ESPN Televises College Hockey’s Frozen Four for 24th Consecutive Year

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ESPN Televises College Hockey’s Frozen Four for 24th Consecutive Year

  • No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth & Notre Dame vs. No. 1 Denver on April 6; Winners Meet for National Championship April 8
  • John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich on the Call for Fifth Consecutive Year; ESPN Utilizes Ref Cam
  • Fans Invited to Meet, Talk #CawlidgeHawkey with Buccigross and Melrose at Friday Night Event; Mike Richter Award Presentation

Continuing one of the network’s longest traditions, ESPN will televise Frozen Four for the 24th consecutive year from the United Center in Chicago. The two-night, three-game college hockey finale will feature No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth (6 p.m. ET) and Notre Dame vs. No. 1 Denver (9:30 p.m.) in the semifinals Thursday, April 6 on ESPN2, with the two winners playing in the Frozen Four Championship (8 p.m.) Saturday, April 8, on ESPN.  The Frozen Four is the culmination of the 16-team NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.

The Frozen Four Teams:

  • The Pioneers: Denver is the No. 1 seed in the Championship, advancing to its second consecutive Frozen Four. The NCHC Champions are led by defenseman Will Butcher, a Hobey Hat Trick finalist.
  • The Crimson: Harvard advanced to the Frozen Four for the first time since 1994, looking to win its first men’s hockey championship since 1989. The Crimson are the No. 3 seed in the Championship.
  • The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame plays in the Frozen Four for the first time in six years, its third overall appearance. The Irish are seeking their first-ever men’s hockey national championship.
  • The Bulldogs: Minnesota-Duluth returns to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2011, when the school won its only men’s hockey national championship. The Bulldogs are the No. 2 seed in the Championship.

The complete NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship bracket can be found here.

ESPN’s Presentation Includes Buccigross and Melrose, Ref Cam, Classic Hockey Music, and Streaming Options

ESPN’s lead hockey play-by-play commentator John Buccigross teams up with lead hockey analyst Barry Melrose and reporter Quint Kessenich to  call the Frozen Four for the fifth consecutive year.

Buccigross, the popular SportsCenter anchor, has developed a passionate following on Twitter (@Buccigross) through consistent cawlidge hawkey dialogue with fans. Melrose, who has been with ESPN for 20 years, played 11 seasons in the NHL before leading the Los Angeles Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals as head coach. Kessenich is a versatile reporter for ESPN, working college football sidelines in the fall, NCAA Championships in the winter and ESPN’s lacrosse coverage in the spring, where he is an analyst.

Adnan Virk anchors the studio coverage from Bristol, Conn., and joined by Sean Ritchlin and Dave Starman.

Ref Cam Provides Unique Angle for TV Viewers; ESPN3 Uses Ref and Robo Cams for Alternate Presentation
The Frozen Four telecasts will feature a Ref Cam for the first time, allowing viewers to experience the game through the eyes of the referee. ESPN will utilize the vantage point mostly in replays throughout the three games. In addition to having a camera affixed to his helmet, the referee will also be mic’d up and audio will be incorporated throughout the telecast.

ref cam
Example of view from Ref Cam

ESPN3 will have a separate presentation of all three games. The Ref and Robo Cam streaming option allows fans to watch the game from ice level, via three robotic cameras placed on the glass, and hear the natural sound inside the arena. The Ref Cam vantage point will also be incorporated into the alternate presentation.

Additional ESPN Elements:

  • ESPN’s Classic NHL Music: The popular theme music which accompanied ESPN NHL telecasts will be used once again.
  • Trophy Presentation: ESPN3 streams the trophy presentation following the Frozen Four Championship on April 8.
  • Join the Conversation: Fans can follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter through #FrozenFour and the @NCAAIceHockey.

Meet and Greet with John Buccigross and Barry Melrose; Mike Richter Award Presentation
ESPN will host a Frozen Four and #CawlidgeHawkey fan gathering on Friday, April 7, (7:15 p.m. CT) at Kitty O’Sheas inside the Hilton Chicago with John Buccigross and Barry Melrose. The one-hour session (7:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.) with ESPN’s Frozen Four commentators is free of charge to the public and will feature a Q&A session, picture and autograph opportunities along with numerous giveaways. Additionally, the Mike Richter Award, presented to the college hockey’s top goaltender, will be given away that night with both Stanley Cup winning goaltender Mike Richter and the winning goaltender expected to be in attendance. The finalists in alphabetical order:

  • Bemidji State’s Michael Bitzer
  • Denver’s Tanner Jaillet
  • Minnesota-Duluth’s Hunter Miska
  • Notre Dame’s Cal Petersen
  • Canisius’ Charles Williams

Media are also encouraged to attend and can reach out to Derek Volner at ESPN for more details.  ([email protected]). The audio of the event will be streamed live on

Frozen Four Event

Location: Kitty O’Sheas inside the Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605)

Date Time (ET) Frozen Four Network
Streaming Link
ESPN3’s Ref and Robo Feed
Thurs, April 6 6 p.m. Semifinal No. 1:
No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth
9:30 p.m. Semifinal No. 2:
Notre Dame vs. No. 1 Denver
Sat, April 8 8 p.m. Championship Game ESPN

Schedule subject to change


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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