Seven AJHL alumni are set to compete in the 2019 Frozen Four NCAA National Championship from April 11th-13th in Buffalo, New York. The four-team field is set as Massachusetts, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth and Providence remain in the battle for a national title.
UMass advances to the program’s first Frozen Four after earning its first-ever regular season title. The Minutemen have three AJHL alumni on their roster in Cale Makar (Brooks Bandits), Oliver Chau (Brooks Bandits) and and Matt Murray (Spruce Grove Saints). Defenceman Cale Makar ranks second in the NCAA in assists with 32, leads the team with 48 points, and is a finalist for the 2019 Hobey Baker Award.
Denver is heading to the team’s 16th Frozen Four and on the brink of a ninth national championship. Denver is currently enjoying the longest active NCAA tournament appearance streak, tallying the team’s 12th appearance this season. The Spruce Grove Saints boast two alumni on the Pioneer roster in Sean Comrie and alternate captain Ian Mitchell.
Minnesota-Duluth is the defending national champion and this year’s trip to the Frozen Four will be a program-record third straight appearance. AJHL alumni Parker Mackay (Spruce Grove Saints) and Tanner Laderoute (Sherwood Park Crusaders / Okotoks Oilers) are on the Bulldog’s roster. Senior forward Parker Mackay has four points and three goals in just his last three games, including both goals in UMD’s 2-1 overtime win against Bowling Green in the opening round.
This is Providence’s first Frozen Four appearance since winning the national title in 2015. The Friars are the only team in the tournament without AJHL representation.
The Semi-Finals will be played tonight with Minnesota Duluth vs. Providence at 5:00pm (ET) followed by UMass vs. Denver at 8:30pm (ET). The National Championship Final is scheduled for 8:00pm (ET) on Saturday, April 13th. All games will be broadcast on ESPN2.