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Preview Of Tonight’s Frozen Four Semifinal Games

Minnestota-Duluth vs Ohio State (-125)

6:00pm EST

In the first game of the Frozen Four, Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs will face off against the Buckeyes of Ohio State. OSU comes in as the -125 favorites, which definitely makes sense. Ohio State is the team to beat after putting a 5-1 spanking on  reigning national champs Denver. They are also playing with a little revenge. En route to the national championship game last season, UMD beat Ohio State in the opening round of the tournament in overtime, ending the Buckeyes season.

The Buckeyes will look to Junior Mason Jobst (21g, 21a, 46p) and Sophomore Tanner Laczynski (16g, 30a, 46p) and will rely heavily on their special teams (7th in PP, 1st in PK) in Thursday night’s tilt. OSU had the tournament jitters last season when they lost to UMD, it was the first time the program made the national tournament in 8 years and needed to shake off the rust. The boys have the talent and now they have the experience.

Minnesota-Duluth also has the experience, being that they played in the national title game last season. The Bulldogs biggest concern heading into Thursday night should be managing the talented crop of forwards from Ohio State. Avoiding penalties as well, OSU’s PP will absolutely kill you. UMD plays hard, fast and physical. So it will be interesting to see how the OSU forwards deal with the defensive play of the Bulldogs.

Michigan vs Notre Dame (-135)

9:30pm EST

Two Big10 schools go head-to-head in game 2 of the Frozen Four semifinals. Notre Dame, who spent a majority of the year as the #1 team in the country and is the Big10 champion comes in as the -135 favorite. The teams split the season series, 2-2. So both team has shown they have the ability to beat one another.

Under new head coach Mel Pearson, Michigan has put together a good year and shouldn’t be counted out. Freshmen defenseman and potential top-10 pick in this years upcoming draft Quinn Hughes has been electric in the tournament thus far. He may even be the best player left. Add Junior Cooper Marody and Senior Tony Calderone and there is some serious talent on this Michigan team. Don’t be surprised if we see an upset. These teams know how to beat each other and have played multiple times this season. There will be no surprises.

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Michigan better pray the refs keep their whistles in their pockets come Thursday night. Notre Dame has one of the best power plays in the country, led by defenseman Jordan Gross (10g, 18a, 28p) and Michigan has one of the worst penalty kills in the country. So if Michigan finds themselves in the box all night, they will have a real problem with this talented Notre Dame team. The Irish on the other hand, will look to Sophomore tendy Cale Morris who has been a brick wall all season. Some feel Morris got screwed not being involved in the Hobey Baker ceremony, and I’m sure Morris feels the same way. Morris finished the year with a 1.092 GAA and a .945 SV%.

Both games will be extremely close games and I expect a ton of good hockey with all the talent that will be on display in St. Paul this weekend. There will be a huge crowd in a hockey crazy state as well as a ton of Duluth fans. We can also count on the Xcel Energy Center being loud this weekend, very loud, with Duluth getting to play in state and all the schools relatively close in distant to St. Paul. So let’s go do that hockey.