Table of Contents
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Frozen Four Betting Preview
We’re down to the last four teams on the ice, it’s time for us to get our April freeze on for some good old-fashioned cawlidge hockey. This year’s field of four top-flight universities are all from cold-weather states – go figure. The Frozen Four features a massive surprise from a Boston school you wouldn’t expect, my alma mater Quinnipiac University vying for school history, and a couple of very familiar faces on their way in Minnesota and Michigan. These four teams will descend on the oddly fascinating destination of sunny Tampa, Florida for hockey’s version of the Final Four set to start on Thursday evening.
In the regionals, the Golden Gophers from Minnesota have not only the runaway championship for the best nickname in college, but they’ve also got the biggest program in the nation this season from wire to wire – the 1 seed was justified and they’ve proven its justification. They made easy work of getting to Tampa and a David vs Goliath match was set as a result. As for the other side of the bracket, well…it gets pretty personal for me and a tall task is ahead for the school that taught me how to party. Let’s get to what we can expect in Thursday night’s national semifinals from Tampa.
#1 Minnesota (-215) – vs Boston University (+180) – 5 pm ET
The University of Minnesota is 20 years removed from its last national title and just two wins away from getting back on top. That 2003 championship was a wagon that won a decisive 5-1 championship final, and this 2023 team is not too far off in terms of dominating opponents. They’ve outscored their “sweet 16” and “elite 8” opponents by a whopping margin of 13-3 in goals, and they’re an embodiment of a “score first and play from ahead” type of team. In their path to the final are the Terriers from Boston…University. No, not the Boston College Eagles hockey dynasty that’s claimed four national titles in the 21st century – the other big Boston college that’s not quite as large as BC and not quite as smart as Harvard. The BU Terriers snuck in as an at-large bid, and from there were given a friendly regional site in nearby Manchester, NH. After blowing doors against Western Michigan and sneaking past Cornell 2-1 in a slogging effort, they’ve got unquestionably their biggest task ahead. While I would love to see Boston in the final, I can’t bet against Minnesota’s dominance on offense.
Minnesota ML -215
Boston College +1.5
Over 6.5 goals
#2 Quinnipiac vs #3 Michigan – 8:30 pm ET
The third time’s a charm, right? Right?! I and thousands of other Quinnipiac University Bobcats alumni around the world are wondering the same thing as our Bobcats are back in the Frozen Four for the third time in 10 years. For those who don’t know, Quinnipiac is a lovely liberal arts college in Hamden, CT that’s more famous for its polling institute than anything else. Now, hockey is a close number two and on the verge of school history. So how did the other two trips go for the Bobcats? Two tips to the final, and two wonderfully terrible losses to take in. One had our arch-rival down the street in Yale ripping our hearts out and winning a natty in our faces, and the other had North Dakota throttling us and looking lifeless. Needless to say, QU and Coach Rand Peckold have their battle scars from the Frozen Four. Now, Quinnipiac faces another big ten foe on the bracket in the Michigan Wolverines, who have put up 13 goals of their own in their first two tournament games. All signs could point to a big ten finale featuring the two top favorites heading into the NCAA Tournament, but I know how good our history is in these games and expect a spirited effort from QU. Here’s to hoping the 2023 squad looks more like 2013 and gets to battle one more time for a coveted national title. The keys for the Bobcats will be a hot start and timely goaltending to get it done versus the Wolverines.
Quinnipiac ML +144
Under 6 Goals
The winners Thursday would then face off Saturday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL for all the marbles. May your frozen four be full of ice-cold winners to wrap up the college sports season this winter. Stay Frosty.
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