The 2012 NCAA hockey tournament will commence on Friday, March 23, but games in the West Regional won't begin until the following day. They'll be played at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., and as host, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have the right to play in front of their home crowd.
- No. 1 North Dakota
- No. 2 Minnesota
- No. 3 Boston University
- No. 4 Western Michigan
It could be called the region of death. North Dakota finished fourth in the Pairwise while Minnesota finished eighth, but it's a pretty unfortunate draw for the Gophers in pulling Boston University, who finished fourth in the PWR. It balances the luxury of playing in front of what will surely be a large, supportive crowd in an NHL building.
CCHA tournament champion Western Michigan could carry over that success into the NCAA's despite their position as a four-seed, but they'll have to beat North Dakota on Saturday, March 24, at 1:30 p.m. ET if they want the chance to move on to the West Regional final. Later that day at 5 p.m., Minnesota will take on the Terriers of BU.
The two winners will meet in the regional final the following day, Sunday, March 25, at 5:30 p.m. ET.
For more on the road to the Frozen Four in Tampa, stick with our 2012 NCAA hockey tournament StoryStream.