Minnesota grabs No. 1 overall seed in men's hockey tournament

Led by NHL prospects such as Logan Cooley, Matthew Knies and Jimmy Snuggerud, Minnesota will enter the NCAA Division I men's national tournament as the No. 1 overall seed.

Minnesota (26-9-1) is seeking its sixth national title and the first since 2003. Two-time national runner-up Quinnipiac, along with a pair of nine-time national champions in Michigan and Denver -- which won last season's national title -- were also named No. 1 seeds in their respective regionals.

"We've got some guys who've been through a couple battles," Golden Gophers coach Bob Motzko said during the selection show broadcast on ESPN. "The seniors didn't get an opportunity during COVID, but the last two years our guys have been through these battles. It doesn't matter if you're a 1-seed or a 4-seed. History has proven that."

Cooley, Knies and Snuggerud are part of a Minnesota roster that has more than a dozen NHL draft picks. The team will open against Canisius (20-18-3) at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday in the Fargo Regional at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D.

The first game of the Fargo Regional will see St. Cloud State (24-12-3) face in-state rival Minnesota State (25-12-1) on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Fargo Regional championship will be held Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

National No. 2 seed Quinnipiac (30-4-3) and its star sophomore goaltender, Yaniv Perets, are seeking the first national championship in program history. Perets, a 30-game winner, and Quinnipiac will not be far from campus as they will open the Bridgeport Regional against Merrimack (23-13-1) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Harvard (24-7-2) and Ohio State (20-15-3) will open the Bridgeport Regional with their game set for a 2 p.m. Friday puck drop. The Bridgeport Regional championship will take place Sunday at 4 p.m.

Michigan (24-11-3), the No. 3 national seed, enters the tournament with nearly a dozen NHL draft picks. One of its most prominent players, freshman center Adam Fantilli, is expected to be the No. 2 pick in this summer's upcoming NHL draft. The chase for a 10th national title and the first since 1998 will start Friday at 8:30 p.m. when Michigan plays Colgate (19-15-5) in the Allentown Regional at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

That region's first game starts Friday at 5 p.m. when Penn State (21-15-1) hosts Michigan Tech (24-10-4). The Allentown Regional championship will be played Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

Defending national champion Denver (30-9-0), the No. 4 national seed, is seeking to win consecutive titles for the first time since 2005 and for the fourth time in its illustrious history. Like Michigan and Minnesota, Denver is another team with more than 10 NHL draft picks on its roster. Those top players include Carter Mazur and Massimo Rizzo.

Denver will open its title defense Thursday when it plays Cornell (20-10-2) in the Manchester Regional at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. Boston University (27-10-0) and Western Michigan (23-14-1) will open the Manchester Regional on Friday at 2 p.m., with the Manchester Regional championship game slated for Saturday at 4 p.m.

The teams that win those respective regionals will punch their tickets to the Frozen Four at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. While the order of games is yet to be determined, one would start Thursday, April 6, at 5 p.m., with the second slated for 8:30 p.m.

The Fargo Regional champion will play the Manchester Regional champion and the Bridgeport Regional champion will take on Allentown Regional champion.

The winners of those games will then play each other Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. ET to decide the national championship.