Have you been watching the Frozen Four? You should be! Here’s why…

Union College upsets Boston College in Semi-Finals. Source: Twincities.com

Union College upsets Boston College in Semi-Finals. Source: Twincities.com

The ice here in Chicago may have just melted but no ice is heating up more than that of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, cialis PA.

The home arena of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers will host the NCAA Men’s Championship Game on Saturday night as the final matchup of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Hockey Frozen Four.

I don’t know about you, but my March Madness bracket was so far broken that I scoff at the mention basketball in general, needless to say I’m bitter. The Frozen Four games are the perfect distraction to take your mind off your money lost in your office basketball pool. Money that could have been spent on something more useful, like Starbucks.

The final matchup of the Frozen Four will showcase some of hockey’s biggest up-and-coming stars battling it out for the title of “champion”. Need some more inspiration to tune in? Check out the final seconds of the game last night between Minnesota and North Dakota, where the Gophers scored in the final seconds to land a spot in the Championship Game on Saturday.


 

In last night’s semifinal match-ups, Union College edged out favorited Boston College 5-4 and Minnesota won in the final seconds 2-1 over North Dakota.  It will be small Union College (enrollment 2,200) vs. the favorited Minnesota Gophers on Saturday night in the Championship Game.

Standouts from the Frozen Four teams include Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College), Adam Wilcox (Minnesota), Dillon Simpson (North Dakota), and Shayne Gostisbehere (Union). None of these names may sound familiar now, but these players are destined to be the future of the NHL. Even some of our very own Chicago Blackhawks have played for teams that will be represented in Philly, including Ben Smith (Boston College), Nick Leddy (Minnesota), and our captain, Jonathan Toews (North Dakota).

Jonathan Toews as a North Dakota Sioux

Jonathan Toews as a North Dakota Siou 

We all know Chicago residents are considered to be some of the biggest hockey fans in the nation, but college hockey goes seemingly under the radar. This is largely due in part to the lack of an NCAA team in the state of Illinois, but is it not something that we should consider irrelevant.

College hockey is the purest form of the sport. None of the athletes are getting paid, there are no egos being flaunted and fights are kept to a minimum. These men play the game simply for the love of the sport and the hope that someday they will have the chance to play in the NHL.

Each year during the Frozen Four, the NCAA awards the Hobey Baker award to the league’s top men’s ice hockey player in the nation. It’s the Heisman Trophy of hockey and is the most coveted award in the sport. Four of the top ten nominees for the award this year will be playing in the Frozen Four, a.k.a. it is an event that can not be missed by anyone who calls themselves a true hockey fan.

So if you love hockey as much as I do, consider tuning in tomorrow night, Saturday, April 12th on ESPN at 6:30pm CST to catch some of the brightest and future stars of the NHL. Once these guys pop up and make a splash in the NHL, and possibly even someday on the Blackhawks roster, you can confidently tell your friends, “I was watching them play in the Frozen Four.”

About the author: Jennie is a diehard Iowa Hawkeye fan and was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa. Growing up in a state with no professional sports, she adopted Chicago sports teams as her own at a young age. Before moving to Chicago, Jennie graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Journalism and Communication Studies. Hockey is Jennie’s first love and when she’s not watching the Blackhawks or cheering on her hometown team, the Dubuque Fighting Saints, she herself plays for the Chicago Outdoor Hockey League. Besides spending her free time attempting to perfect her hockey stop and cheering on her favorite teams, her hobbies include chilling at home with her cat, Binx, and stitching portraits of Tupac for her friends…don’t ask.

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