AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s game day for the Frozen Four Matchup with UMass Minutemen against the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.
Both students and staff are hoping this could be the night UMass advances to the championship. Brian Moore and Jack Connors said it will be a tough game with four players out due to COVID-19 precautions, but the two seniors hope their team does well.
Moore said,” I think it would be awesome, right?”
“Definitely a great sendoff to win this game and possibly win the next one too,” said Connors.
There are four teams meeting in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania Thursday for the two Frozen Four games. Starting at 5:00 p.m., St. Cloud State University Huskies play against Minnesota State Mavericks.
The Minutemen will take on two-time defending champion Minnesota-Duluth on at 9:00 p.m. in a rematch of the 2019 NCAA championship game.
So UMass is looking for revenge and the rest of the school is ready for it.
“It’s Massachusetts we love our hockey here,” said UMass student Will Hill. “It’s not often that your school gets an opportunity to do this.”
“We’re proud of the hockey team this year, especially in the tough times. They really pulled through,” said Astrid Paz a Sophomore at UMass Amherst.
“And you know what it feels good to have at least even in the COVID pandemic having the hockey team do phenomenal,” said Sophomore Alessandra Franco.
“I can only imagine what it would be like if we could but it’s going to be crazy,” added Christopher Depasquale. “A lot of kids are excited. Oh yeah, no way they are losing they are going to win.”
The winner will advance to Saturday’s national championship game against either St. Cloud State or Minnesota State.
Four players of the UMass Minutemen hockey team will be unable to play in Thursday’s NCAA Frozen Four due to COVID-19 protocols.
According to the team, the players did not meet the requirements in place from the COVID-19 contact tracing protocols and will be unable to play. The four players are Carson Gicewicz, Henry Graham, Jerry Harding and Filip Lindberg. Of the four players, that includes their starting goalie, back up goalie and the team’s leading scorer.
Since those players were ruled out due to contact tracing protocols, there is a chance they could rejoin the team for the national championship game on Saturday if they continue to test negative.
Kenneth Toong with the school’s dining services is looking to capitalize on that Minutemen pride with a friendly wager with Minnesota Duluth’s dining team. Each school has a special menu they plan to serve to the winning team. If Minnesota wins, they’ll get clam chowder and salad fixings from some local farms.
“Something that can reflect how much we support the local, regional food. Plus also some of the indulgence, right? Nothing’s better than Boston cream pie,” said Toong.
UMD has won the title that last two years, while UMass is still hunting for their first banner to hang in the Mullins Center.
If UMass wins, Minnesota will ship over things like chicken and wild rice soup and bison snack sticks among other things.