The University of Michigan received a bid to the NCAA Tournament for a national-best 19th consecutive season, the NCAA Ice Hockey Selection Committee announced today.
U-M is the No. 1 seed in the East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn., and the No. 4 seed overall in the 16-team tournament. The Wolverines will face the Air Force Falcons (27-10-2) -- the Atlantic Hockey regular-season and conference tournament champion -- in the opening round on Friday at 3:00 p.m. ESPNU HD will broadcast the game live.
The Bridgeport Arena at Harbor Yard will host the East Regional. Following the Michigan-Air Force semifinal will be the match-up between No. 2 seed Yale and No. 3 seed Vermont – game time is 6:30 p.m. The East Regional championship contest will take place Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
U-M is appearing in its 32nd NCAA Tournament overall, which is tied for first in the nation with Minnesota. The Wolverines are 46-24 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, leading the nation with nine national titles (1948, '51, '52, '53, '55, '56, '64, '96 and '98).
The contest marks the first time the Wolverines will face off against Air Force in the NCAA Tournament. The teams have met on just one other occasion, with U-M holding the series' lone win. The game came in 1973 (Dec. 27), with Michigan pulling out a 7-6 overtime victory at the IMA Tournament in Flint.
Yale is serving as a co-host school (Fairfield University) at the East Regional. The Bridgeport Arena has a seating capacity of 8,500 for hockey games and is home to the New York Islanders AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
U-M is 8-4-0 all-time against Yale with the last meeting being in the fall of 1999 – they have not met in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan has never played a game against Vermont in its 87-year history.
Air Force has one Michigan native on their roster in senior captain Mike Phillipich, a Lansing native. Vermont has two in senior defenseman Kyle Kuk (Monroe) and junior forward Colin Vock (Plymouth), along with assistant coach Willie Mitchell, a former Wayne State men's associate coach.