Western Michigan hockey will face Air Force in NCAA tournament opener

Daniel Mick

Minnesota Duluth was the only other in-state team to make the 16-team field, receiving the No. 1 seed in the Fargo regional, where the University of North Dakota will also participate and act as host.

The Notre Dame men's hockey team is headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. The victory was the 11th in 12 games for Lowell (26-10-3), which is making its eighth NCAA appearance as a Division I program. The winners of those two games will then face off on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Cornell received the No. 3 seed in the Northeast Regional and will play Hockey East champion UMass Lowell, which is the No. 2 seed, at noon Saturday in the first round at SNHU Arena in Manchester, N.H. The game will be broadcast by ESPN3 and the WatchESPN mobile app.

Top-ranked Denver (29-7-4) is the tourney's No. 1 overall seed and was placed in the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati. The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. After a quarterfinal sweep of Providence, Notre Dame lost to UMass Lowell in the semifinals.

This is the 37th time in school history the Gophers have made it to the NCAA tournament - a new national record.

UND is 21-15-3 this season and advanced to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship game, where it lost 4-3 to Minnesota Duluth on Saturday in Minneapolis.

The victor of that game will play either Union or Penn State in the regional final on March 26. In the 16-team field, the Crimson is joined by two fellow ECAC squads, No. 6/6 Union and the Big Red.

Notre Dame has reached the NCAA championship once, losing in the 2008 championship game to Boston College, 4-1, in Denver.

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