Frozen Four continues, 3 Minnesotans on teams vying for national title

Hockey players raise sticks on ice
Denver players celebrate after an overtime win against Boston University in a semifinal game at the Frozen Four NCAA college hockey tournament Thursday in St. Paul.
Abbie Parr | AP

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four continues Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, and three Minnesota natives are on the teams vying for a national hockey title.

No. 1 Boston College will take on No. 3 Denver in the championship. No teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin or North Dakota made it to Thursday’s semifinals, but energy at the X generally remained pretty high, according to Sam Stockton, a reporter with The Hockey News and co-host of the Silky Mitten State podcast.

“In 2022, the Frozen Four was in Boston and you had two Minnesota schools, Denver and Michigan, and this year, the Frozen Four is in Minnesota and you have two Boston schools, Denver and Michigan,” Stockton said. “I think there’s always a little bit of a drop-off in terms of atmosphere whenever college hockey goes off campus for the postseason tournament.”

Denver Forward Tristan Broz, a sophomore originally from Bloomington and a University of Minnesota transfer, scored the overtime-winning goal for Denver on Thursday — his 40th point of the season.

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Forward Jared Wright, a sophomore from Burnsville, also got ice time. The Pioneers beat No. 2 Boston University 3-2.

Boston College shut out the Michigan Wolverines 4-0. Eagles Forward Will Trager, a sophomore from Mendota Heights, didn’t make it in the lineup.

Saturday’s championship game is high-stakes for both contenders.

“Denver is looking to become the first-ever school with 10 NCAA Men’s hockey titles. They’re currently tied with Michigan on nine,” Stockton said. Boston College is looking for its first title since 2012.

“Personally, I would find it hard to pick against [Boston College] after just how explosive we saw their offense was last night. It just seems as though they’re never very far from getting a really good scoring chance, even as you might feel you're applying pressure on their end,” Stockton said.

Saturday’s championship game is at 5 p.m.