NCAA DI Men's Hockey

Frozen Four Predictions: NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament Semifinals

Frozen Four Predictions: NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament Semifinals

College hockey analyst Chris Peters offers his predictions for the 2024 NCAA men's hockey tournament Frozen Four semifinals.

Apr 10, 2024 by Chris Peters

The countdown is on to the final weekend of the season as the 2024 Men's Frozen Four is just about to drop the puck. No. 1 Boston College, No. 2 Boston University, No. 3 Denver and Michigan will all be vying for the national championship in a season for the ages.

As the Frozen Four heads towards the ultimate prize, longtime college hockey analyst Chris Peters delivers his predictions for the 2024 NCAA men’s hockey tournament semifinals.

Denver Vs. Boston University Frozen Four Predictions

Boston University 4, Denver 3

This is a great matchup on paper with both teams evenly matched. There's a good amount of experience for Denver, which won the national championship in 2022 and there's a lot of BU Terriers that were in this same position last year who want to do move beyond the semis this time. Both of these teams also have tremendously skilled blue lines and a potent offensive attack that has a couple of clear drivers.

This game very well could come down to the stars of each team and both teams have a number of players that can step up in the biggest moments. Macklin Celebrini, BU's Hobey Baker finalist and the projected No. 1 pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, has been doing it all year -- scoring big goals, making big plays and at times taking over shifts or games. Lane Hutson, the team's star defenseman and Montreal Canadiens prospect, has also been one to come up in big moments for this team throughout his two-year career as a Terrier.

Denver has no shortage of stars, either. NHL Draft-eligible Zeev Buium plays big minutes and is one of the top producing freshman blueliners in decades. His ability to create offense from the blue line will present challenges to BU. Junior forward Jack Devine, who was part of the 2022 national championship team, is one of the top goal scorers in the NCAA this season and can score from just about anywhere. The Pioneers also showed that they have players that can step up for them even if the top stars aren't producing as the likes of Miko Matikka (ARI) and Tristan Broz (PIT) showed in the regionals. Meanwhile, Denver may have the advantage in net as junior netminder Matt Davis was the Springfield Regional's most outstanding player with his dominant efforts over DU's two wins. What will be interesting to watch for Denver is if Massimo Rizzo (PHI), who has been out for months now, will be healthy enough to contribute in the national semifinals.

No matter how you slice it, you've got two outstanding teams with no shortage of firepower. I think we're going to see our share of goals in this contest with a lot of scoring chances on both sides. I think Denver has the depth advantage between the two teams, but to me, Celebrini and Hutson can make all the difference with their game-breaking skill in a very tight matchup.

Michigan Vs. Boston College Frozen Four Predictions

Boston College 5, Michigan 3

What a fun matchup this is if you love skilled hockey. The Frozen Four actually has the four highest-scoring teams in the country playing for the title, which makes for some fun games. This one in particular, however, could have a lot of fireworks. 

BC boasts four of the top six scorers in college hockey including Hobey Baker finalist Cutter Gauthier (ANA), who leads the NCAA with 37 goals. The Eagles also have the top-scoring line in the country with NCAA leading scorer Will Smith (SJS), 30-goal scorer Ryan Leonard (WSH) and one of the tops in points per game in Gabe Perreault (NYR).

Michigan will counter with a group that includes Big Ten player of the year Gavin Brindley (CBJ) and Winnipeg Jets first-rounder Rutger McGroarty, both of whom eclipsed 50 points this season. The Wolverines also have one of the nation's most dynamic defensemen in Seamus Casey (NJD) who can produce from the back end.

To me, this matchup is going to come down to goaltending. With all due respect to Jake Barczewski, who was excellent in the regionals, Boston College's Jacob Fowler (MTL) ranks fifth in the NCAA with a .924 save percentage. He also broke the NCAA record for wins by a freshman goalie with 31. He also is only a year removed from leading the Youngstown Phantoms to the Clark Cup in the USHL as a proven winner in the toughest part of the season. Michigan is going to test him, but I believe Fowler will be the difference in this battle of highly-skilled, high-scoring squads.

Frozen Four 2024 National Championship Game Predictions

The two teams I'm predicting to reach the 2024 NCAA Men's Frozen Four National Championship are: 

  • Boston College
  • Boston University

Frozen Four 2024 Schedule

Here is the schedule: 

Frozen Four 2024 National Semifinals:

Thursday, April 11:

  • 5:00 p.m. ET - Denver vs. Boston University at Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, MN (ESPN2/ ESPN+)
  • 8:30 p.m. ET - Michigan vs. Boston College at Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, MN (ESPN2/ ESPN+).

Frozen Four 2024 National Championship Game

Saturday, April 13:

  • 6:00 p.m. ET - National Championship at Xcel Energy Center | St. Paul, MN (ESPN2/ ESPN+).

Where To Watch The 2024 NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament

ESPN's family of networks is the broadcast home for the 2024 NCAA men's hockey tournament. Regional games will primarily air on ESPNU and ESPNEWS with select games airing on ESPN2. All games will also stream exclusively on ESPN+.

NCAA Hockey Tournament Locations 2024

The 2024 NCAA Men’s Hockey semifinals, or the Frozen Four, will be played Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.

The 2024 NCAA Men's Hockey National Championship will also take place at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.

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