College Hockey: Michigan takes aim at Eagles in Frozen Four

darren cooper
Darren Cooper


  • After upsetting Michigan State, Michigan is in the college hockey Frozen Four in Minnesota, taking on top seed Boston College Thursday.
  • The Eagles have won 14 games in a row and have 33 wins, matching the most in program history.
  • Michigan is 23-14-3 and making their third straight appearance in the Frozen Four. They haven’t won a college hockey national title since 1997.

Could Michigan be looking at another national title? 

The college hockey world convenes in Minnesota Thursday for the Frozen Four (the Final Four) with the University of Michigan taking on Boston College in one semifinal and Denver facing Boston University in the other. Both games are on ESPN2.

The hockey season has gotten serious at Michigan Sportsbooks. In addition to the Red Wings chasing the last playoff spot in the NHL Eastern Conference, Caesars and FanDuel have markets on the Frozen Four. The Eagles are 1.5-goal favorites with the Wolverines +146 on the puck line.

The Michigan Story 

Things set up nicely for the Wolverines in the Frozen Four field (the whole tournament is called the Frozen Four, even though now is the part where we’re down to four teams). In the quarterfinals, Michigan met Michigan State for the sixth time this season.

Michigan State had won four in a row in the series, including a 5-4 win over Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament championship, but Michigan dominated the third period, scoring four goals to beat the Spartans, 5-2. Dylan Duke had two goals in the win and was named St. Louis Regional MVP.

It’s the third time in a row for the Wolverines in the Frozen Four…really Final Four, but they haven’t won a championship since 1998. Michigan won the football national championship in the 1997 season, but it was awarded in 1998. So maybe it’s an omen?

Clash of Champions 

Boston College has won a school record 14 games in a row, and has five college hockey national titles to their credit, but they haven’t won one since 2012. This is their 26 appearance in the Frozen Four, which is two behind Michigan, who has the most.

The Eagles are in the Frozen Four for the first time since 2016. These two teams have played five times previously in this round, Michigan is 4-1 in those games. Michigan didn’t win the Big 10 regular season title, while Boston College also lost the prestigious Beanpot tournament to Northeastern this year.

Eagles vs. Wolverines: Expect Big Offense 

Boston College has scored 179 goals this season, almost five a game, while allowing 87. The Eagles attack is paced by Cutter Gauthier with 37 goals, while Ryan Leonard has added 31.

Michigan has put together college hockey’s best power play attack in over 30 years. The Wolverines have scored 50 out of 145 times this season on the power play, that’s the best percentage of any team in the country and the most for any team since 1987.

Gavin Brindley has 53 points to lead the Wolverines, followed by Rutger McGroarty with 52. Wolverines starting goalie Jake Barczewski has 20 wins this season and a 2.81 goals against average. College hockey is fast, free flowing action with lots of momentum shifts. Thursday we see if momentum is still on the side of the big M.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.