NO. 1 QUINNIPIAC vs. NO. 4 BOSTON COLLEGE
Thursday, 5 p.m., at Amalie Arena, Tampa
Records: Quinnipiac, 31-3-7, 16-1-5 ECAC; BC, 28-7-5, 15-2-5 Hockey East.
Coaches: Quinnipiac, Rand Pecknold; BC, Jerry York.
Quinnipiac of note: Ranked No. 1 in nation virtually entire season . . . Still not considered among country’s hockey elite, but this second trip to Frozen Four will increase profile. “Their success recently has been hard to ignore,’’ said York . . . Sophomore defenseman Kevin McKernan, who grew up in Grafton, is lone Bay Stater on the roster . . . Michigan in 1997 was the last club to reach Frozen Four with only three losses . . . Playing BC for first time in school history.
BC of note: Eagles are in Frozen Four for 12th time in York’s 22 years behind the bench at the Heights. Once here, they typically make it to the final, reaching the championship game 8 of 11 times . . . “This could be a team that’s going to be very special,’’ York said at midseason . . . Titles under York came in 2001, ’08, ’10, and ’12. Finished runner-up in 1998, 2000, ’06, and ’07.
NO. 2 NORTH DAKOTA vs. No. 3 DENVER
Thursday, 8:30 p.m., at Amalie Arena, Tampa
Records: North Dakota, 32-6-4, 19-4-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference; Denver 25-9-6, 17-5-2 NCHC.
Coaches: North Dakota, Brad Berry; Denver, Jim Montgomery.
North Dakota of note: For decades known as the Fighting Sioux, the Fighting Hawks haven’t won a national title since 2000, the seventh in school history . . . Dumped Northeastern, 6-2, in the Midwest Regional, then pinned a 5-2 loss on Michigan to get here . . . Berry, a longtime assistant, took over the top job this year upon Dave Hakstol’s surprise hiring by the Philadelphia Flyers . . . They attack with a No. 1 unit known as the “CBS Line” — Drake Caggiula, Brock Boeser, Nick Schmaltz — which has run up 144 points this season.
Denver of note: Last club to win back-to-back NCAA hockey titles (2004, ’05) . . . Has yet to win since (still holding at seven championships) . . . A powerhouse in the 1960s with four titles, Pioneers haven’t played in Frozen Four since 2005, but Montgomery, the ex-Maine star forward, has revived the program . . . Top trio is the “Pacific Rim Line,” with Trevor Moore Jr., Danton Heinen, and Dylan Gambrell, all of whom have West Coast roots. Montgomery might match power with power, and roll them out vs. the CBS Line.