All four of the No. 1 seeds in this year’s NCAA men’s ice hockey championship have been eliminated. However, there’s still a quartet of strong teams that will battle it out in the Frozen Four this week in an attempt to end the 2020-21 season as national champions.
Minnesota State vs St. Cloud State Streaming info
- Dates: April 8
- TV channels: ESPN 2
- Live stream: Click here to watch online
The game starts at 5 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2. But if you don’t have cable, here are several different ways you can watch a live stream of Minnesota State vs St Cloud State online (best option for full tournament pass deals here.
Massachusetts will be without four players when the Minutemen face Minnesota Duluth on Thursday night at the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh due to COVID-19 contact tracing protocols, UMass announced Tuesday.
Considering the success that Minnesota Duluth has had in recent years, it’s not a surprise that it’s the favorite to win the championship now that the Frozen Four field is set. The Bulldogs are also coming off an incredible 3-2 win in five overtimes over North Dakota, which was the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament.
Minnesota State vs St. Cloud State Semifinal Game Preview
That’s the only game that Minnesota Duluth has played so far, as its first-round matchup against Michigan was canceled due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Wolverines’ program. Still, the Bulldogs weren’t rusty when they returned to the ice. And they needed endurance to outlast North Dakota in a game that didn’t end until Minnesota Duluth freshman forward Luke Mylymok scored the game-winning goal 2 minutes, 13 seconds into the fifth extra period.
The Minutemen will meet two-time defending champion Minnesota Duluth in the national semifinals in a rematch of the 2019 NCAA championship game.
The winner advances to Saturday’s national championship game against either St. Cloud State or Minnesota State.
Will the Bulldogs keep that momentum going? Massachusetts is a strong team, but it announced that it will be without four players for Thursday’s game, including its leading scorer (redshirt senior forward Carson Gicewicz) and its starting goalie (junior Filip Lindberg).
With the Minutemen being short-handed, it’s likely that the Bulldogs are going to handily win this semifinal matchup. And with that, Minnesota Duluth will advance to the championship game for the fourth straight tournament.
Minnesota State vs. St. Cloud State should be a competitive game, and it will likely be decided by only one goal. But it will be Minnesota State, which is 22-4-1 this season, that keeps its impressive run going with a victory and advances to the national championship game.
St. Cloud State and Minnesota State, both second seeds, enter the Frozen Four with one national semifinals appearance between them — the Huskies came up a game short of the title game in 2013, succumbing to the Quinnipiac Bobcats.
They punched their ticket to Pittsburgh on March 28, blasting the Boston College Eagles 4-1 in the Northeast Regional final.
The Huskies trailed 1-0 at the first intermission, then returned fire with a trio of goals in the second period. Defenseman Luke Jaycox tied the game with his first tally of the season midway through the frame, and forward Will Hammer, a fellow senior, potted his second of the year six minutes later.
“The only way we were gonna beat (Boston College) was if we played as a great team,” Huskies head coach Brett Larson said, according to the St. Cloud Times. “We needed everybody tonight, and I think that’s a prime example. Will Hammer is able to shovel one in … and we all joke with (Jaycox) that he’s gonna score a big goal at some point this year, so we’re all glad it came tonight.”
Senior goalie David Hrenak made 26 stops to lower his goals-against average to 2.51 and raise his save percentage to .910
“I thought (Hrenak) saved his best hockey of the year for right now, and we’re hoping he can keep building off it,” Larson said, per the St. Cloud Times. “I thought that he looked comfortable even when he did get scored on. He didn’t look rattled; he was able to bounce back from that … he looked confident.”
The Mavericks, in the midst of their seventh NCAA Tournament, reached their first Frozen Four by blasting the Minnesota Golden Gophers 4-0 the same day in the West Regional final. Minnesota State joined Division I in the 1996-97 season, having won a Division II national title in 1980.