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Quarterfinal Series Match-Ups, Times Set for 2017 NCHC Tournament

By NCHC, 03/05/17, 8:30PM EST


Top four seeds host bottom four seeds in best-of-three series March 10-12

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With the 2016-17 National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) regular season complete, the match-ups, times and television coverage for the NCHC best-of-three quarterfinal series from Friday, March 10 to Sunday, March 12 have been finalized. The four quarterfinal series winners then advance to the 2017 NCHC Frozen Faceoff on March 17-18 at Target Center in Minneapolis, where the fourth-annual NCHC Tournament champion will be crowned.

The quarterfinal series feature the top four seeds hosting the bottom four seeds. Penrose Cup champion and No. 1 seed Denver hosts in-state rival and eighth-seeded Colorado College, while second-seeded Minnesota Duluth welcomes No. 7 seed Miami for the second straight postseason. Third-seeded Western Michigan hosts a quarterfinal series for the first time in the NCHC, entertaining No. 6 seed Omaha, while the four-five match-up pits No. 5 seed St. Cloud State at fourth-seeded North Dakota.

Colorado College (8-22-4, 4-16-4-1/0 NCHC) will make the short trek up Interstate 25 for its quarterfinal series against No. 1/1 Denver (26-6-4, 18-3-3-0/2 NCHC) at Magness Arena. The Pioneers won all four meetings with their rival Tigers this season, outscoring them a combined 13-4, with CC managing only one goal in each meeting. Denver has won 12 straight meetings with Colorado College overall, winning three straight Gold Pan Trophies. The Pioneers enter the series on an NCAA-best 11-game winning streak and captured their first Penrose Cup at Omaha on Friday. Denver has advanced to the Frozen Faceoff all three years of its existence, winning the inaugural event in 2014. The Tigers took eighth in the NCHC for the third straight year, but are coming off a series split at No. 19 St. Cloud State and earned seven of their eight wins this season on the road. CC is still searching for its first trip to the Frozen Faceoff, while this is the teams’ first NCHC postseason match-up. Puck drop in the series opener on Friday, March 10 is set for 7:37 p.m. MT with the game televised regionally on Altitude 2. Saturday’s contest and Sunday’s if-necessary decisive game are both at 7:07 p.m. MT, though neither will be on television.

For the second straight season, No. 3/2 Minnesota Duluth (21-6-7, 15-5-4-1/2 NCHC) will face Miami (9-18-7, 5-14-5-2/1 NCHC) in a best-of-three quarterfinal series at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth. Last season, the Bulldogs swept the RedHawks in two games to earn their first trip to the Frozen Faceoff, where they finished as runner-up. The sides met in their only series this season just a week ago in Duluth when UMD won the opener, 4-3, on Feb. 23, before Miami earned a 3-3 overtime tie and 3-on-3 overtime win in the series finale. Last weekend, the Bulldogs earned a split at No. 8/8 Western Michigan, but saw their 11-game unbeaten streak snapped in Friday’s loss. The RedHawks enter the postseason on an eight-game winless streak (0-7-1), last winning Jan. 28 over WMU. Miami made the Frozen Faceoff the first two seasons of the NCHC, winning the tournament in 2015, before UMD halted the streak last season. Friday’s series opener starts at 7:07 p.m. CT, while Saturday’s game is at 7:37 p.m. CT. Sunday’s if-necessary game will be at 7:07 p.m. CT. All three games will be available locally on TV on My9 Sports Network in Duluth.

The third quarterfinal series features first-time host No. 8/8 Western Michigan (20-9-5, 13-9-2-0/1 NCHC) taking on Omaha (16-15-5, 9-13-2-0 NCHC) March 10-12 at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo. This will be the teams’ first NCHC postseason match-up after the teams split their only regular-season series this season. Back on Feb. 10, the Broncos won a wild, 7-6 contest in comeback fashion at Baxter Arena while the Mavericks responded at home the next night with a 6-3 victory. The teams have combined for only one Frozen Faceoff berth, which WMU earned in the NCHC’s inaugural season, as Omaha is still searching for its first trip to Minneapolis. The Mavericks are the No. 6 seed for a second straight season, but went 10-5-3 away from home this year. The Broncos, who finished seventh last season, have had a 12-win turnaround this season and are coming off a home split with UMD. WMU finished 12-3-3 at Lawson Ice Arena this season. All three games in Kalamazoo have puck drop set for 7:07 p.m. ET.

Coming off a sweep at Miami, No. 15/15 North Dakota (18-14-3, 11-12-1-1/0 NCHC) earned home ice in the first round of its conference tournament for the 15th straight season, which is the longest active streak in the NCAA. The Fighting Hawks face No. 19 St. Cloud State (16-17-1, 10-13-1-0 NCHC) at Ralph Engelstad Arena in their best-of-three series, which is the teams’ first NCHC quarterfinal meeting and the first time UND has faced a team besides Colorado College in the opening-round series. The teams did meet in the 2015 Frozen Faceoff semifinals, which St. Cloud State won. UND has made it to all three Frozen Faceoffs to-date while SCSU has been to the last two and is the defending tournament champions. This season, North Dakota won three of the four contests between the teams, blanking the Huskies twice in St. Cloud Nov. 18-19 and splitting a series in Grand Forks Feb. 3-4. While UND earned its lowest seed in the NCHC’s four-year history, the Fighting Hawks need only two more wins to reach the 20-win plateau for the 15th straight season. The Huskies head to Grand Forks coming off a home split with Colorado College this past weekend. Friday’s opener is slated for 7:37 p.m. CT while Saturday’s game and Sunday’s if-necessary game are at 7:07 p.m. CT. All three games will be on regional TV on Midco Sports Network.

All NCHC Quarterfinal series games will also be streamed live on Fans who already have an subscription will get access to either all games or their school’s games depending on their package. Fans wanting to catch the action on, which is also available on AppleTV and Roku, but don’t have a subscription, can sign up for the Playoff Pass. The Playoff Pass also includes the Frozen Faceoff third-place game, while both semifinals and the championship are only on national TV on CBS Sports Network.

The four quarterfinal series winners will be reseeded and collide in the Frozen Faceoff semifinals on Friday, March 17 at Target Center with game times at 4:08 p.m. CT and 7:38 p.m. CT. The third-place game then takes place on Saturday, March 18 at 3:38 p.m. CT with the championship game set for 7:38 p.m. CT. Both all-session and single-day session tickets are now on sale for the 2017 NCHC Frozen Faceoff and may be purchased here. For more ticket information, click here.

In addition to the games at the Frozen Faceoff, several fan events will also take place surrounding the weekend, while discounted hotel rates are available in downtown Minneapolis. For complete Frozen Faceoff coverage, information and event schedule, visit Frozen Faceoff Live.

Last season, St. Cloud State won the Frozen Faceoff, defeating Minnesota Duluth in the final, while Denver and North Dakota lost in the semifinals after winning quarterfinal series and tied in the third-place game.

NCHC Quarterfinal Series Schedule

Friday, March 10
No. 6 Omaha at No. 3 Western Michigan, 7:07 p.m. ET
No. 7 Miami at No. 2 Minnesota Duluth, 7:07 p.m. CT
No. 5 St. Cloud State at No. 4 North Dakota, 7:37 p.m. CT
No. 8 Colorado College at No. 1 Denver, 7:37 p.m. MT

Saturday, March 11
No. 6 Omaha at No. 3 Western Michigan, 7:07 p.m. ET
No. 5 St. Cloud State at No. 4 North Dakota, 7:07 p.m. CT
No. 7 Miami at No. 2 Minnesota Duluth, 7:37 p.m. CT
No. 8 Colorado College at No. 1 Denver, 7:07 p.m. MT

Sunday, March 12 (if necessary)
No. 6 Omaha at No. 3 Western Michigan, 7:07 p.m. ET
No. 5 St. Cloud State at No. 4 North Dakota, 7:07 p.m. CT
No. 7 Miami at No. 2 Minnesota Duluth, 7:07 p.m. CT
No. 8 Colorado College at No. 1 Denver, 7:07 p.m. MT