NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Presented by ESPN for 15th Consecutive Year

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NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Presented by ESPN for 15th Consecutive Year

  • Regional Action March 29-31; Frozen Four April 11 and 13

  • Seeded Teams: No. 1 St. Cloud State, No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth, No. 3 Minnesota State and No. 4 Massachusetts; Arizona State Makes First Ever Championship Appearance

  • John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich Return for Northeast Regional and Frozen Four; Colby Cohen Joins Their Crew

  • Leah Hextall to Become First Woman to Call Men’s Ice Hockey Championship

For the 15th consecutive year, ESPN will present the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship in its entirety, with the 15-game, 16-team tournament beginning with regional action March 29-31 and concluding with the Frozen Four on April 11 and 13. The three-day regional action will be played in Manchester, N.H. (Northeast), Providence (East), Fargo, N.D. (West) and Allentown, Pa. (Midwest) with games on ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN3. The Frozen Four will be in Buffalo, N.Y. with all three games on ESPN2. Every game will be available on the ESPN app.

Exclusively on ESPNU, the Championship field was announced on Sunday, March 24. St. Cloud State is the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and headlining the West, with No. 2 Minnesota Duluth in the Midwest, No. 3 Minnesota State in East and No. 4 Massachusetts in Northeast. Each will be the top seed in their regionals. The complete bracket includes Arizona State, who qualified for the first time in their program’s brief history.

Regional Action: Four Games Friday, Six Saturday, and Two Sunday in Three Action-Packed Days
The Northeast and West Regional will play their semifinals on Friday, March 29, with Harvard vs. No. 2 Massachusetts at 3 p.m. (ESPN2) followed by Notre Dame vs. Clarkson at 6:30 p.m.(ESPNU). In the West, Ohio State will play Denver at 4 p.m. (ESPNU) followed by No. 1 St. Cloud State vs. American International College at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3).

The Championship hits a fever pitch on Saturday, March 30, as the Northeast and West Regionals conclude and the puck drops for the East and Midwest Semifinals. The day begins with No. 3 Minnesota State vs. Providence at 1 p.m. (ESPNEWS) followed by Cornell vs. Northeastern at 4:30 p.m. (ESPNEWS) in the East. Shortly before, No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth vs. Bowling Green will start at 4 p.m. (ESPNU) leading into Arizona State vs. Quinnipiac at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3) in the Midwest.

The Frozen Four’s first two teams will be determined in primetime as the Northeast Final plays at 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU) and the West Final will follow at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.

On Sunday, March 31, the Frozen Four field is firmed up, as the East Final will be played at 4 p.m. (ESPN2) and the Midwest Final at 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU).

Buccigross, Melrose, Kessenich and Cohen Cover Northeast Regional and Frozen Four
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich team up together once again as the network’s lead broadcast trio and this year welcome Colby Cohen to their crew. The group will call the Northeast Regional and all three games of the Frozen Four.

This is the seventh consecutive year Buccigross and Melrose will join forces in the booth, with Kessenich linking up with the longtime commentating crew in each of those years. Kessenich will report, while Cohen will be between the benches.

Leah Hextall to Call East Regional; First Women to Call Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament
Leah Hextall will call the East Regional, becoming the first woman to call play-by-play in the Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. Hextall has been around the sport for 15 years, serving as a rinkside reporter and studio host. She previously worked for ESPN in 2016 during the World Cup of Hockey as a reporter. Last season, she transitioned into the play-by-play role and is currently calling the Canadian Women’s Hockey League on Sportsnet including its Championship Game (Clarkson Cup). This weekend, she will be paired with Billy Jaffe for all three games and Kessenich will join them as a reporter for the Regional Final on Sunday.

Matvick and Starman Call the West; Brown and Pletsch Cover the Midwest; Brickley and Ritchlin in Studio
Clay Matvick and Dave Starman will call the action in the West, with Kevin Brown and Fred Pletsch in the Midwest. John Brickley and Sean Ritchlin will be in the studio throughout regional weekend.

Please note: ESPN will release details surrounding the Frozen Four following regional action

ESPN’s NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Championship Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game and Commentators Network
Friday, March 29 3 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal
Harvard vs. No. 4 Massachusetts
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, Quint Kessenich, Colby Cohen
ESPN2
  4 p.m. West Regional Semifinal

Ohio State vs. Denver
Clay Matvick, Dave Starman

ESPNU
  6:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal
Notre Dame vs. Clarkson
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, Quint Kessenich, Colby Cohen
ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. West Regional Semifinal

No. 1 St. Cloud vs. American International College
Clay Matvick, Dave Starman

ESPN3
Saturday, March 30 1 p.m. East Regional Semifinal
No. 3 Minnesota State vs. Providence
Leah Hextall, Billy Jaffe
ESPNEWS
  4 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal
No. 2 Minnesota Duluth vs. Bowling Green
Kevin Brown, Fred Pletsch
ESPNU
  4:30 p.m. East Regional  Semifinal
Cornell vs. Northeastern
Leah Hextall, Billy Jaffe
ESPNEWS
  6:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Final
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, Quint Kessenich, Colby Cohen
ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal
Arizona State vs. Quinnipiac
Kevin Brown, Fred Pletsch
ESPN3
  9 p.m. West Regional Final
Clay Matvick, Dave Starman
ESPNU
Sunday, March 31 4 p.m. East Regional Final
Leah Hextall, Billy Jaffe
ESPN2
  6:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Final
Kevin Brown, Fred Pletsch, Quint Kessenich
ESPNU

 

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

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Derek Volner

I work in college sports, which includes football and basketball, with an emphasis on Olympic Sports. Additionally, I handle ESPN’s coverage of high school athletics and recruiting.
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