Monday, the National College Hockey Conference (NCHC) revealed the times for the 2023 NCHC Freezing Faceoff semis, which will be held on Mar 17-18 at Xcel Solar Plexus and feature Friday matchups between bitter rivals.
Colorado University, Denver, North Dakota, and St. Cloud State will represent the NCHC in the 2023 Frozen Faceoff after winning their respective best-of-three quarterfinal series over the weekend.
On March 17 at 4:07 p.m. CT, highest and third-ranked Denver will play No. 7-seeded Colorado College, a state rival from the same region. The fourth-seeded and 8th St. Cloud State Huskies will take on the sixth-seeded North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the nightcap at 7:37 p.m. CT.
The Final Game will take place on Saturday, Mar 18 at 7:38 pm CT, featuring the winners of the two semifinals. CBS Sports Network will be broadcasting all three games nationally.
It’s Time For The Showdown Of Epic Proportions
By sweeping No. 8 seeded Miami inside the NCHC Quarterfinals, Denver (30-8-0) became the first NCHC team to reach the Final Faceoff every year since the tournament’s inception in 2014.
Due to their 6-2 and 7-2 home triumphs over the RedHawks, DU is now tied again for NCAA lead with 30 wins this season and will be heading to Saint Paul. The Pioneers have yet to win their 3rd Frozen Faceoff championship, while the defending NCAA champs have won back-to-back Broadmoor Cups as NCHC frequent champions.
Denver took home the trophy for the first time at the Frozen Faceoff in 2018 and the NCHC Tournament in 2014, both held at Xcel Energy Center.
On Saturday, Colorado College (12-21-3) became the lowest-ever seeded team to advance to the Frozen Faceoff, with a No. 7 ranking.
For the quarterfinals, the Tigers swept the No. 2 seed and 7th Western Michigan Broncos in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with a 3-1 victory on Fri and a 3-2 ot victory on Saturday. The year 2019 marks CC’s second appearance at the Frozen Faceoff.
The Pioneers swept the Gold Pan competition this year, as Denver and Colo College played each other four times during in the regular season.
Overall, DU has won 11 consecutive games in the series beginning on January 1, 2021. They’ve only played each other once before, and the Pioneers came out on top in the 2019 edition of the Frozen Faceoff’s third-place game.
The second NCHC Semifinal is a matchup between two teams that required three games to advance from the Quarterfinals. After defeating Minnesota Superior in the opening phase of the NCHC playoffs, St. Cloud University (22-12-3) will travel to Saint Paul to take on Minnesota State.
After a 5-1 victory by UMD in Game 2, the Huskies took Game 1 and Game 3 by identical 3-1 scores. For eighth-ranked SCSU, this is the first time back to the Frozen Shootout semifinals since 2021. (when they competed in Grand Forks, North Dakota)
But for the Huskies, it’s their first Frozen Shootout at Xcel Root Chakra until 2019. St. Cloud State University has won the NCHC Tournament once, in the 2016 Frozen Faceoff.
How Likely Is A Win And Who Will Prevail?
Sixth-seeded Last weekend, in the NCHC Quarterfinals, North Dakota (18-14-6) eliminated 3 and No. 17 Omaha in three games.
The Fighting Hawks lost their season opener on Friday in Omaha by a score of 2-1, but they bounced back with victories of 3-1 and 5-2 on the road on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, to secure a spot in the championship game in Saint Paul.
In eight of the nine NCHC Frozen Faceoffs played, UND has advanced to the championship round. In 2021, UND won the title on its home court at Ralph Engelstad Center.
Four times this year, St. Cloud University and North Dakota squared off in the regular season, with the Huskies winning three of those contests and the Fighting Hawks losing two. UND’s only victory came in Grand Forks, and it took extra time.
When these two teams have played in the Polar Faceoff semi-finals before, the Huskies have come out on top both times, including a thrilling overtime victory in 2018 at Xcel Area Located.
Tickets for the 2023 Frozen Faceoff, both for the entire tournament and for individual days, are now available at ticketmaster.com. Please visit our ticketing site for further details. Each school’s athletic department is selling student rush to the Frozen Power play at a discounted rate.
Fans in Saint Paul won’t be short of things to do on Friday and Saturday, in addition to all three Frozen Faceoff matches at Xcel Energy Center. Beginning at 10:15 am and CT on Thursday, Mar 16, and continuing through 3 p.m. CT that same day, fans are welcome to see team practises.
On Thursdays, the coaching staff and several of the players will have a press conference immediately after each session. Any and all news conferences held on Thursday will be broadcast live (and archived) absolutely free on NCHC.tv.
The Convention will announce the individual award winners at the annual NCHC Awards Ceremony, which will take place later on Thursday night just at St. Paul Event Center.
NCHC.tv will also be streaming the Awards Celebration live and for free. Back at Xcel Root Chakra that same evening, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CT, is the yearly NCHC Fan Skate, when spectators may skate on the exact same rink as the Frozen Faceoff. This Friday and Saturday, the Frozen Faceoff will host Fan Fest once again.
The Apostles Wine Bar (253 Kellogg Blvd. ), located just across East 7th Street from Hennepin Energy Center, will host an outdoor Fan Fest on Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. CT and Saturday between 3 to 7 p.m. CT, with live music, delicious food and beverages, interactive hockey games, and more. Attending Fan Fest is without cost.
The Minnesota Wild play the London Bruins at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT, before that night’s Frozen Faceoff Championship Game. The Wild game requires a separate admission ticket.