The conference postseason is finally over, the selection show was thankfully brief, and the NCAA Tournament field is officially set. Penn State will make its second appearance in hockey's iteration of the Big Dance and Denver is its opponent for the first round. Denver, of course, knocked Penn State out of the tournament last season en route to its eighth national championship, but Penn State has the advantage of this being a quasi-home game in Allentown, Pa.
Let’s go to the Midwest Regional where we will have four teams living here in Allentown for the weekend! pic.twitter.com/KFT6G9CF4S— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 18, 2018
Penn State's first appearance in the tournament last season started with a 10-3 demolition of Union before it lost to Denver 6-3. My knee-jerk reaction is this regional might be a little easier than last year's, and the Nittany Lions have a chance to reach their first Frozen Four. We'll have more in-depth previews later this week.
Big Ten runner-up Ohio State will play Princeton in the other first-round game of the regional. Notre Dame and Michigan are the conference's other representatives in two other regionals.
Game one will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 on ESPN3. Ohio State's game is earlier that afternoon, and the regional final is the following day.