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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wolverines, Broncos make big dance

CCHA Press Release

The CCHA has placed four teams in the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship for a sixth straight year and the conference will be represented at three of the four regional sites.

CCHA Tournament champion Miami and Notre Dame are headed to the Northeast Regional in Manchester, N.H., CCHA regular-season champion Michigan goes to West Regional in St. Louis, Mo., and Western Michigan travels to the Midwest Regional in Green Bay, Wis.

The four regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn., on April 7-9.

The Miami RedHawks (23-9-6), coming off their first CCHA Tournament title and making their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance overall, are the No. 1 seed at the Northeast Regional where they will meet New Hampshire (21-10-6) of Hockey East in the 4 p.m. Eastern time game on Saturday, March 26th. The RedHawks, appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the past eight years, are bidding for a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (23-13-5), are the No. 3 seed at the Northeast Regional and will face off against Merrimack (25-9-4) of Hockey East in the 7:30 p.m. Eastern time contest at Verizon Wireless Arena.

The CCHA regular-season champion Michigan Wolverines (26-10-4) will make their record 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance when they skate as the No. 2 seed against Nebraska-Omaha (21-15-2) of the WCHA in the 5:30 p.m. Eastern time game in St. Louis. The Wolverines are bidding to capture their 10th national crown.

Western Michigan (19-12-10), returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996, is the No. 3 seed at the Midwest Regional and will face Denver (24-11-5) of the WCHA on Saturday, March 26th at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. The Broncos are appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time overall.

This marks the eighth time that there have been four CCHA entries in the national tournament. The conference record was set in 2004 when five teams (Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State) all advanced.

The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. The four regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination format.

Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of five conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at large.

Yale University of the ECAC is the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, included North Dakota, Boston College and Miami.

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