College Hockey Inc.
Men's Notes: Storylines to Watch in Saint Paul
Frozen Four Semifinalists Have Combined for 28 NCAA Titles

Boston College freshman Will Smith leads the NCAA with 69 points (Photo: BC Athletics)

Thursday, April 11
5:00 pm ET: Denver vs. Boston University
Watch: ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN+
Listen: Westwood One

8:30 pm ET: Michigan vs. Boston College
Watch: ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN+
Listen: Westwood One

Saturday, April 13
6:00 pm ET: Championship Game
Watch: ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN+
Listen: Westwood One

Four of the most storied college hockey programs will look to add to their legacies at the 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. The star-studded field includes:

  • Three No. 1 seeds: Boston College, Boston University and Denver
  • A combined 28 Frozen Four championships and 96 Frozen Four appearances
  • Nine of the nation’s top 10 individual scoring leaders
  • Half of the top-10 finalists for the 2024 Hobey Baker Memorial Award
  • A combined 51 NHL Draft picks, the most since at least 2016-17
  • Two projected top-10 picks in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, including the projected No. 1 overall pick

Denver and Michigan have each won an NCAA-leading nine national championships, while Boston College and Boston University are tied with Minnesota for fifth-most with five each.

Also of note, for the first time in history all four Frozen Four head coaches are leading their respective alma maters.


The Roads Traveled:

How each of the four semifinalists made their way to Saint Paul:

  • Boston College: The nation’s No. 1 team in both the PairWise Rankings and the national polls for much of the second half of the season, the Hockey East regular-season and playoff champions defeated Michigan Tech (6-1) and Quinnipiac (5-4 OT) in the Providence Regional … F Jack Malone (Gr., Madison, N.J.) scored the OT goal to knock off the defending NCAA champs in the regional final … Freshman F Will Smith (Lexington, Mass) leads the NCAA with 69 points … Cutter Gauthier (So., Scottsdale, Ariz.) is the country’s top goal-scorer with 37, the highest single-season total since Minnesota’s Ryan Potulny had 38 in 2005-06 … G Jacob Fowler’s (Fr., Melbourne, Fla.) 31 wins are an NCAA freshman record … The Eagles bring a 14-game winning streak into the Frozen Four. Their last loss was a 4-3 setback to BU (Feb. 5) in the Beanpot.
  • Boston University: The Terriers, the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, advanced to their second consecutive Frozen Four after getting past RIT and Minnesota in the Sioux Falls regional, winning both games by a 6-3 count … BU defeated Minnesota in the regional final, avenging its loss to the Gophers in the 2023 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal … Freshman F Macklin Celebrini (Vancouver, British Columbia), projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, was named Most Outstanding Player at the Sioux Falls regional … BU has won nine of its past 10 games, the lone loss coming to Boston College in the Hockey East Tournament championship game (March 23).
  • Denver: The Pioneers claimed a pair of 2-1 victories over UMass (2OT) and Cornell to win the Springfield Regional … Prior to last weekend, DU hadn’t won a game all season when scoring fewer than three goals … G Matt Davis (Jr., Calgary, Alberta) leads all netminders in the NCAA Tournament with a .972 save percentage after stopping 70 of 72 shots during the regional … Freshman D Zeev Buium (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) is the country’s highest-scoring defenseman with 49 points (11G, 38A) in 40 games … The Pioneers boast the nation’s highest scoring offense at 4.71 goals per game.
  • Michigan: The No. 3 seed in the Maryland Heights Regional, Michigan defeated North Dakota (4-3) and Michigan State (5-2) to qualify for its third Frozen Four in a row … The Wolverines outscored those two opponents by a combined 7-2 margin in the third period … Dylan Duke (Jr., Strongsville, Ohio) had four goals and five points in the regionals, tying him with Boston College’s Ryan Leonard for the tournament lead in both categories … Michigan owns the nation’s top power play at 34.5 percent … When the month of March began, the Wolverines were ranked No. 16 in the PWR but enter the Frozen Four having won six of their last seven games.

Frozen Four Media Kit (.pdf) | Tournament Bracket | TV Schedule

Visit College Hockey Inc.’s 2024 NCAA Frozen Four Media Kit (above) for more tournament information, statistics, and key storylines.

National Scoring Leaders | National Goaltending Leaders | National Team Leaders

Must Read:

Boston Globe: The cream ultimately rose as BC and BU fought off challengers to reach the Frozen Four
College Hockey News: When there’s a skill, there’s a way
College Hockey News: BU shows off its versatility in reaching second straight Frozen Four
College Hockey News: Denver’s evolution complete
Denver Post: DU Pioneers headed to Frozen Four after exacting revenge against Cornell in regional final
Detroit News: Michigan makes third straight Frozen Four with 5-2 win over Michigan State
ESPN: How BC, BU, Denver and Michigan can win it all
Grand Forks Herald: UND captain Riese Gaber emotional after final UND game: ‘I owe everything to the program’
Michigan Daily: Veteran defenseman embrace adversity, jumpstart NCAA Regional final victory
Michigan Daily: ‘Hometown hero’: Jake Barczewski comes up clutch for Michigan Regional final
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Five days chasing the NCAA Frozen Four
Shap Shots: Some Tuesday morning college hockey thoughts
The Athletic: Jimmy Snuggerud exclusive: Why the Blues prospect turned down the NHL to stay at Minnesota
The Rink Live: Happy returns for Jimmy Snuggerud, who opts to give the Gophers another season

Must Hear:

Bulldog Insider: Looking back at the 2023-24 season, Part I
CHN Insiders: Recapping the NCAA Regionals
NCHC Icecast: Last Pioneer standing
USCHO Weekend Review: Looking at the results from the regionals

Must Watch:

Yahoo! Sports: Michigan’s Nazar makes ‘unbelievable’ between-the-legs pass for highlight goal en route to Frozen Four

State of Hockey:

Saint Paul is the host city of the NCAA Division I Men’s Frozen Four for the seventh time and for the fourth time at Xcel Energy Center. The city previously hosted the Frozen Four in 1989, 1991, 1994, 2002, 2011 and 2018.

Although this year’s four semifinalists have combined for 28 men’s hockey national championships, none of the four have ever won it all in Saint Paul:

Frozen Four Champions in St. Paul (runner-up in parentheses)
1989 – Harvard (Minnesota)
1991 – Northern Michigan (Boston University)
1994 – Lake Superior State (Boston University)
2002 – Minnesota (Maine)
2011 – Minnesota Duluth (Michigan)
2018 – Minnesota Duluth (Notre Dame)

Xcel Energy Center has already played home to NCAA hockey this year, having hosted the NCHC Frozen Faceoff in March, as well as a non-conference game between Minnesota and St. Thomas on Oct. 13.

State of Hockey, Part II:

Eight Minnesotans are returning to their home state for this year’s Frozen Four: Boston College’s Aram Minnetian (Fr., Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) and Will Traeger (So., Mendota Heights, Minn.); Boston University’s Jack Harvey (Fr., Stacy, Minn.), Denver’s Tristan Broz (Jr., Bloomington, Minn.) and Jared Wright (Burnsville, Minn.); and Michigan’s Josh Eernisse (So., Apple Valley, Minn.), Jackson Hallum (So., Eagan, Minn.), and Garrett Schifsky (Fr., Andover, Minn.).

A total of 233 Minnesotans played NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey in 2023-24, more than any other state or province. Ontario (186) and Michigan (138) ranked second and third, respectively.

The Future is Now:

This year’s Frozen Four field features a combined 51 NHL Draft picks, the most since College Hockey Inc. began tracking in 2016-17. In fact, there have been an average of 44 draft picks in the last three Frozen Fours compared to an average of 23 in the previous three.

Seven of the 51 draft picks were selected in the first round:

Two of the draft picks in the Frozen Four are Minnesota Wild selections who will be playing in the home rink of the Wild: Denver F Rieger Lorenz (So., Calgary, Alberta), a second-rounder in 2022, and Michigan D Marshall Warren (Gr., Laurel Hollow, N.Y.), a sixth-rounder in 2019.

Hobey Hopefuls:

Exactly half of the 2024 Hobey Baker Memorial Award top-10 finalists will be competing in the 2024 NCAA Frozen Four: Boston University F Macklin Celebrini (Fr., Vancouver, British Columbia), Denver F Jack Devine (Jr., Glencoe, Ill.), Boston College F Cutter Gauthier (So., Scottsdale, Ariz.), Boston University D Lane Hutson (So., Chicago, Ill.), and Boston College F Will Smith (Fr., Lexington, Mass).

The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced April 4, and the Hobey Baker Award recipient will be announced April 12 during Frozen Four weekend. The latter will be televised live on the NHL Network.

Everybody and Their Brother:

This year’s Frozen Four features six different sets of brothers as teammates, with at least one duo on each of the four participating teams:

Combined Sibling Scoring
85 points – D Lane Hutson (49) and F Quinn Hutson (36), Boston University
84 points – D Zeev Buium (49) and D Shai Buium (35), Denver
70 points – F Macklin Celebrini (64) and D Aiden Celebrini (6), Boston University
65 points – F Dylan Duke (49) and D Tyler Duke (16), Michigan
14 points – D Case McCarthy (9) and D Gavin McCarthy (5), Boston University
6 points – F Connor Joyce (6) and D Nolan Joyce (0), Boston College

More Power to Them:

Michigan, Boston College and Boston University rank 1-2-3 in the country this year in power-play efficiency. Michigan is converting at an NCAA-leading 34.5 percent, while BC and BU are firing at 29.9 percent and 28.1 percent, respectively.

Denver, the nation’s top-scoring offense at 4.71 goals per game, ranks 16th in power play at 22.9 percent.

Not Too Cool for School:

NCAA Division I men’s hockey players typically fare well academically in comparison to their student-athlete peers.

According to data released by the NCAA, hockey boasted a four-year Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 93 percent in the latest reporting period, tied for the fourth-best rate among all Division I men’s sports. Hockey also had the best single-year GSR (96%) among Division I men’s sports.


Teams scoring the first goal went just 4-8 (.333) during the NCAA Regionals last weekend … The four teams in this year’s Frozen Four are a combined 86-8-4 (.898) this season when leading after two periods … An average of 6.42 goals per game were scored during the regional round, up nearly a full goal per game from last year’s regional average of 5.58 … There are nine players in Division I men’s hockey with 50-plus points this season, the most in a single year since 2016-17 when 13 players eclipsed that mark. That number could grow with three players in the Frozen Four – Denver’s Zeev Buium (Fr., Laguna Niguel, Calif.), Michigan’s Dylan Duke (Jr., Strongsville, Ohio) and Boston University’s Lane Hutson (So., Chicago, Ill.) – currently sitting at 49 points, while Michigan’s T.J. Hughes (So., Hamilton, Ontario) has 48 … Xcel Energy Center is one of five different NHL arenas to host an NCAA hockey game this year.

Boston College: Have won a nation’s-best 33 games this season … Enter the Frozen Four on a 14-game winning streak and are 20-2-0 (.909) since the Christmas break … Rank No. 1 in the country in penalty killing (89.3%) … Four players with 50-plus points this season, matching the rest of the Frozen Four field combined … First team with a quartet of 50-point players (Smith, Gauthier, Leonard, Perreault) since Wisconsin in 2009-10 … 14 NHL draft picks, tied with BU for the most among Frozen Four teams.

Boston University: Second-year head coach coach Jay Pandolfo is making his sixth Frozen Four appearance as a Terrier – two as coach and four as a player … Freshman F Macklin Celebrini (Vancouver, British Columbia), the youngest player in college hockey, has played the entire season as a 17-year-old … Sophomore D Lane Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) is already just three points away from reaching 100 for his career … 14 NHL draft picks, tied with BC for the most among Frozen Four teams.

Denver: Lead the nation in scoring offense (4.71 goals per game) … No team has more players (10) with double-digit goal totals … Highest-scoring blue line in the Frozen Four with 164 points (31 goals, 133 assists) on the year … G Matt Davis (Jr., Calgary, Alberta) is on a career-best seven-game winning streak … F Massimo Rizzo (Jr., Burnaby, British Columbia), who leads all active Frozen Four skaters with 126 career points, has not played since Feb. 3 due to injury.

Michigan: Top power-play in the NCAA (34.5%) this season … Just three freshmen on the roster (the other three teams all have at least 10) … Sophomore class has produced 297 points (102 goals, 195 assists) this year, the most of any class in the Frozen Four … Head coach Brandon Naurato has led the Wolverines to the Frozen Four in each of his first two years behind the bench … F Dylan Duke (Jr., Strongsville, Ohio) reached the 100-point mark for his career Sunday against Michigan State.

Notebook Quotebook:

“I mean, he had 100 freaking people here. It’s like we’re almost playing a home game because it’s DJ Brazos’ home. It’s awesome. I just love the guy to death and I’m so happy for him.”

-- Michigan sophomore F Frank Nazar III on fifth-year G Jacob Barczewski, a Chesterfield, Missouri, native who was playing in his home state at the Maryland Heights Regional and earned his first two career NCAA Tournament wins (source: Michigan Daily)

NHL Note of the Week:

Twenty-six different NHL teams have at least one draft pick in the 2024 NCAA Frozen Four, led by Montreal, New Jersey, Tampa Bay and Vancouver with four each. Boston and Chicago claim three each. They are among the 15 NHL teams who have multiple draft picks still playing.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

Ryan Leonard’s (Fr., Amherst, Mass.) 31 goals are a Boston College freshman record. Brian Gionta had held the previous record of 30 since 1997-98 … Fifth-year Michigan Tech G Blake Pietila (Howell, Mich.) concluded his collegiate career with the third-most shutouts (24) in NCAA Division I men’s hockey history. Only Minnesota State’s Dryden McKay (34, 2018-22) and Michigan State’s Ryan Miller (26, 1999-2002) had more … Minnesota F Bryce Brodzinski (Gr., Blaine, Minn.) graduates as the Golden Gophers’ all-time leader in career games played (185) … Cornell G Ian Shane (Jr., Manhattan Beach, Calif.) leads the nation with a 1.69 GAA, the fourth-lowest in NCAA single-season history … Michigan State finished the season with 25 wins, the program’s most since the 2007 NCAA championship team won 26 … Wisconsin had its most wins (26) since its 2009-10 NCAA runner-up squad won 28 games … Matthew Wilde’s (Fr., Mississauga, Ontario) 35 points and 19 goals for RIT were both freshman school records (DI era).

Longest Active Point Streaks Among Frozen Four Participants:

  • 10 games, F Macklin Celebrini (Boston University)
    • 9-13—22, began Feb. 17 vs. Providence
  • 7 games, D Lane Hutson (Boston University)
    • 3-7—10, began March 7 at Providence
  • 6 games, F Will Smith (Boston College)
    • 6-9—15, began March 9 at Merrimack

Longest Active Goal Streaks Among Frozen Four Participants:

  • 3 games, F Dylan Duke (Michigan)
    • 5-2—7, began March 23 at Michigan State

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