Frozen Four players don't mind extra wait

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 2, 2014 - 5:55 AM

The NCAA semifinalists will endure a break of at least 11 days between games, but they plan to make the most of it.


Gophers coach Don Lucia had to like what he saw on the scoreboard during his team’s 4-0 victory over St. Cloud State. Now comes the wait until April 10 for the Frozen Four.

Photo: Ann Heisenfelt • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


Extra time to prepare for the Frozen Four isn’t a bad thing — at least according to “Johnny Hockey.”

Boston College winger Johnny Gaudreau, the nation’s leading scorer and Hobey Baker Award favorite, said skipping a weekend between the NCAA hockey regionals and the Frozen Four will be just fine.

“It’s fun to be at practice and hanging out this time of year,” Gaudreau said Tuesday. “We’re just making sure we’re having good practices throughout the week. Right now we’re playing good hockey, and we have to make sure we stay energized.”

Both the Gophers and Boston College gained Frozen Four berths on Sunday, a day after North Dakota and Union advanced. But the Frozen Four semifinals — the Gophers face North Dakota and BC plays Union — aren’t until April 10 in Philadelphia.

The weekend off, to avoid conflict with the NCAA basketball Final Fours, might cause the teams to lose momentum. Several Gophers felt they played their best game of the season in Sunday’s 4-0 victory over St. Cloud State.

Nate Condon, however, greets the long break with the same enthusiasm as Gaudreau. The Gophers senior center says the team will gain motivation knowing rival North Dakota is waiting in the semifinals.

“North Dakota is one of our favorite games, especially for our upperclassmen, so just having it at a Frozen Four setting will help even more getting us motivated,” Condon said. “We might have more fun this week since we do have a long break before the games, but when it comes down to it, the guys will be ready to go.”

Gophers coach Don Lucia has been on both sides of Frozen Four scheduling. His 1997 Colorado College Frozen Four team played in a national semifinal four days after advancing through the regional. His four previous trips to the Frozen Four with the Gophers (2002, 2003, 2005, 2012) all included a week off. Lucia understands the reasoning for the week off but wouldn’t be against moving the tournament up a few days.

“It’s a quick turnaround when you play in your regional on Saturday or Sunday and you’re at the Frozen Four three or four days later,” Lucia said. “For a fan’s perspective and planning purposes, the extra days help. Maybe it’d be great if [the Frozen Four] was a few days earlier … but we all have to go through it. And we’ve been through it enough times to understand how you play in the following Thursday. So I don’t know how much of a bearing [the scheduling is] going to have with a few extra days off.’’

Time off could be an advantage for Boston College. The Eagles are heading into their third weekend of no hockey in the past month and have become comfortable with the extra time to prepare.

They earned a bye in the first round of the Hockey East tournament, then lost a best-of-three quarterfinal series, forcing the group into another week off before the NCAA tournament.

However, last weekend’s run through the Northeast Regional showed no signs of rust from the extra breaks. Gaudreau, a junior who played on BC’s 2012 title team, had eight points in two games and leads the nation in goals (35), assists (42) and points (77).

“We’re certainly getting used to [extra time off]. … It’s become par for the course,” BC coach Jerry York said. “But we all get here by different routes. … You start from scratch this weekend and have good practices and get ready to play.”

Union coach Rick Bennett likes the scheduling format. It gives players a chance to get back in the routine of school and enables the student body to rally around the programs, he said.

Union senior defenseman Mat Bodie said he is hopeful that any accumulated rust is gone five minutes into the game. Boston College already had scored two goals by that point in Saturday’s Northeast Regional opener in its first game in 13 days.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Chicago 84 FINAL
Indiana 98
Sacramento 114 FINAL
Orlando 119
Utah 89 FINAL
Philadelphia 83
Miami 97 FINAL
Washington 99
Toronto 94 FINAL
Charlotte 103
Cleveland 97 FINAL
Atlanta 106
Boston 104 FINAL
New Orleans 98
Detroit 93 FINAL
Houston 103
LA Lakers 90 FINAL
Memphis 97
Phoenix 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 100
Denver 111 FINAL
San Antonio 120
Dallas 52 3rd Qtr 6:17
Golden State 68
Columbus 3 FINAL
New Jersey 2
Minnesota 3 FINAL
Carolina 1
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Ottawa 3
Calgary 5 FINAL
Detroit 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL(SO)
Chicago 2
Pittsburgh 4 3rd Prd 11:44
Anaheim 0
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 69 FINAL
Elon 74
Gardner-Webb 72 FINAL
High Point 71
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 71 FINAL
Ball State 67
Bowling Green 75 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Brown 69 FINAL
Dartmouth 75
Toledo 59 FINAL
Eastern Mich 85
Akron 77 FINAL
Kent State 79
Ill-Chicago 72 FINAL
Oakland 69
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Ohio 95
Columbia 46 FINAL
Penn 54
Cornell 53 FINAL
Princeton 66
Central Mich 62 FINAL
Western Mich 74
Bradley 46 FINAL
Northern Iowa 71
Morehead State 77 FINAL
Murray State 80
Yale 62 FINAL
Harvard 52
Furman 73 FINAL
Citadel 56
Coll of Charleston 56 FINAL
Drexel 48
UNC-Asheville 57 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 74
Texas Tech 74 FINAL
Baylor 77
Pacific 58 FINAL
San Francisco 62
Loyola-Chicago 81 FINAL
Indiana State 53
Detroit 53 FINAL
Cleveland State 70
Belmont 53 FINAL
Eastern Ky 52
Loyola Marymount 18 1st Half 3:32
Santa Clara 29
Chicago 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
Memphis 71
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 53 FINAL
Duquesne 66
North Florida 35 FINAL
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 74
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
Jacksonville 55
USC Upstate 45 FINAL
Northern Ky 64
Lipscomb 69 FINAL
Stetson 92
Nebraska 65 FINAL
(14) Iowa 74
Saint Peters 57 FINAL
Marist 62
Navy 60 FINAL
Bucknell 49
Lafayette 56 FINAL
American Univ 79
Colgate 45 FINAL
Army 48
Georgia 41 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 75
Dartmouth 71 FINAL
Brown 53
Penn 50 FINAL
Columbia 36
(13) Princeton 70 FINAL
Cornell 37
Kansas 49 FINAL
Kansas State 57
Harvard 68 FINAL
Yale 63
(15) North Carolina 75 FINAL
(10) Louisville 77
San Jose St 99 FINAL
Houston 39 FINAL
Tulane 64
Utah State 58 FINAL
Colorado State 76
Colorado 68 FINAL
(8) Oregon State 65
New Mexico 66 FINAL
Wyoming 55
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Ohio State 83
(12) Kentucky 76 FINAL
(11) Miss State 67
San Diego State 44 FINAL
Nevada 50
Niagara 57 FINAL
Fairfield 65
Texas Tech 40 FINAL
West Virginia 59
Boise State 52 1st OT 2:36
Fresno State 52
Washington 21 1st Half 4:26
California 29
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is the best center on a Twin Cities sports team?

Weekly Question