ESPN’s 25th Frozen Four: Michigan, Minnesota Duluth, Notre Dame and Ohio State

Miscellaneous Sports

ESPN’s 25th Frozen Four: Michigan, Minnesota Duluth, Notre Dame and Ohio State

  • Frozen Four Semifinals on Thursday, April 5; National Championship Game Saturday, April 7
  • John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich on the Call for Sixth Consecutive Year
  • Ref Cam Returns to Main Telecast; Alternate Presentation on ESPN3
  • Fans Invited to Meet, Talk #CawlidgeHawkey with Buccigross, Melrose and Stanley Cup Champion Mike Richter at Friday Night Event:
    • Mike Richter Award Presented to Most Outstanding Goaltender in College Hockey to Take Place
    • Coaches from the Two Teams Participating in National Championship Expected to Attend


ESPN will televise all three games of the Frozen Four from Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn,, marking the 25th consecutive year college hockey’s two-day season finale has been aired across ESPN’s networks. The Frozen Four Semifinals feature Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 4 Ohio State (6 p.m. ET) and Michigan vs. No. 2 Notre Dame (9:30 p.m.) on Thursday, April 5, with the two winners advancing to the Frozen Four Championship game (7:30 p.m.) on Saturday, April 7.  The Semifinals will air on ESPN2 and the Championship game on ESPN, with all three games available on the ESPN App. The Frozen Four is the culmination of the 16-team NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.

The Frozen Four Teams:

  • The Bulldogs: Minnesota Duluth makes its second consecutive trip to the Frozen Four, having advanced to last year’s championship game. The hockey program has one national championship, coming back in 2011. The Bulldogs advanced to this season’s Frozen Four out of the West Region.
  • The Buckeyes: Ohio State has advanced to its first Frozen Four since 1998, having advanced out of the Midwest Region. They are the fourth overall seed in the tournament, having gone 26-9-5 in the regular season.
  • The Fighting Irish: Notre Dame has advanced to its second consecutive Frozen Four after making the tournament for the third consecutive year. The Fighting Irish won both the Big Ten regular season and the conference tournament, entering the NCAA tournament as the second overall seed. They advanced to the Frozen Four from the East region.
  • The Wolverines: Michigan adds to its storied hockey history, making the Frozen Four for the 25th time, but its first appearance since 2011. The school has nine hockey national championships, but looking for its first title since 1998. The Wolverines advanced out of the Northeast Region.

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

John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich on the Call from Saint Paul
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 sixth 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 21 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.

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

ESPN Incorporates Alternate Views, Historical Hockey Music into Telecast
ESPN’s coverage will feature Ref Cam for the second consecutive year, allowing viewers to experience the game through the eyes of the referee while utilizing 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.
Watch: Examples of Ref Cam being utilized during last season’s Frozen Four:

ESPN3 Provides Permanent Alternate View
ESPN3 and the ESPN App 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 7.
  • Join the Conversation:Fans can follow and participate in the conversation on Twitter through #FrozenFour and the @NCAAIceHockey.

Fans Come Meet, Talk #CawlidgeHawkey with John Buccigross and Barry Melrose; Mike Richter Award Presentation with Stanley Cup Champion Mike Richter; Head Coaches Expected to be in Attendance
ESPN will host a Frozen Four and #CawlidgeHawkey fan gathering on Friday, April 6, (7:15 p.m. CT) at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub  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:

  • Cornell’s Matthew Galajda
  • Denver’s Tanner Jaillet
  • Notre Dame’s Cale Morris
  • Colgate’s Colton Point
  • Northeastern’s Cayden Primeau


Head coaches from the Frozen Four National Championship participating teams are also expected to attend for a Q&A.


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


Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thursday, April 5 6 p.m. Frozen Four Semifinal:
Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 4 Ohio State
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, Quint Kessenich
9:30 p.m. Frozen Four Semifinal:
Michigan vs. No. 2 Notre Dame
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, Quint Kessenich
Saturday, April 7 7:30 p.m. Frozen Four National Championship
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, Quint Kessenich


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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