Having reached their second straight Frozen Four, the UMass Amherst Minutemen hockey team will take on Minnesota Duluth on Thursday, April 8, in the NCAA national semifinal round. A rematch of the 2019 national championship game, fans can watch the game nationally on ESPN2 when the puck drops at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena at 9 p.m. EDT.
The Hockey East champion Minutemen advanced to the Frozen Four by winning the NCAA Bridgeport Regional, defeating Lake Superior State, 5-1, on March 26, and Bemidji State, 4-0, the following day. Head coach Greg Carvel’s team, 18-5-4 overall on the season, enters the game on the longest unbeaten streak in program history having gone 9-0-3 since Jan. 18. Should UMass win Thursday, they will face the winner of the first semifinal game between Minnesota State and St. Cloud State in the national championship game on Saturday, April 10, at 7 p.m. EDT. The national championship game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
While the Minutemen will likely be without four players due to COVID-19 protocols – forwards Carson Gicewicz and Jerry Harding, and goaltenders Filip Lindberg and Henry Graham – Carvel remains confident that the Minutemen are positioned to overcome the setback.
“I feel for these players who have sacrificed so much over the last year and committed themselves to getting our team to this point,” Carvel, the 2019 National Coach of the Year, said in a statement released by UMass Athletics. “They have earned the right to compete for a national championship, and to have this unfortunate situation occur now is hard to comprehend. But nevertheless it's a result that we have to accept, and we will move forward together and utilize the depth of our roster for Thursday's game in Pittsburgh.”
All games at the Frozen Four will have reduced spectator capacity and a limited number of tickets are still available at NCAATickets.com. Fans unable to make to it to the Steel City and without access to the national television broadcast through their cable, satellite or streaming provider can listen to WHMP radio’s live broadcast of the game locally in the Pioneer Valley or online via the WHMP streaming player and the TuneIn mobile app.
Fans can also stay up-to-date with the team in Pittsburgh by following @UMassHockey on Twitter.