|2017 NCAA Frozen Four
The Family Arena, St. Charles, Missouri
Semifinals - Friday, March 17
#1 Wisconsin (32-2-4) vs. #4 Boston College (28-5-5) - 5 pm CT
Minnesota (26-7-5) vs. #2 Clarkson (30-4-5) - 8 pm CT
Championship - Sunday, March 19 at 2:00 pm CT
The NCAA Frozen Four is being held in St. Charles, Missouri, as Lindenwood University serves as the tournament hosts at The Family Arena. Minnesota returns for their 6th-straight appearance in the Frozen Four, squaring off this Friday at 8:00 p.m. CT against ECAC champion Clarkson University in a rematch of the 2014 NCAA Championship game. Meanwhile, top-seeded Wisconsin faces #4 Boston College in the earlier semifinal game at 5:00 p.m. CT.
Ticket information – Tickets can be purchased online through MetroTix by clicking here, by calling 1-800-293-5949, or at the door.
An all-session package includes a ticket to both March 17 semifinal games and the March 19 championship game. Reserved center ice seats are $44 for adults. There is also a general admission ticket option available at a price of $29 for adults and $24 for students, seniors and youths; seating is allowed in the corners and behind both goals.
Single-session tickets are also available. For the semifinals, center ice seating is $28, while general admission tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for students, seniors and youths. Tickets for Sunday's championship game are $33 for center ice seats, while general admission seats are $23 for adults and $18 for students, seniors and youths.
Media coverage – Free webcasts of both semifinals will be available on NCAA.com. The championship game will be televised live on Big Ten Network. You can also find the Gophers’ regular audio coverage with play-by-play man Dan Hamann on the GopherSports.com women's hockey home page. Please note that direct links have not yet been made available but should appear later this week.
How they got here...
Minnesota finished second in the WCHA regular-season standings but fell to Minnesota Duluth 2-1 in double overtime in the conference semifinals. The loss meant the Gophers were unseeded in the NCAA Tournament, going on the road to face third-seeded UMD for the sixth time this season. After 40 minutes of action in which neither team could find the back of the net, Kelly Pannek located Patti Marshall driving to the Bulldog net, and Marshall beat UMD goaltender Maddie Rooney at the 7:54 mark of period 3. That was all that Minnesota needed, as Sidney Peters made 25 total saves to earn the 1-0 shutout victory and advance.
Wisconsin continued to be a force. After winning the WCHA regular-season and playoff championships, the Badgers earned the #1 seed for the NCAA Tournament and hosted CHA champion Robert Morris in the quarterfinals. Six different players lit the lamp for Wisconsin, with Emily Clark scoring twice and Sarah Nurse and Mekenzie Steffen each adding a goal and two assists. Ann-Renée Desbiens continued to add to her NCAA career shutout record, extending it to 54 games with a 22-save performance to give the Badgers the 7-0 victory.
Boston College again won the Hockey East regular-season title and defeated Northeastern, 2-1 in overtime, in the conference's playoff championship game. That victory gave the Eagles home ice for the NCAA tournament quarterfinals as the #4 seed, and they hosted St. Lawrence. Kenzie Kent opened the scoring for BC late in the first period and later dished out 2 assists, and the Eagles blew the game open with 4 second-period goals en route to a 6-0 victory. Katie Burt made 24 saves for the shutout.
Clarkson finished atop the ECAC regular-season standings, and defeated Cornell, 1-0, in the playoff championship game. Earning the #2 seed, the Golden Knights faced Cornell again for the fifth time this season in the NCAA quarterfinals. Loren Gabel recorded a hat trick for Clarkson and Shea Tiley made 22 saves to defeat the Big Red, 3-1, to advance.
Minnesota vs. Clarkson – The Gophers and Knights last faced each other in their 2014 NCAA Championship meeting, which Clarkson won in an offensive shootout, 5-4. Current Gopher seniors Dani Cameranesi, Kate Schipper, and Megan Wolfe each had an assist in that game. Clarkson senior Cayley Mercer (#18) also had an assist in that game, and is currently second in the nation -- behind Minnesota's Kelly Pannek -- in total points this season with 58 (26G, 32A). Mercer is also a Top-3 Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. Meanwhile, the Knights also feature two more 40+ point scorers in senior Geneviève Bannon (#9) with 14 goals and 34 assists, and sophomore Loren Gabel (#19) with 21 goals and 19 assists. Junior goaltender Shea Tiley has started 35 of Clarkson's 39 games, posting a 26-4-5 record with 5 shutouts, a 1.58 goals-against average, and a .929 save percentage.
Boston College vs. Wisconsin – The Eagles and Badgers also last met in an NCAA Tournament game, but that was back in the 2012 semifinals, a 6-2 Wisconsin victory. While the Badgers are undefeated in their last 21 games (18-0-3), the Eagles are 21-2-3 in their last 26. Senior Andie Anastos leads the Eagles with 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points, and scored two overtime gamewinners in the Hockey East tournament. Makenna Newkirk and Megan Keller each have 39 points for BC. But Wisconsin's Annie Pankowski, Sarah Nurse, and Emily Clark all have more points than Anastos (54, 53, and 46, respectively), and goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens continues to post other-worldly numbers, including a 0.89 career goals-against average to go with her NCAA shutout record.
Lodging in the St. Charles area...
While we cannot specifically recommend any hotels in the St. Charles vicinity, here are just a few of the lodging options in the area.
America's Best Value Inn, 1310 Bass Pro Drive - 636-947-5900
Super 8, 3040 W. Clay Street - 636-946-9992
Red Roof Inn, 2010 Zumbiehl Road - 636-947-7770
Hampton Inn, 3720 W. Clay Street - 636-947-6800
Again, these are just some of the choices. Regardless of where you stay, we very much look forward to seeing you in St. Charles!!