Last week, Tim Fontenault and I previewed all four of the Frozen Four teams. Today, the tournament starts at 4:30 ET on ESPN2 when the Cinderella Yale Bulldogs face the favorite UMass-Lowell River Hawks. Shortly after, overall No. 1 seed Quinnipiac will square off against WCHA regular season champion St. Cloud State. Both of these games should be very competitive and provide some exciting moments for fans. The real question is, who will advance to the final on Saturday? Well, I asked some fellow College Spun writers their thoughts on tonights matchups and here were there responses:
Matt Stypulkoski, UConn
No. 4 Yale had a strong opening weekend, knocking off No. 1 Minnesota and No. 2 North Dakota. But No. 1 UMass-Lowell is the hottest team in the nation by a wide margin, as they've run through the Hockey East Tournament and into the Frozen Four with relative ease. That run will continue as the River Hawks stop the Bulldogs' Cinderella run. No. 4 St. Cloud State was even more convincing in its upset-run to Pittsburgh than Yale, as it dominated Notre Dame and Miami 5-1 and 4-1, respectively. Quinnipiac, on the other hand, had difficulty against lowly Canisius and struggled early before eventually smacking Union around. They just haven't been as sharp as they need to be, and that will keep the Huskies going into the title game.
Tyler Moorehead, Notre Dame
I feel like Kenny Agostino is going to get a lucky one for Yale and it'll be the difference. I think Hartzell is too good to beat Quinn. Yale and Quinnipiac advance.
Katie Van Veghel, Tennessee
I pick Yale over UML because they were able to defeat a powerful Minnesota team. Also Miller is two assists away from breaking Yale's record and I think with his drive to break the record and Yale's drive to get their first championship they'll defeat UML. I'll pick Quinnipiac over St. Cloud St. because I think they've shocked everyone in this tournament by getting it this far and I don't think it's going to stop until they win the championship. Also Hartzell is a heck of a goalie and I don't think much is going to get by him tonight.
Matt Hundley, Missouri
In the first game I am going Lowell over Yale. Yale has made a Cinderella run to the Frozen Four from the last team in the tournament to this point, but Lowell is the top team remaining and the Vegas favorite for a reason. In the second game, I like St. Cloud over Quinnipiac. Both Vegas favorites can't win in this crazy tournament, so I'm going with the underdog in this game. Plus, no one wants to see a Connecticut team make the championship game.
Tim Fontenault, UConn
I think it will be an all-Connecticut final. Yale has been unbelievable in this tournament. Quinnipiac is the top team in the nation and any team that has Eric Hartzell in goal is going to be tough to beat. New Haven County will be a tense place to be after tonight.
Dylan Hicks, Missouri
In my bracket, I had zero out of the four teams remaining. UMass-Lowell has been on fire, scoring and firing on all cylinders and I think they end this magical run by Yale. I haven't been a fan of Quinny all year and have made this known. However, they have made me look very dumb in this tournament....still I'm going with St. Cloud. Hanowski got traded from Pittsburgh and will show that they might've made a mistake in doing so inside of Crosby' house.