Boston, Mass. -- The road to the 2015 Frozen Four at the TD Garden begins this weekend with the drop of the puck at the four regionals. The ESPN family of networks will be covering all of the games, scheduled for Friday through Sunday.
John Buccigross and Barry Melrose will once again call the Frozen Four on ESPN2 and ESPNU. They will be joined by sideline reporter Quint Kessenich. Like him or not, and everyone certainly has their opinion, Buccigross brings a lot of exposure to the college game and is one of the only SportsCenter anchors who tries to draw attention to NCAA hockey.
The duo will also broadcast the East Regional from the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI where top seeded Miami drew local entrant Providence College in a first round matchup. Denver and Boston College square off in the other East Regional semifinal.
Longtime voice of UNH hockey Dan Parkhurst will do play-by-play at the Northeast Regional in Manchester, NH at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Parkhurst, who runs the website for Hockey East, has been involved in college hockey for over two decades and knows the game as well as anyone. In recent years he has also done some television games during the regular season for NBC Sports Network. He will be joined by Billy Jaffe, a former player at Michigan who works as an analyst for Sportsnet in Canada and on NESN for select Bruins broadcasts. He also does color for several Hockey East games throughout the regular season. This is by far the best duo with the most knowledge of the sport.
The Northeast Regional features freshman phenom Jack Eichel and the top seeded Boston University Terriers as well as the 2013 NCAA champion Yale Bulldogs, 2011 NCAA champion Minnesota Duluth and Don Lucia and his 15 NHL Draft picks skating for the Golden Gophers of Minnesota.
Clay Matvick will be responsible for play-by-play at the West Regional at the Scheels Arena in Fargo, ND. He will be on air with color analyst Sean Ritchlin, a former Wolverine who played in Ann Arbor from 1995-99. This is another solid broadcast team. Matvick might not be as familiar a name to college hockey fans, but he has plenty of experience in other collegiate sports.
The West Regional pits top seeded North Dakota in its home state taking on a Quinnipiac squad limping into the tournament with an injury to top player Sam Anas. Michigan Tech, making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1981, faces St. Cloud State in the other regional semifinal.
Working at the Midwest Regional at the Compton Family Ice Center in South Bend on the campus of Notre Dame will be Ben Holden and Blake Geoffrion. Holden does play-by-play for CBS Sports Network full-time and Geoffrion is the 2010 Hobey Baker Award winner from the University of Wisconsin. After his pro career was cut short due to a serious head injury, he worked as a pro scout with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He comes from one of the most notable hockey families in the history of the sport, including grandfather Bernie 'Boom Boom' Geoffrion who registered 822 career National Hockey League points, mostly with the Montreal Canadiens.
The tournament's number one overall seed, Minnesota State, headlines the Midwest Regional. The Mavericks take on Wayne Wilson's RIT squad, making its first trip back to the NCAA Tournament after shocking college hockey by advancing to the 2010 Frozen Four. Ted Donato's Harvard team makes its first national tournament appearance since 2006 against Nebraska-Omaha in the other regional semifinal.
Full NCAA Tournament Hockey Schedule and TV Information
|Friday, March 27||2 p.m.||Northeast Regional Semifinal||No. 1 Boston University vs. No. 4 Yale||Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH||ESPNU|
|4:30 p.m.||West Regional Semifinal||No. 3 St. Cloud vs. No. 2 Michigan Tech||Scheels Arena, Fargo, ND||ESPN3|
|5:30 p.m.||Northeast Regional Semifinal||No. 2 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 3 Minnesota||Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH||ESPNU|
|8 p.m.||West Regional Semifinal||No. 1 North Dakota vs. No. 4 Quinnipiac||Scheels Arena, Fargo, ND||ESPNU|
|Saturday, March 28||3 p.m.||East Regional Semifinal||No. 2 Denver vs. No. 3 Boston College||Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI||ESPN2|
|4 p.m.||Midwest Regional Semifinal||No. 1 Minnesota State vs. No. 4 Rochester Institute of Technology||Compton Family Ice Center, South Bend, Ind.||ESPNU|
|5:30 p.m.||Northeast Regional Final||Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH||ESPN2|
|6:30 p.m.||East Regional Semifinal||No. 1 Miami vs. No. 4 Providence||Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI||ESPNU|
|7:30 p.m.||Midwest Regional Semifinal||No. 2 Omaha vs. No. 3 Harvard||Compton Family Ice Center, South Bend, Ind.||ESPN3|
|9 p.m.||West Regional Final||Scheels Arena, Fargo, ND||ESPNU|
|Sunday, March 29||5 p.m.||East Regional Final||Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI||ESPNU|
|7:30 p.m.||Midwest Regional Final||Compton Family Ice Center, South Bend, Ind.||ESPNU|
|Thursday, April 9||5:00 p.m.||NCAA Frozen Four Semifinal||TD Garden, Boston, Mass.||ESPN2|
|8:30 p.m.||NCAA Frozen Four Semifinal||TD Garden, Boston, Mass.||ESPN2|
|Saturday, April 11||7:30 p.m.||NCAA Frozen Four Championship Game||TD Garden, Boston, Mass.||ESPN|
* All Times ET
Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.