BU Coach Jack Parker talks about playing UofM at the X
By Brandon Mileski
The University of Minnesota men's hockey team will play in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008 when they face Boston University this Saturday, March 24 at 4:00pm at Xcel Energy Center in the West Regional. The Gophers, winners of the WCHA regular season title, received the #2 seed in the West Region while BU, who finished tied for 2nd in the Hockey East Conference, received the #3 seed.
It will be a home-ice advantage for the Gophers as Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul is the host for the West Regional. The X is expected to be filled with fans wearing maroon and gold, but BU coach Jack Parker doesn't necessarily think that's an advantage for the Gophers.
"I think they have a home field advantage so to speak," said Parker. "But sometimes that's not the best thing either. There's a little pressure on you."
Maybe even more pressure after the way the Gophers collapsed in their last appearance in St. Paul. The 'U' blew a 3-0 lead to North Dakota Friday night at the X in the WCHA Final Five semifinals, as UND stormed back with six unanswered goal to claim the victory.
"We were disappointed in our game and they were probably more disappointed in how they played Friday night," said Parker. "They probably have a bad taste in their mouth and probably want to take it out on us."
Parker is not concerned about traveling to Minnesota in front of a potentially hostile crowd.
"It's almost like playing a Frozen Four in that building with that crowd. We've been a really good road team so far this season, so hopefully that's continue."
The winner of Minnesota-Boston University will face the winner of North Dakota-Western Michigan on Sunday for a trip to the Frozen Four.
For programming notes, see below.
FOX SPORTS NORTH TO TELEVISE FIRST ROUND OF
NCAA MEN’S HOCKEY TOURNAMENT THIS WEEKEND
North Dakota vs. Western Michigan on FOX Sports North
Minnesota vs. Boston University on FOX Sports North PLUS
Minnesota-Duluth vs. Maine on FOX Sports North PLUS
FOX Sports North today announced plans to televise the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Tournament live on Saturday, March 24.
The University of North Dakota vs. Western Michigan University game from Xcel Energy Center will be televised live on FOX Sports North beginning at 12:30 p.m.
The University of Minnesota vs. Boston University game from Xcel Energy Center will be televised live on FOX Sports North PLUS beginning at 3:30 p.m. with Gophers Live presented by Century Link.
The University of Minnesota-Duluth vs. University of Maine game from Worcester, MA will be televised live on FOX Sports North PLUS beginning at 6:30 p.m.