Men's Hockey: Five Hockey East teams earn tournament bids
On Sunday afternoon, the 2014 NCAA tournament field was set. Union, Minnesota, Boston College and Ferris State all received No. 1 seeds.
Five Hockey East teams were represented, as UMass-Lowell clinched the automatic berth while Vermont, Providence and Notre Dame received at-large bids with Boston College.
Six total teams received automatic qualifying bids by winning their respective conferences: Robert Morris (Atlantic Hockey), Wisconsin (Big Ten), Union (ECAC), Denver (NCHC) and Minnesota State (WCHA) were the other teams along with Lowell to win their conference.
Minnesota (25-6-6) earned the No. 1 overall ranking and will face Robert Morris (19-17-5) in the opening round in the West region (St. Paul, Minn.). The winner will take on the winner of St. Cloud State and Notre Dame.
In the Northeast (Worcester, Mass.), No. 4 Denver will take on No. 1 BC while Lowell faces Minnesota State.
The East region (Bridgeport, Conn.) features two teams from the ECAC and Hockey East. Top-ranked Union will face a hot Vermont team, while Providence battles with last season's runner-up Quinnipiac.
Rounding out the Midwest region (Cincinnati, Ohio) is Ferris State-Colgate and North Dakota-Wisconsin.
This year is guaranteed to see a new champion, as last year's winner, Yale, failed to make the tournament. Philadelphia will host the Frozen Four at the Wells Fargo Center, the first time the Frozen Four has been to the City of Brotherly Love.
This marks just the sixth time in head coach Dick Umile's 24-year career that he has not led the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament. UNH has made it to four Frozen Fours, as well as making the national championship twice, losing 5-1 to Thomas Vanek and Minnesota in 2003 and 3-2 in overtime against arch rival Maine in 1999.
The regional matchups will take place on March 28-30, while the national semifinal is played on April 10 and the national championship on April 12.
Follow Justin Loring on Twitter @JLo_TNH
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