College Hockey Inc.
Notes: Storylines to watch in Tampa
Frozen Four features six Hobey finalists

Quinnipiac’s Yaniv Perets leads in the nation with 32 wins (Photo: QU Athletics)

By Jayson Hajdu

Thursday, April 6
5:00 pm ET: Boston University vs. Minnesota
ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN+, Westwood One radio
8:30 pm ET: Quinnipiac vs. Michigan
ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN+, Westwood One radio

Saturday, April 8
8:00 pm ET: Championship Game
ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN+, Westwood One radio

College hockey fans in Tampa ought to consider bringing their sunglasses inside Amalie Arena when the NCAA Frozen Four gets underway next Thursday. After all, there promises to be enough star power to melt a sheet of ice. The quartet of this year’s qualifying teams will feature:

  • Three No. 1 seeds: Michigan, Minnesota and Quinnipiac
  • The 2023 Hockey East regular-season and playoff champion: Boston University
  • A combined 19 NCAA Division I men’s hockey championships
  • Six of this year’s 10 Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalists
  • The nation’s leading scorer (Adam Fantilli) and leading goaltender (Yaniv Perets)
  • A combined 41 NHL Draft picks

Three of the four teams – Michigan (9), Boston University (5), Minnesota (5) – are responsible for all 19 of the NCAA titles in the field, while Quinnipiac is seeking the program’s first national championship. Michigan’s nine national titles are the most of any program in the country.

The Roads Traveled – How each of the four semifinalists made their way to Tampa:

  • Boston University: The Terriers advanced by capturing the Manchester Regional with a 5-1 win over Western Michigan and a 2-1 victory over Cornell … BU boasts 17 players with double-digit point totals this season, 11 of whom have 20-plus points. Both are the most of any Frozen Four team … Freshman Hobey Baker Award finalist Lane Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) is the first defenseman in Hockey East history to lead the conference in scoring … BU is a perfect 21-0-0 this season when scoring the first goal.
  • Michigan: The Wolverines opened the Allentown Regional with an 11-1 blitzing of Colgate, then followed with a thrilling 2-1 overtime win over Big Ten rival Penn State … Michigan, despite a Frozen Four-leading 12 freshmen, is the highest-scoring team in the country, averaging 4.23 goals per game … That freshman class has racked up 238 points (90 goals, 148 assists) this season, by far the most in the Frozen Four field … Freshman forward and Hobey Baker Award finalist Adam Fantilli (Nobelton, Ontario) leads the nation in points (35 GP, 29-35—64) and is projected to be a top-three pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Minnesota: The No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Golden Gophers cruised to 9-2 and 4-1 wins over Canisius and St. Cloud State, respectively, to capture the Fargo Regional … Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) are the first set of freshman in program history to score 50-plus points each … Cooley, the NCAA leader in assists (37), is on a nation’s-best 15-game point streak … Minnesota defensemen have generated a combined 139 points (27 goals, 112 assists), tops among Frozen Four teams … The Gophers are 23-0-0 when leading after two periods.
  • Quinnipiac: The hottest team in the field, Quinnipiac rolls into the Frozen Four having won 18 of 21 games since Christmas, including wins over Merrimack (5-0) and Ohio State (4-1) at the Bridgeport Regional … Sophomore Yaniv Perets (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que.), a finalist for both the Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Awards, leads the nation in wins (32), is tied for the national lead in shutouts (10), and ranks second in save percentage (.932) … Sophomore teammate Collin Graf (Lincoln, Mass.) is also a Hobey Baker Award finalist. He’s racked up 20 goals and 56 points through 39 games.

Frozen Four Media Kit (PDF) | Tournament Bracket | TV Schedule

Visit College Hockey Inc.’s 2023 NCAA Frozen Four Media Kit (above) for more tournament information, statistics, and key storylines.

Daily Scoreboard | Weekly Schedule | Stat Leaders | Goaltending Leaders

Must Read:

College Hockey News: BU, Minnesota will renew ancient rivalry in Tampa
College Hockey News: CHN Coach of the Year: Bob Motzko
Colorado Springs Gazette: Colorado College extends hockey coach Kris Mayotte
ESPN: Breaking down the Frozen Four: Michigan, Quinnipiac, Minnesota, Boston University
Grand Forks Herald: Ottawa planning to use Tyler Kleven this season
Michigan Daily: In Allentown, Luke Hughes performs above the noise
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Gophers’ Motzko hopes third time’s a charm at men’s Frozen Four
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Five notes on men’s Frozen Four: U leads the way; Big Ten dominant
New England Hockey Journal: 5 reasons why BU and Quinnipiac are headed to the Frozen Four
New Haven Register: Quinnipiac’s Rand Pecknold ahead of Frozen Four: ‘I know we have some things up our sleeve’ Rookie Watch: Power, Pinto among best in Atlantic
The Rink Live: Learning on the fly, Michigan interim coach Brandon Naurato has the Wolverines Frozen Four-bound
Winnipeg Free Press: Gaber puts NHL aspirations on hold, will spend one more season at UND

Must Hear:

Bulldog Insider: Matt Wellens, Zach Schneider and Bruce Ciskie recap the 2022-23 season
Inside Atlantic Hockey: Featuring Canisius senior defenseman David Melaragni
The Rink Live Weekend Rewind: Recapping NCAA Regionals, transfer portal talk
THN American Pipeline: NCAA players sign pro contracts, Red Wings prospects
USCHO Weekend Review: A crazy weekend in the NCAA regionals results in the best four teams, great crowds
Wolverine Confidential: OT thriller sends Michigan back to Frozen Four

Must Watch:

FOX 9 (Minneapolis): Gophers, Bob Motzko embrace trip to Florida for NCAA Frozen Four
NBC Sports: Storytime with Doc: Honoring storied college hockey rinks of the past


For the second straight year, the Frozen Four field will showcase 41 NHL Draft picks:

NHL Draft Picks, Last Five Frozen Fours
2017-18 – 25
2018-19 – 25
2019-20 – Tournament canceled due to COVID-19
2020-21 – 18
2021-22 – 41
2022-23 – 41

NHL Draft Picks by Team
14 – Minnesota
12 – Boston University, Michigan
3 – Quinnipiac

By NHL team
4 – New Jersey
3 – Arizona, Chicago, Montreal, Philadelphia
2 – Buffalo, Carolina, Detroit, NY Rangers, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington
1 – Anaheim, Boston, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Vancouver, Vegas, Winnipeg

Hobey Hopefuls:

An impressive six of this year’s 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be competing in the Frozen Four: Boston University freshman D Lane Hutson (Chicago, Ill.); Michigan freshman F Adam Fantilli (Nobleton, Ontario); Minnesota freshman F Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and sophomore F Matthew Knies (Phoenix, Ariz.); Quinnipiac sophomore G Yaniv Perets (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que.) and sophomore F Collin Graf (Lincoln, Mass.).

Everybody and Their Brother:

Each team in the Frozen Four features a brother duo: Boston University’s Lane and Quinn Hutson (Chicago, Ill.), Michigan’s Adam and Luca Fantilli (Nobleton, Ontario), Minnesota’s John and Luke Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.), and Quinnipiac’s Anthony and Joey Cipollone (Purchase, N.Y.).

Combined Point Totals
76 – Hutson Brothers (48 by Lane, 28 by Quinn)
71 – Fantilli Brothers (64 by Adam, 7 by Luca)
22 – Mittelstadt Brothers (18 by Luke, 4 by John)
15 – Cipollone Brothers (13 by Joey, 2 by Anthony)

Fantilli Race:

With a seven-point lead atop the national scoring race, Michigan freshman F Adam Fantilli (Nobleton, Ontario) is bidding to become just the third rookie in the last 20 years to lead NCAA Division I men’s hockey in points. The only others to have done it were Boston University’s Jack Eichel and Michigan’s Kyle Connor, who each logged 71 points in 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively.

Fantilli has 64 points (29 goals, 35 assists) in 35 games. Another freshman, Minnesota F Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.), is his next closest competition with 57 points (20 goals, 37 assists) in 37 contests.

In the Fast Lane:

Similarly, Boston University’s Lane Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) leads the nation’s defenseman in scoring (38 GP, 15-33—48) and would be just the second freshman this century to achieve that feat.

The only other to do it was Harvard’s Adam Fox, who amassed 40 points during his freshman year of 2016-17. Fox is now in his fourth season with the New York Rangers and won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 2020-21.

You Can Quote Me On That:

“Whether you’re starting a new job or a freshman in college, when your peers take you under the wings and show respect, that respect is turned back over and it’s been mutual the whole year, and it’s been awesome.”

-- Michigan first-year head coach Brandon Naurato on his team’s leadership group. (source: College Hockey News).

NHL Note of the Week:

Twenty-six NCAA Division I players have signed NHL entry-level contracts since the conclusion of their respective college hockey seasons. Five of those players had already made their NHL debuts as a March 28: Montreal F Sean Farrell (Harvard), Chicago D Wyatt Kaiser (Minnesota Duluth), Vancouver F Aidan McDonough (Northeastern), Columbus F Hunter McKown (Colorado College) and Anaheim F Nikita Nesterenko (Boston College).

Additionally, Ottawa D Tyler Kleven (North Dakota) and San Jose D Henry Thrun (Harvard) were expected to make their respective debuts on Thursday, March 30.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

Tampa’s Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, has previously hosted the Frozen Four in 2012 and 2016. Boston College defeated Ferris State in the 2012 title game, and North Dakota downed Quinnipiac in 2016 … Minnesota senior D Jackson LaCombe (Eden Prairie, Minn.) enters the Frozen Four with 99 career points … The three “Hobey Hat Trick” finalists for the 2023 Hobey Baker Award will be announced March 30. The winner of the award – along with all other national awards – will be unveiled on Friday, April 7 at the Frozen Four in Tampa.

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Did you know? 92% of NCAA Division I men’s hockey players earn their degree!