First semifinal: St. Cloud State vs. Minnesota State Mankato
4 p.m. Thursday • PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh • ESPN2
Longtime in-state rivals square off
Huskies at a glance
Record: 19-10, second place in NCHC, runner-up in NCHC tournament.
How they got here: At-large selection, No. 2 seed in Northeast Regional. Defeated No. 3 seed Boston University 6-2 and No. 1 seed Boston College 4-1 to win regional.
Key facts and figures: The Huskies are playing in their second Frozen Four, making their debut in 2013 with a 4-1 semifinal loss to Quinnipiac. Coach Brett Larson has two national championships to his credit as a Minnesota Duluth assistant, in 2011 and '18. … The Huskies are 5-1 in their past six games, losing only to North Dakota, 5-3 in the NCHC tournament final. … St. Cloud State gets balanced scoring, led by F Veeti Miettinen (11-13-24), D Nick Perbix (7-16-23), F Jami Krannila (11-12-23) and F Nolan Walker (9-13-22). The Huskies will be without F Easton Brodzinski, whose 13 goals lead the team. Brodzinski suffered a broken leg in the regional final against Boston College. … G David Hrenak is 16-9 with a 2.51 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts. … In their last meeting, the Huskies beat Minnesota State 7-2 in the semifinals of last season's Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis.
Mavericks at a glance
Record: 22-4-1, WCHA regular-season champion, lost in WCHA tournament semifinals.
How they got here: At-large selection, No. 2 seed in West Regional. Defeated No. 3 seed Quinnipiac 4-3 in overtime and the No. 1-seeded Gophers 4-0.
Key facts and figures: The Mavericks are playing in their first Frozen Four and were 0-6 in NCAA Division I tournament games entering this season. Over the past four seasons, the Mavericks have 114 victories, more than any other team in college hockey. … F Julian Napravnik (10-17-27) leads the Mavericks in scoring, while Cade Borchardt (9-15-24), Nathan Smith (7-16-23) and Reggie Lutz (20-11-21) also have surpassed 20 points. F Ryan Sandelin scored the OT winner against Quinnipiac and had a goal and an assist against Minnesota. … G Dryden McKay is getting plenty of help from his defense. Opponents are averaging only 18.4 shots on goal in his 25 starts. … Minnesota State holds an all-time series edge of 63-56-13 against St. Cloud State.