– The NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Committee announced Sunday evening that the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team will play host to fourth-ranked University of Minnesota-Duluth in a March 14 (1p.m.) NCAA quarterfinal game at the Whittemore Center. Tickets  ($8 adults / $4 juniors and seniors) go on sale Wednesday, March 11 (10 a.m.) and are available at the arena box office, by calling (603) 868-7300 or going online to www.ticketmaster.com.

UNH (24-5-5), which enters the NCAAs with a 15-game winning streak, received an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship on Sunday afternoon by winning the 2009 Hockey East Championship Tournament with a 2-1 victory against sixth-ranked Boston College at the Whittemore Center.

The Wildcats are making their fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA tourney, and the ‘Cats have been hosts of a regional all four years. New Hampshire, which has won four consecutive Hockey East regular-season and tourney titles, advanced to the Frozen Four in both 2006 and 2008.

This will be the second consecutive year that these teams face off in the NCAA tournament. UNH played Frozen Four host Minnesota-Duluth in the semifinals a year ago and, despite recording a 43-15 shot advantage, were ousted by the Bulldogs, 3-2.

UMD (25-8-4) finished third in the WCHA standings and were ousted in the league semifinals, 3-1, by the University of Wisconsin.

The top four teams were seeded for the Regionals and all four games will be played March 14. WCHA tourney champion Wisconsin is the top overall seed and will play host to ECAC tourney titlist Dartmouth College. The University of Minnesota, the WCHA regular-season champions, are the second seed and will entertain Hockey East representative Boston College. Mercyhurst College, the CHA regular-season and tournament champion, earned an at-large bid and will play host to St. Lawrence University.

UNH compiled a 5-2-1 record vs. this year’s tourney field. The Wildcats went 3-0-1 vs. league rival BC and also defeated ECAC representatives Dartmouth and St. Lawrence; both losses were to Wisconsin at a neutral site.

The Regional winners advance to the Women’s Frozen Four, which will be held March 20-22 at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. The winner of the UNH-UMD semifinal will face off against the team that advances from the Wisconsin vs. Dartmouth matchup.

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