This year’s 16-team field for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament will be revealed on ESPNU at 8 p.m. Sunday. Host Anish Shroff will be joined by hockey analysts Barry Melrose and Dave Starman to discuss the five automatic qualifiers and 11 at-large teams that will play in the four regionals which will air on ESPNU.
The show will also feature a special on Quinnipiac as the Bobcats look to secure a No. 1 seed and make only their second appearance in the NCAA championship since becoming a Division I team in 1998-99.
Usually this show is on a Sunday morning, but the CCHA tournament, because of a schedule conflict, has its championship game on Sunday afternoon.
LUCIA TO BE JUNIORS COACH?
A joint press conference featuring a special announcements from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, USA Hockey, Inc., and University of Minnesota has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the X. At least one usually reliable media source is saying Gophers coach Don Lucia will be named the heade coach of the U.S. team for the 2014 World Junior Championships.
The U.S. team, led by South St. Paul High School coach Phil Housley, won the gold medal in Russia this year. Lucia helped with the national evaluation camp last summer, which was used to help determine the roster. His son, Mario, played on the U.S. team and Grant Potulny, one of Lucia's assistants, was one of Housley's assistants.
So Lucia has a pretty good idea how the team was put together and why it succeeded.
HONORS FOR U WOMEN'S TEAM
Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel and Noora Raty of the Gophers' No. 1-rated women's hockey team were named to the American Hockey Coaches Association's Division I all-american first team on Thursday night. Brad Frost, their coach, was picked coach of the year for 2012-13.
Bozek is second among defenseman in scoring this season and is a repeat first team pick. The senior from Buffalo Grove, Ill., own nearly every season and career scoring record for a Gophers defenseman.
Kessel leads the nation in scoring with 97 points. She was a second team honoree last season. The junior forward is the 24th player in NCAA history to reach the 200-career point mark and the ninth for do so in three seasons. If Kessel tallies three more points this season, she will become only the fourth player in NCAA history to record 100 points in a single season.
Räty leads the nation in goals-against average and save percentage. She was a first team all-american in 2010 and a second team in 2011. The Finnish native is only the second player in Minnesota history to receive three all-america honors during her career. This season she has broken NCAA records for career wins and shutouts and shutouts in a season.
Minnesota has now had 27 players in program history named to an All-American team. This is only the second time that the Maroon & Gold have had three players receive the honor in a season.
This is Frost's first National Coach of the Year honor and the fourth in program history (Laura Halldorson – 1998, 2002 and 2004). The Gophers are 39-0-0 and play in the Frozen Four this weekend.