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ESPN Presents the 2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Championship

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  • Coverage of All 15 Games for 14th Consecutive Year
  • The Field:
    • St. Cloud State is No. 1 Overall Seed; Notre Dame, Cornell and Ohio State Also Earn No. 1 Seeds
    • Defending National Champion Denver, Air Force, Boston University, Michigan, Providence among Qualifiers
  • John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich Call East Regional and Frozen Four

One of ESPN’s long-standing traditions continues this month with complete coverage of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Championship. The 16-team, 15-game single-elimination tournament begins with regional action (March 23, 24, 25) in Bridgeport, Conn. (East), Worcester, Mass. (Northeast), Allentown, Pa. (Midwest), and Sioux Falls, S.D. (West), and concludes with the Frozen Four (April 5 and 7) at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn. An ESPN network will carry every game for the 14th consecutive year

Regional Action: 12 Games in Three Days
The three-day regional action begins with the East (3 p.m. and 6 p.m.) and West (4 p.m. and 7 p.m.) regional semifinals Friday, March 23 and continues Saturday, March 24 with six games across all four regionals:

  • East (6 p.m.) and West (9 p.m. ET) regional finals
  • Northeast (1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.) and Midwest (3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.) regional semifinals

The Northeast (4 p.m.) and Midwest (6:30 p.m.) regional finals will conclude the weekend on Sunday, March 25.

ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPNEWS will air 10 of the 12 games and two games will be streamed on ESPN3. All games are available on the ESPN App.  A complete schedule is below.

St. Cloud State Earns No. 1 Overall Seed; Notre Dame, Cornell and Ohio State Top Seeds in Their Regionals
St. Cloud State (West) is the No. 1 overall team in the tournament, with Notre Dame (East), Cornell (Northeast) and Ohio State (Midwest) rounding out the No. 1 seeds in each region. St. Cloud State plays Air Force, while the Fighting Irish take on Michigan Tech, Cornell faces off against Boston University and the Buckeyes will see Princeton. Additional regional semifinal matchups:

  • West: No. 2 Minnesota St. – Mankato vs. No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth
  • Midwest: No. 2 Denver takes on No. 3 Penn State
  • East: No. 2 Providence plays No. 3 Clarkson
  • Northeast: No. 2 Michigan plays No. 3 Northeastern

The complete bracket can be found here and ESPN analysts Frozen Four picks here.

Buccigross, Melrose and Kessenich Formulate ESPN’s East Regional and Frozen Four Broadcasting Team
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Quint Kessenich will once again be ESPN’s lead broadcast team, as the trio will first call the East regional and then all three games of the Frozen Four.

This is the sixth consecutive year that Buccigross and Melrose have teamed together for the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament. Buccigross, the popular SportsCenter anchor, has developed a passionate following on Twitter (@Buccigross) through consistent “cawlidge hawkey” dialogue with fans. Melrose, who has been with ESPN for 21 years and has been an analyst for several Frozen Fours, played 11 seasons in the NHL before leading the Los Angeles Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals as head coach.

In advance of the regionals, Buccigross will do a twitter Q and A via @NCAAIceHockey on Wednesday, March 21, between 8-9 p.m. ET.

Additional ESPN broadcast tandems for regional action include Clay Matvick and Sean Ritchlin (West), Joe Beninati and Billy Jaffe (Northeast) and Kevin Brown and Colby Cohen (Midwest). Both Jaffe and Ritchlin played at Michigan and Cohen played for Boston University, where he scored the game-winning goal in the 2009 National Championship Game. Analyst Dave Starman will be in studio with host Matt Schick for the regional round action.

The Frozen Four Live from Saint Paul; Championship Game on ESPN
For the 39th consecutive year, ESPN will televise college hockey’s final game and for the 24rd time, the entire Frozen Four. The semifinals will air Thursday, April 5, on ESPN2 (6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and the national championship game Saturday April 7, on ESPN (7:30 p.m.).  ESPN’s complete coverage details will be announced after the regional action.

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Fri, March 23 3 p.m. East Regional Semifinal:
No. 4 Michigan Tech vs. No. 1 North Dame
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, and Quint Kessenich
ESPN2
4 p.m. West Regional Semifinal:
No. 4 Air Force vs. No. 1 St. Cloud State
Clay Matvick and Sean Ritchlin
ESPNU
6:30 p.m. East Regional Semifinal:
No. 3 Clarkson vs. No. 2 Providence
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, and Quint Kessenich
ESPNU
7:30 p.m. West Regional Semifinal:
No. 3 Minn. Duluth vs. No. 2 Minnesota St. – Mankato
Clay Matvick and Sean Ritchlin
ESPN3
Sat, March 24 1 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal:
No. 4 Boston University vs. No. 1 Cornell
Joe Beninati and Billy Jaffe
ESPNEWS
3:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal:
No. 4 Princeton vs. No. 1 Ohio State
Kevin Brown and Colby Cohen
ESPNU
4:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal:
No. 3 Northeastern vs. No. 2 Michigan
Joe Beninati and Billy Jaffe
ESPNEWS
6 p.m. East Regional Final:
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, and Quint Kessenich
ESPNU
7 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal:
No. 3 Penn State vs. No. 2 Denver
Kevin Brown and Colby Cohen
ESPN3
9 p.m. West Regional Final:
Clay Matvick and Sean Ritchlin
ESPN2
Sun, March 25 4 p.m. Northeast Regional Final:
Joe Beninati and Billy Jaffe
ESPN2
6:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Final:
Kevin Brown and Colby Cohen
ESPNU

Regional rankings utilized in chart

 

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thur., April 5 6 p.m. Frozen Four Semifinal
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, and Quint Kessenich
ESPN2
9:30 p.m. Frozen Four Semifinal
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, and Quint Kessenich
ESPN2
Sat., April 7 7:30 p.m. Frozen Four Final
John Buccigross, Barry Melrose, and Quint Kessenich
ESPN

 

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner