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82 Americans To Compete In 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four This Week

By USA Hockey, 04/05/22, 1:58PM EDT

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Semifinals set for April 7; Championship game on April 9 in Boston, Mass.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2022 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four will have a strong American presence as 82 players with U.S. development roots prior to their collegiate careers will faceoff striving for a national championship this weekend.

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four begins Thursday (April 7) at TD Garden in Boston with the University of Michigan taking on the University of Denver at 5 p.m. ET (ESPN 2), followed by Minnesota State University facing the University of Minnesota at 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU). The winners will faceoff Saturday (April 9) at 8 p.m. for the national title (ESPN2).

JUNIOR LEAGUE TIES

Among those Americans competing in this year’s Frozen Four, 77 have roots in USA Hockey junior hockey leagues. Of those, 67 spent time in the United States Hockey League, the only Tier I junior league in the United States, and 29 skated in the Tier II North American Hockey League.

The 67 players with USHL ties are led by 10 Clark Cup champions. On two occasions, three players on Frozen Four teams competed together to help lead their team to the Clark Cup – Wyatt Aamodt (Minnesota State University), Reggie Lutz (Minnesota State University) and Blake McLaughlin (University of Minnesota) took the title in 2017 with the Chicago Steel while Cade Borchardt (Minnesota State University), Ryan Johnson (University of Minnesota) and Brenden Olson (Minnesota State University) won the championship with the Sioux Falls Stampede.

USA HOCKEY EXPERIENCE

A total of 26 players have represented the United States in international competition, including Matty Beniers (University of Michigan), Brendan Brisson (University of Michigan), Brock Faber (University of Minnesota), Matt Knies (University of Minnesota), Ben Meyers (University of Minnesota), and Nathan Smith (Minnesota State University), who competed on the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Six players, including Beniers, Brisson, and Faber, along with Bobby Brink (University of Denver), Ryan Johnson (University of Minnesota), and Jackson LaCombe (University of Minnesota), helped Team USA capture gold at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

In addition, a combined 19 players have skated for a U.S. select team in international competition including the World Junior A Challenge (U.S. Junior Select Team) and the Hlinka Gretzky Cup (U.S. Under-18 Select Team). Collectively, those players have helped the U.S. win three championships.


Brock Faber is one of six players in the Frozen Four to play on the U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey Team

In addition, 18 players who have been part of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program are competing in the 2022 Men’s Frozen Four.

A total of 47 players have skated in at least one USA Hockey Player Development Camp and 26 have played in the BioSteel All-American Game. USA Hockey’s Player Development Camps are held annually in June and July to provide week-long training sessions. The BioSteel All-American Game is an annual event that provides the best U.S. players eligible for the NHL Draft the opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage.

STATE BREAKDOWN

Collectively, 19 states will be represented by players in the Frozen Four, including Alaska (2), Arizona (1), California (6), Colorado (2), Connecticut (1), Florida (3), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (14), Minnesota (33), Missouri (2), New Hampshire (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Texas (1), Washington (1) and Wisconsin (4).

FROZEN FOUR STAFF NOTES

Two of the four coaching staffs in the Frozen Four include head coaches who have served on a U.S. national team staff. Mike Hastings (Minnesota State University) was an assistant coach for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s  Hockey Team and guided the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team to a silver medal at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. Bob Motzko (University of Minnesota) was the head coach for both the 2017 and 2018 U.S. National Junior Team and earned gold in 2017 and bronze in 2018.

Todd Knott (Minnesota State University) served as an assistant coach for the 2008 U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Junior A Challenge that captured the tournament title. Additionally, Paul Kirtland (Minnesota State University), Ben Gordon (University of Minnesota) and Garrett Raboin (University of Minnesota) have coached at a USA Hockey Player Development Camp.

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