Frozen Four: SCSU Hockey vs Minnesota State
The #7 St. Cloud State men's hockey team takes on #5 Minnesota State (Mankato) at the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh Thursday at 4 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Minnesota State is currently 22-4-1 overall and won the WCHA's final title with a 13-1-2 conference record. The Mavericks lost to Northern Michigan in the championship game of the WCHA Tournament.
Minnesota State was the #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament's Loveland, Colorado region. The Mavericks beat Quinnipiac 4-3 in overtime to advance to the final, where they blanked the University of Minnesota 4-0.
The Huskies finished in second place to North Dakota in both the NCHC regular season and the postseason tournament. St. Cloud State is currently 19-10 on the season.
The Huskies were the #2 seed in the NCAA Regional Tournament in Albany, New York, where they beat Boston University 6-2 and Boston College 4-1.
WHO TO WATCH
The Huskies have two hometown players on the squad in Sartell defenseman (and captain) Spencer Meier and former Cathedral Crusader Will Hammer. Finnish freshman sensation Veeti Miettinen leads the team in scoring with 22 points.
The Mavericks are led by German junior Julian Napravnik' s 27 points in 26 games played, while the team is captained by Rochester native Riese Zmolek. More on all-world goalie Dryden McKay can be found below.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
SCSU is anchored by senior goalie David Hrenak, who was spectacular for the Huskies in their two wins in the Northeastern Regional against Boston University and Boston College. The Slovakia native was named the region's MVP after stopping 60 of 63 shots he faced in the two games.
The Mavericks feature arguably the best goaltender in the country in Illinois native Dryden McKay, who was the WCHA's Player of the Year and is a back-to-back conference Goaltender of the Year winner. Here... it's easier to just LINK YOU HERE than to try to list all of his accolades.
SCSU leads the all-time series with a 27-18-7 record in the Division I era. SCSU beat the Mavericks 7-2 in the last meeting between the teams on December 28th, 2019 at the Mariucci Classic.
The game can be seen on television on ESPN2.
The winner will face the either Minnesota Duluth or the University of Massachusetts from tonight's nightcap.
The National Championship is Saturday night.