The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four will have a distinct American presence again with 89 of the 109 players on the rosters of Boston College, Quinnipiac University, University of Denver and University of North Dakota having developed their game within the United States.
Sixty-four players competing in the tournament have roots in the United States Hockey League, including 17 alumni of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. The USHL is the only Tier I junior league in the United States and includes the two teams that make up USA Hockey's NTDP.
The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four begins today (April 7) at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Florida, with Boston College taking on Quinnipiac followed by Denver facing North Dakota. Thursday's semifinals will air live on ESPN2, while Saturday's title game will be televised live on ESPN.
Among the Frozen Four participants, 16 have skated for a U.S. National Team – including the U.S. National Junior Team and the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team – and have combined to win 16medals in International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship play.
There are 21 players with connections to USA Hockey’s Tier II North American Hockey League. Additionally, 18 players have a background in USA Hockey’s Tier III leagues, including the Eastern Junior Hockey League and United States Premier Hockey League.
Collectively, 19 states will be represented by players in the Frozen Four, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
Thirty-one players competing in the Frozen Four have been drafted by National Hockey League teams, including 28 Americans.
PLAYER NOTES: Tucker Poolman (North Dakota) received USA Hockey’s Dave Tyler Junior Player of the Year award in 2013 … Nine players won the USHL Anderson Cup, significant of the league’s regular season champion, including Boston College's Chris Birdsall (Youngstown-2015) and Zach Sanford (Waterloo-2014); Denver's Grant Arnold (Green Bay-2010), Nolan Zajac (Cedar Rapids-2011), Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque-2013), Evan Janssen (Dubuque-2013), Trevor Olson (Green Bay-2012) and Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay-2012); and North Dakota's Hayden Shaw (Waterloo-2014) … Seven players helped their USHL teams win the Clark Cup, significant of the league’s playoff champion, including Denver's Grant Arnold (Green Bay-2010), Will Butcher (Dubuque-2011), Dylan Gambrell (Dubuque-2013), Evan Janssen (Dubuque-2013) and Logan O'Connor (Sioux Falls-2015); and North Dakota's Trevor Olson (2012-Green Bay) and Nick Schmaltz (2012-Green Bay). University of Denver head coach Jim Montgomery led Butcher to the 2011 Clark Cup, and Gambrell's and Janssen's 2013 Anderson and Clark Cup championships were under Montgomery ... Three players won the NAHL Robertson Cup, significant of the league’s playoff champion, including Denver's Gabe Levin (Fairbanks-2011); and Quinnipiac's Soren Jonzzon (St. Louis-2009) and Alex Miner-Barron (Bismarck-2010) ... Tim Clifton (Quinnipiac) helped the Jersey Hitmen claim the 2013 EJHL Dineen Cup, significant of the league’s playoff champion … Quinnipiac teammates Sean Lawrence and Kevin McKernan helped the Boston Jr. Bruins earn the 2014 USPHL Dineen Cup, significant of the league’s playoff champion and 2014 USPHL Founders Cup, significant of the league’s regular season champion … All four Frozen Four captains are American-born players with developmental roots in the U.S., including Boston College’s Teddy Doherty (Hopkinton, Mass./USHL), Denver’s Grant Arnold (Centennial, Colo./USHL), North Dakota Gage Ausmus (East Grand Forks, N.D./USHL) and Quinnipiac’s Soren Jonzzon (Mountain View, Calif./USHL) … All three of the 2016 Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists are American-born players with developmental roots in the U.S., including Kyle Connor (University of Michigan/USHL), Thatcher Demko (Boston College/USHL) and Jimmy Vesey (Harvard University/EJHL).
STAFF NOTES: Jerry York, head coach at Boston College, served as head coach of the 1995 U.S. Select Team that competed in the Kitimat Cup. Additionally, the all-time winningest men’s college hockey coach was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy, presented for outstanding service to hockey in the United States, in October 2010 … Jim Montgomery, head coach at the University of Denver, served as general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints for three seasons. An Anderson Cup Champion (2013) and two-time Clark Cup Champion (2011, 2013), Montgomery was twice named USHL General Manger of the Year (2011, 2013) … Mike Ayers, assistant coach at Boston College, previously served as goaltending coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (2011-13) where he helped the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team claim a gold medal in 2012 and a silver medal in 2013. Additionally, he served as an assistant coach on the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team and earned USA Hockey College Player of the Year honors in 2003 … Greg Brown, associate head coach at Boston College, skated on two U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Teams (1988, 1992) and served as an assistant coach for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team … Marty McInnis, assistant coach at Boston College, was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and a three-time member of the U.S. Men’s National Team (1991, 1996, 1997) … David Tenzer, director of hockey operations at University of Denver, previously served as USA Hockey Coaching Coordinator for the State of Colorado from 1999-2001 … Matt Shaw, assistant coach at University of North Dakota, served as general manager and head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints for two seasons (2013-15). In addition to coaching Frozen Four and former Fighting Saints players JD Dudek (Boston College), Dylan Gambrell (Denver), Blake Hillman (Denver), he also coached his son Hayden Shaw, who skates for North Dakota … Bill Riga, associate head coach at Quinnipiac, previously served as head coach of the EJHL’s Boston Jr. Bruins from 1996-2003.