Ten games are on tap Friday across all five college hockey conferences and three -- Hockey East, the WCHA and CCHA -- have their semifinals televised and/or streamed. The Hockey East tournament is on NBC Sports Network Friday and Saturday while WCHA Final Five and CCHA tournament are on Fox Sports North/Root Sports Rocky Mountain and Fox Sports Detroit Plus, respectively.
There are great games across the board featuring last-place Bowling Green making a Cinderella run in the CCHA , Boston College facing an underdog Providence team, four teams battling for one NCAA Tournament bid in Atlantic Hockey and the best rivalry in college hockey - Minnesota-North Dakota - from the WCHA.
Don't know which one to watch? We preview them all.
Hockey East Tournament
Location: Boston, MA
No. 7 Providence vs. No. 1 Boston College -- 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network (603 Direct TV; 151 Dish)
No. 4 Maine vs. No. 3 Boston University -- 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
Top-ranked Boston College looks to win their third consecutive Hockey East title this weekend and are the favorites. The Eagles are led by junior forward Chris Kreider (New York Rangers) and defenseman Brian Durmoulin (Carolina) while Providence upset Massachusetts-Lowell last weekend in coach Nate Leaman's first season.
The other semifinal matches up two teams that survived Game 3s last weekend in Boston University and Maine. The Black Bears feature Spencer Abbott, the leading scorer in the nation and will need him to get past BU goalie Kieran Millan (Colorado Avalanche).
WCHA Final Five
Location: St. Paul MN
No. 3 Denver (24-12-4) vs. No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth (24-8-6) -- 3:07 p.m. ET on Fox Sports North/Root Sports Rocky Mountain
No. 4 North Dakota vs. No. 1 Minnesota -- 8:07 p.m. ET on Fox Sports North (668 Direct TV; 436 Dish)
Denver and North Dakota reached the semifinals by winning games yesterday so it remains to be seen whether or not the extra game is to their advantage. Minnesota-Duluth is the defending national champion but the Pioneers have reached the Final Five title game 3 of the last 4 season. Minnesota and North Dakota have two of the larger fanbases and both will be represented in St. Paul The Gophers have won three of the four games this season but North Dakota is playing their best hockey right now.
A whopping 46 players drafted by NHL teams, including Nick Bjugstad (Florida Panthers), Brock Nelson (New York Islanders), Jason Zucker (Minnesota Wild) and Derek Forbort (Los Angeles Kings), are represented among the four teams along with college free agents Jack Connolly and J.T. Brown.
Both games today are also streamed online at www.foxsportsnorth.com
Location: Rochester, NY
No. 4 Mercyhurst (18-14-4) vs. No. 1 Air Force (17-9-7) -- 4:05 p.m. ET
No. 3 RIT (17-11-6) vs. No. 2 Niagara (15-10-9) -- 7:05 p.m. ET
The four top teams in Atlantic Hockey battle for a single NCAA Tournament berth this weekend and all have a good chance. While Air Force has represented the conference five of the last six years, it's going up against a team that's beat them twice this year in Mercyhurst. In the other game, Niagara has been hot lately, winning their last 7 games, but is facing a RIT team that will have the benefit of a home crowd.
Whichever team wins twice will almost certainly be the 16th seed next weekend. That's no new news for Atlantic Hockey, who has made a reputation out of upsetting the #1 or #2 seed in the past.
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
No. 3 Western Michigan vs. No. 4 Miami -- 4:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports Detroit (663/664 Direct TV ; 430 Dish)
No. 11 Bowling Green vs. No. 2 Michigan -- 8:05 p.m. ET on Fox Sports Detroit
The story of the CCHA tournament so far has been the unlikely run of Bowling Green. The 11th-seeded (of 11 teams) Falcons ended the regular season on a 1-5 skid yet have knocked off sixth-seed Northern Michigan and first-seed Ferris State in three games. The third featured a comeback from being 3-0; if they can continue their run it would be the biggest upset in college hockey history.
However, the other three teams left can hold their own. Bowling Green's opponent, Michigan has been the most dangerous team in the country at times. At the same time, Miami is hot right now and demolished Michigan State last weekend. Western Michigan is a wild card but the fact they need to play themselves into the NCAA Tournament is enough motivation for the Broncos to beat the best teams.
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
No. 4 Colgate vs. No. 1 Union -- 4:30 p.m. ET
No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Cornell -- 7:30 p.m. ET
First-place Union avenged last year's conference tournament upset by beating RPI in the first-round. They face Colgate who took out Quinnipiac in 3 games last weekend. In the other semifinal, Harvard continues their surprising season (in yet another sport...insert your Linsanity joke here) with defenseman Danny Biega (Carolina) against a Cornell team that needs a win to get into the NCAA Tournament.