NCAA DI Men's Hockey

Which College Hockey Teams Have The Most Frozen Four Appearances?

Which College Hockey Teams Have The Most Frozen Four Appearances?

Which schools have made the most trips to the Men's and Women's Frozen Fours? Which programs have had the most success? FloHockey has the answers.

Aug 31, 2023 by Ryan Sikes

Much like the Final Four in NCAA Basketball, the Frozen Four is a significant moment in the NCAA hockey season. It represents the four teams left standing in single-elimination rounds from a field of 16 to win their respective regions.

Officially branded as the “Frozen Four” for men’s hockey in the 1999-2000 season and women’s hockey in the 2000-01 season, fans of each team begin envisioning various scenarios for who their team might play in the National Championship game.

Some teams have a rich history of repeat attendance in the Frozen Four, while others have yet to appear in the rebranded version of the semifinals.

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Here’s the breakdown of which teams have made the most appearances in the Frozen Four.

The University of Michigan Has Made Most Men's Frozen Four Appearances

The University of Michigan men’s hockey program leads the NCAA in Frozen Four appearances, first making the trip to the semifinals in 1948 en route to claiming their first National Championship. In all, they’ve played in the Men’s Frozen Four a record 27 times. The Wolverines have won nine national championships, tying the University of Denver for most NCAA titles in men's hockey.

Between 1948 and 1957, the Wolverines made the Frozen Four in all 10 seasons, claiming six National Championships and a runner-up finish in 1957.

Michigan went four seasons without qualifying for postseason play before returning to the Frozen Four in 1962 and again in 1964, claiming their seventh National Championship in the latter season.

Between 1965 and 1990, Michigan qualified for the postseason just once, making the Frozen Four and finishing runner-up in 1977. 

The Wolverines’ last National Championship came in 1998 and they finished as the runner-up in 2011. They’ve earned trips to the semi-finals eight times since then, including in both 2022 and 2023.

Here’s the complete list of men’s hockey programs that have appeared in the Frozen Four more than once.

    Michigan 27

    Boston College 25

    Boston University, Minnesota 23

    North Dakota 22

    Denver 18

    Harvard 13

    Maine, Michigan State, Wisconsin 11

    Colorado College, Michigan Tech 10

    St. Lawrence 9

    Cornell, Minnesota-Duluth 8

    Clarkson, New Hampshire 7

    Providence, RPI 5

    Dartmouth, Lake Superior State, Notre Dame 4

    Brown, Northern Michigan, Quinnipiac 3

    Bowling Green, UMass, Miami (Ohio), Minnesota State, Ohio State, St. Cloud State, Union, Vermont, Yale 2

Denver's Run Of Frozen Four Appearances, National Titles

Between 1958 and 1973, the University of Denver made a run of 11 Frozen Four appearances in 16 seasons, claiming five national championships over that span and three runner-up finishes. The Pioneers have tacked on four more national titles since that incredible run, tying Michigan for most NCAA titles in men's hockey.

Over the 30 seasons following their incredible streak, Denver made the Frozen Four just once (1986) along with three quarterfinals and one first-round appearance. 

Under head coach George Gwozdecky, the Pioneers advanced to the Frozen Four in 2004 and 2005, capturing its sixth and seventh championships.

Since then, DU has secured Frozen Four bids four times, reclaiming two more national championships in 2017 and 2022, with the latter coming under 32-year-old head coach David Carle, who became the fourth-youngest coach in history to win a Division I national title.

The University of Minnesota Has Had Most Women's Frozen Four Appearances

Since the NCAA championship tournament was introduced for women’s ice hockey in 2001, the University of Minnesota has been a regular in the Frozen Four, making a program-leading 15 appearances in 23 seasons.

The Gophers first made a trip to the Frozen Four in 2002, beginning a run of five consecutive appearances, claiming their first and second national championships along the way.

Between 2009 and 2017, Minnesota advanced to the Frozen Four in all but one season (2011), capturing four more national titles and finishing as the runner-up in 2014.

The Gophers, again, finished runner-up in 2019 and returned to the Frozen Four in 2023, before falling to the eventual national champion Wisconsin Badgers.

Here’s the list of women’s hockey programs that have appeared in the Frozen Four more than once.

    Minnesota 15

    Wisconsin 14

    Minnesota-Duluth 9

    Boston College 7

    Harvard 6

    Clarkson 5

    St. Lawrence 5

    Ohio State, Mercyhurst, Cornell, Dartmouth 4

    Northeastern 3

    Boston University, New Hampshire 2 

The University Of Wisconsin Has The Most NCAA Titles In Women's Hockey

The University of Wisconsin has long been a powerhouse on the women's hockey scene and they have the hardware to prove it. Though the Badgers have the second-most Frozen Four appearances, they recently edged Minnesota with their record seventh national title in 2023.

Since 2002, the program has been under the direction of head coach Mark Johnson, a former NHL player and member of the 1980 Miracle on Ice U.S. Olympic Team. All seven of their championships have come under Johnson, who continued a tradition of coaching excellence first paved by his father "Badger" Bob Johnson. 

Wisconsin started their championship success with back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. The Badgers have also claimed national titles in 2009, 2011, 2019, 2021 and 2023.

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Ohio State’s Rise To National Power Status

Through the program’s first 17 seasons of existence, the Ohio State women’s hockey team has been knocking on the door to become a household name.

Under head coach Nadine Muzerall, hired prior to the 2016-17 season, the Buckeyes have made the NCAA tournament in five out of the last seven seasons, including the last four straight.

Ohio State made their first Frozen Four appearance during the 2017-18 season, collecting a 24-11-4 record and the most wins in program history at the time.

The Buckeyes made a return trip to the semi-finals in 2021, a start of three consecutive appearances, culminating with the program’s first national championship in 2022.

Ohio State advanced to back-to-back national championship games in 2023 behind a program-record 33 wins. However, the Buckeyes fell to Wisconsin.

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