The field for the 2013 Frozen Four in Pittsburgh is set following the completion of the East Regional Finals in Providence, RI. UMass-Lowell, Yale, St. Cloud and Quinnipiac are the four teams that will compete in this year's Frozen Four. None of the four teams have ever won an NCAA Championship guaranteeing this year's winner will be a first-time winner.
UMass-Lowell came out of the Northeast Regional in Manchester, NH. The number one seed in Manchester soundly defeated WCHA Tournament Champion Wisconsin 6-1 in the first round before dispatching of New Hampshire in the regional finals. The River Hawks secured their first ever Frozen Four bid with a 2-0 win over UNH who was playing in their backyard as the hosts of the regional.
Yale advanced to Pittsburgh, slaying WCHA behemoths Minnesota and North Dakota in the West Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs just barely snuck into the tournament after losing in the ECAC Semifinals and ECAC Consolation game. Yale's Jesse Root scored the overtime game-winner against Minnesota just nine seconds into the extra session. Keith Allain's club then took care of North Dakota in the finals of the regional. It is Yale's first Frozen Four appearance in 61 years.
St. Cloud entered the tournament with only one NCAA Tournament win in program history. After doubling its previous total, Bob Motzko's team is on to the Frozen Four. The Huskies easily routed Notre Dame in the Midwest Semifinals before eliminating Miami 4-1 in the finals. Joey Benik was the hero for SCSU scoring four goals and adding an assist.
Quinnipiac trailed 3-1 in the third period of its East Regional semifinal contest against Canisus before scoring three consecutive goals to squeak by the fourth-seeded Golden Griffins. The Bobcats became the second number one seed to advance to the Frozen Four when it throttled Union in the regional final. Tampa Bay Lighting draft pick Matthew Peca scored a natural hat trick in a span of 3:12 of the first period.
Only Yale has reached a Frozen Four previously. It will be the first Frozen Four since 1991 with no team from the Football Bowl Subdivision competing. It might be a nightmare for ESPN executives, but it will make for an exciting event. One of the small programs will capture its first NCAA Championship.
Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.