The Western College Hockey Association tournament is set to begin, with several of the nation's top teams hitting the ice Friday evening. Second-ranked Minnesota headlines the group, as the Golden Gophers take on the Bemidji State Beavers.
Minnesota has been No. 2 nationally behind top-ranked Quinnipiac for weeks now, but the Golden Gophers continue to receive a fair share of first-place votes. With a 12-1-1 all-time record against Bemidji State, Minnesota looks like it won't have a problem in the opening round. The Golden Gophers have won five straight over the Beavers. Their first matchup is set for 7:05 p.m. CT.
No. 4 North Dakota vs. Michigan Tech, No. 8 St. Cloud State vs. Alaska-Anchorage, No. 10 Minnesota State vs. Nebraska-Omaha, No. 11 Denver vs. Colorado College, and No. 14 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota-Duluth round out the rest of the opening round for the WCHA. There won't be an easy road to the title for any team in this division.
Quinnipiac takes on Cornell in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament. No. 3 Miami faces Michigan State in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament quarterfinals. Rounding out the top five, Boston College plays Vermont in the Hockey East tournament, which will be aired on NBC.