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Ovi-Kirilenko

    “There are many reasons, but I do not want to go into details,” she said in a statement.

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1896)
  2. D. Roy (1623)
  3. M. Ribeiro (1486)
  4. D. Cleary (1469)
  5. R. Nash (1469)
  1. B. Dubinsky (1346)
  2. B. Morrow (1346)
  3. V. Sobotka (1327)
  4. L. Stempniak (1231)
  5. P. Subban (1155)