BRISTOL, Conn. - The NCAA Div. I men's hockey selection committee announced that the No. 3 seed University of New Hampshire men's hockey team will face No. 2 seed University of Michigan in the opening round of the NCAA Northeast Regionals on Saturday, March 27th. Game time is 3:30 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H.
The Wildcats (20-14-6 overall, 10-8-6 HE) head into the NCAA tournament with a 4-4-2 record over their last ten games, including a 5-2 loss to the University of Massachusetts Minutemen in the semi-final round of the Hockey East Tournament on Friday, March 19 at the Fleet Center.
UNH, the host of this year's Northeast Regional, is making its 14th all-time appearance in the NCAA tournament and its 10th under head coach Dick Umile. This is the first time the NCAA Regionals will be held at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Wildcats are unbeaten at the Verizon Wireless Arena, owning a 3-0-2 record in five games. New Hampshire is making its third consecutive NCAA appearance. Last season, the 'Cats advanced to the National Championship game before falling to the University of Minnesota 5-1. UNH has competed in four of the last six Frozen Fours.
New Hampshire trails the lifetime series 2-4-0 (including a New Hampshire forfeit on Nov. 2, 1984). Their last meeting was in the second round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament on March 27, where the Wildcats defeated the Wolverines in a 2-1 OT decision at the Worcester Centrum in Worcester, Mass. The Wildcats and Wolverines will meet for the third time in NCAA tournament history with each team winning one game.
The Wolverines of Michigan enter the tournament with a 26-13-2 overall record and an 18-8-2 record in CCHA play. Michigan captured the regular season title by finishing with 38 points in the regular-season standings. The Wolverines last NCAA appearance was last season. Michigan advanced to the Frozen Four by capturing a 2-1 win over Maine and a 5-3 win over Colorado College before losing to Minnesota 3-2 in overtime. Minnesota went on to defeat UNH in the National Championship game that year. Michigan owns a 3-2-0 record in their last five games despite losing to Ohio State, 4-2 in the CCHA conference championship game. Michigan has advanced to the regional finals of the NCAA tournament for the past 13 years, including nine Frozen Four appearances during that span. The Wolverines were most recently national champions in 1996 and 1998 and have won the national title nine times in school history, the most of NCAA team.
The winner of the No. 3 New Hampshire/No. 2 Michigan game will face the winner of the No. 1 Boston College/No. 4 Niagara (12p.m.) game in the Northeast regional final on Sunday, March 28th at 4 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The winner of the regional final advances to the semifinals of the Frozen Four at Fleet Center in Boston, Mass. on Thursday, April 8th.