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U.S. Players Highlight NCAA Men's Frozen Four Rosters

By, 04/06/17, 7:15AM EDT


88 of 110 players in Frozen Four have American development ties

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four will have a distinct American presence again with 88 of the 110 players on the rosters of Harvard University, University of Denver, University of Minnesota Duluth and University of Notre Dame having developed their game within the United States prior to attending college.

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four begins today at the United Center in Chicago, with Harvard facing Minnesota Duluth followed by Notre Dame taking on Denver. Thursday’s semifinals will air live on ESPN2, while Saturday’s title game will be televised live on ESPN.

Among the Frozen Four participants, 33 have represented the United States in international competition. Of those players, 12 have done so in International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship play and combined to win 17 IIHF medals.

There are 16 players with connections to USA Hockey’s Tier II North American Hockey League. Additionally, 11 players have a background in USA Hockey’s Tier III leagues, including the Eastern Hockey League and United States Premier Hockey League

Collectively, 16 states will be represented by players in the Frozen Four, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin as well as Washington D.C.

Twenty-seven players competing in the Frozen Four have been drafted by NHL teams, including 22 Americans. Additionally, 15 players have skated in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, which annually invites 40 of the top American-born prospects eligible for the upcoming NHL Draft. 

All four Frozen Four Teams have an American-born player with developmental roots serving as a captain, including Denver’s captain Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis./USHL), Harvard’s co-captain Devin Tringale (Medford, Mass./EHL), Minnesota Duluth’s Dominic Toninato (Duluth, Minn./USHL) and Notre Dame’s Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa/USHL).

Additionally, all three of the 2017 Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists are American-born players with developmental roots in the U.S., including Zach Aston-Reese (Northeastern/USHL), Will Butcher (Denver/USHL) and Mike Vecchione (Union College/USHL). This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday (April 7) from the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier in Chicago during the NCAA Frozen Four. The 37th annual announcement will be televised live on the NHL Network at 6 p.m. ET, and at the Hobey website,

Two players in the Frozen Four have received USA Hockey's Dave Peterson Goalie of the Year Award. Notre Dame's Cal Petersen received the award in 2014 while Minnesota Duluth's Hunter Miska was recognized in 2016. 

American Development Ties

Click through the tabs for a detailed list of Frozen Four players with American Development ties 

Staff Notes

All four head coaches in the Frozen Four have won an NCAA National Championship either as a player or a coach.

Ted Donato, Harvard

Head coach of his alma mater, Donato was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player when he led the Crimson to a national championship in 1989. Donato also skated for the United States in five international competitions, including the 1992 Olympic Winter Games, three IIHF Men’s World Championships (1997, 1999, 2002) and the 1988 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jim Montgomery, Denver

Head coach at the University of Denver, Montgomery is Hockey East’s all-time leading scorer and in 1993 led the University of Maine to a national championship, for which he was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Montgomery served as general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints for three seasons where he led the program to an Anderson Cup (2013) and two Clark Cups (2011, 2013) and was twice named USHL General Manager of the Year (2011, 2013).

Jeff Jackson, Notre Dame

Head coach at the University of Notre Dame, Jackson is a two-time NCAA national champion head coach after leading Lake Superior State University to tiles in 1992 and 1994. Jackson, who served as a founding head coach for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program from 1997-2000, was the head coach for the silver medal-winning 1997 U.S. National Junior Team as well as an assistant coach for the 1998 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

Scott Sandelin, Minnesota Duluth

Head coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth, led the Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA National Championship in 2011. Sandelin also served as head coach of the 2005 U.S. National Junior Team and skated for the United States in three international competitions, including the 1989 Goodwill Games, the 1986 IIHF Men’s World Championship and the 1984 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Additional Frozen Four Team Staff

Additionally, individuals on the staff of each Frozen Four team have represented USA Hockey.

Brett Larson, assistant coach at Minnesota Duluth, served alongside Sandelin as an assistant coach when the Bulldogs claimed the national championship in 2011. Paul Pooley, associate head coach at Notre Dame, was an assistant coach for both of Lake Superior State’s national championship teams under Jackson. Andy Slaggert, associate coach for Notre Dame, was head coach of the championship-winning 2003 U.S. Under-18 Select Team and also served as head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Select Team in 2004. Nick Siergiej, coordinator of hockey operations for Notre Dame, served as video coordinator of the U.S. National Junior Team that claimed the bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. David Tenzer, director of hockey operations for Denver, previously served as USA Hockey’s Coaching Coordinator for the state of Colorado from 1999-2001.

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