The Big Ten regular-season champion Gopher Hockey program returns to the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship with its 37th appearance in 2017 – setting a new NCAA record in the process for all-time appearances by a program.
The No. 1 seed for the Northeast Regional at SNHU Arena in Manchester, N.H., Minnesota (23-11-3) opens the national tournament against future Big Ten foe Notre Dame (21-11-5) on Saturday, March 25 at 2:30 p.m. CT. The first round matchup will be aired live on ESPNU. UMass-Lowell (26-10-3) and Cornell (21-8-5) round out the Northeast Regional, playing at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday while the regional final is set for 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, March 26 (ESPNU) with a trip to the NCAA Frozen Four on the line.
“It’s a very good regional, and a great matchup for us to start with against Notre Dame,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “We know them, and they know us. We’re excited to get back into the tournament and compete for a national championship.”
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The Gophers are 27-15-3 all-time against Notre Dame including a 1-0 mark in NCAA tournament games (a 5-2 regional win for the Maroon & Gold during the 2003-04 campaign). Saturday’s matchup marks the fifth-straight season the two future Big Ten rivals have met while Lucia is a Notre Dame alum. The Maroon & Gold are 8-1-0 all-time against UMass-Lowell (1-0 in the national tournament) and 2-0-0 all-time against Cornell (1-0 in the national tournament).
An NCAA-best 37 national tournament berths continues a record-breaking 2016-17 campaign for the Gophers, who became the first team in NCAA history to win six-straight regular-season conference championships earlier this year.
All-session tickets for the Northeast Regional are $80 and will be available to purchase for all customers with a Gopher Score. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, March 20th at 10:00 a.m. through MyGopherSports.com. The deadline to purchase tickets is Monday, March 20th at 5:00 p.m. Tickets for the Northeast Regional will also be available through the NCAA.