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[Live]@!! Minnesota-Duluth vs Massachusetts Live: Stream College Hockey Online
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The two-time reigning national champion Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs face-off with the 2019 national runner-up UMass Minutemen in the 2021 Frozen Four national semifinals on Thursday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The game starts at 9 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2. But if you don’t have cable, here are several different ways you can watch a live stream of Minnesota Duluth vs UMass online for free.
Greg Carvel always envisioned his UMass program to be a heavy, defensive-minded hard-to-play-against team. But when the Minutemen got to the Frozen Four in 2019 with a roster loaded with underclassmen they were still trying to reach that point.
In the championship game, they lost to a Minnesota Duluth team that was already there. Two years later, the Minutemen are two years further along. They’ll play the Bulldogs again Thursday at 9 p.m. in Pittsburgh in the national semifinals of the Frozen Four.
First and foremost, the game is obviously for a chance to play in Saturday’s championship. But because the Minutemen are playing Duluth, it’s also a measurement of their progress.
“It will be fun to see Duluth again to see where we’re at two years later. They’re still the standard-bearer,” said Carvel who thought his team had matured physically and mentally since the meeting two years ago. “That team was mostly freshmen and sophomores. We were young and inexperienced. When we stepped into that game with Duluth. We felt their experience. We felt their size and how stifling they were defensively. We’ve had two years to continue to mold ourselves like that.”
“Our identity as a team is similar to that of Duluth. We have total respect for Duluth. They continue to be the top team in the country,” Carvel said. “We’re just happy for a chance to play them again and see where we stand two years later.”
The Minutemen will be without four players who are in COVID-19 protocols. In addition to goalies Filip Lindberg and Henry Graham, they’ll miss senior forwards Carson Gicewicz and Jerry Harding, whose absence will take away from UMass’ physicality.
“That hard part about the losses is the two players are our two biggest bodies. Gicewicz is 6-foot-3 and Harding is 6-foot-2 and he’s as thick as he is tall,” Carvel said. “We lose some of our heaviness there. … We have a great opportunity. I know people think we’re shorthanded. We lost a couple good players for this game, but that’s all right. We like our depth. The next guys will step in and carry on and play the way we want to play.”
Helping to counteract the losses of Gicewicz and Harding will be the return of both Cal Kiefiuk and Eric Faith who have been out with undisclosed injuries since Feb. 26 and March 5 respectively.
“They’re coming back off of long-term injury and haven’t in a while. We practice in a certain way so that hopefully games aren’t any different,” Carvel said. “They’re sophomores They’ve not played on this stage, but they know what’s expected of them. It’s up to them to rise to the occasion.”
Bobby Trivigno said the players who’ll be on the ice will be playing for those stuck at home.
“We’re really grateful that we got the opportunity to come here. We’re not going to squander it,” he said. “The boys back home are going to be rooting for us. We’re going to get the job done for them.”
The Bulldogs are trying to win their third straight national championship after beating UMass, 3-0 in the national final in 2019. This is their fourth straight Frozen Four.
Duluth was 15-10-2 this season and earned a spot in the Frozen Four after edging No. 1 overall seed North Dakota in five overtimes in the West Regional final.
FANS IN THE STANDS – For the first time this season, UMass will play in front of a crowd. There were some friends and family allowed in the Bridgeport Regional, but on Thursday at PPG Paints Arena, there will be approximately over 4,500 people in attendance.
When the UMass hockey team gets to the 2021 Frozen Four, a familiar foe will await them.
The Minutemen will face Minnesota Duluth, the same team that beat them in the 2019 national championshp game, in the semifinals on April 8 at either 5 or 9 p.m. Duluth advanced Saturday (Sunday techically) after beating North Dakota, 3-2, in five overtimes, the longest game in NCAA Tournament history.
There will be fans allowed at the Frozen Four in a limited capacity. A small number of tickets are currently available through TicketMaster.
After beating Bemidji State, 4-0 to advance easily, the UMass hockey team had plenty of time to travel back to Amherst from Bridgeport, Connecticut and get comfortable before learning who they were going to play. They knew it would either be the No. 1 team in the nation in North Dakota or the two-time defending national champions in Minnesota Duluth (2018 and 2019, there was no tournament in 2020).
But the Fighting Hawks and Bulldogs played deep into the night and into Sunday morning. Minnesota-Duluth finally prevailed in the fifth overtime. After neither team scored in the first two periods, Duluth jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third, forcing the Fighting Hawks to pull their goalie. North Dakota scored twice in the final 1:31 to earn overtime.
Duluth appeared to have the game won in the first overtime period as the team flooded onto the ice in celebration. But replay showed the Bulldogs forward was offsides heading into the zone and the goal was disallowed. They finally got to celebrate in period No. 8.
Duluth was ranked No. 9 in the final USCHO.com top 20 that came out on March. 20.
If UMass coach Greg Carvel wanted a chance to avenge his team’s title loss to Duluth, he wasn’t about to admit it. During his postgame video conference, long before he knew his opponent, he was asked which team he’d rather face.
“You know better than to ask those questions. Can’t answer that,” Carvel said smiling.