It all starts Thursday, April 10, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Frozen Four will be where one of the greatest rivalries in college hockey is reunited. This is where the Boston vs New York rivalry will start up in college hockey.
In the first game in Philly we will see Union NY, take the ice against Boston College. When you think about rivalries in sports you can not go without mentioning something about the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. So why can’t we bring that Boston and New York rivalry to college hockey? Union NY, now back to their second Frozen Four in past three years and program that continues to improve and Boston College historic program that has won five national championships and always striving for another. Union the champion of the ECAC one of the major conferences in college hockey and Boston College the Hockey East champions another one of the major conferences. Union has a guy by the name of Shayne Gostisbehere, some say he’s the best defenseman in the NCAA and Boston College has Johnny Hockey (Johnny Gaurdeau), some call him the best forward in the NCAA, and both of them are up the Hobey Baker. Starting to sound like a rivalry yet? It does to me. Bring the Boston-New York rivalry to college hockey and I promise you these two teams will not disappoint. They will be playing for a spot in the national championship, and these two teams will bring all they got and will start a rivalry that every college hockey fan will not want to miss.
Now let talk about that is the third most played rivalry in the NCAA, the University of Minnesota versus the University of North Dakota, the border battle. These two former WCHA teams used to meet four times a year and participate in bloody, physical, and star-powered filled game. Now with the new conference realignment, the Gophers in the Big Ten and North Dakota in NCHC, the only way these teams can meet is in the playoffs. The playoff atmosphere will just add to the intensity to the rivalry and hopefully create another great memory in the series.
Remember when Blake Wheeler made that diving play and with the swing of his stick won the WCHA Championship? Or 1996 when the Gopher were undefeated in their last 12 and the #1 team in the nation, faced North Dakota team that had only scored 8 goals in their last 12 games and ND swept the Gophers 8-2 and 7-5? What about the NHLers we have seen between the two teams? Okposo, Kessel, Wheeler, Vanek, for the Gophers. Praise, Oshie, Toews, Zajac for North Dakota. Its memories and stars like that in this rivalry that we will never forget and to reunite in the Frozen Four, college hockey fans couldn’t ask for anything better.
What’s going to be the story line when these two historic programs reunite in the Frozen Four? You can’t go without talking about Justin Kloos. Kloos is having an amazing freshman year and is a part of the 8 phenomenal freshmen on Gophers team. All which have contributed to Minnesota’s success this year. A Lakeville, Minnesota native, Kloos had an amazing high school career and then spent one year in the USHL at Waterloo, where he was one of the top scorers in the league (along with his fellow freshman teammate, Taylor Cammarata). Now in his freshman year as a Gopher, 4th on the team in points with 30 and couldn’t be hotter, coming off a 3 goal performance in the West Regional and MVP honors. Kloos is a dynamic scorer and he uses his speed well to get to the net. Watch him to have a huge impact in the Frozen Four game against North Dakota.
How about a guy that’s name Rocco? Rocco Grimaldi, leading the USA team to a gold medal in the 2013 World Juniors, is now the leading scorer for North Dakota (39 points 17 G 22 A). Although his only 5’6", Rocco is mean, green, and hungry for the net, he’s needed for North Dakota to beat #1 ranked Minnesota. He is going to have to have a big impact in the Frozen Four.
April 10 is just around the corner and we have some great hockey in front of us. Let the rivalries begin! #CawlidgeHockey
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