College Hockey Tournament

Sixteen college teams playing eight games. The winner advances, the loser goes home. Passionate fans follow each game, hoping that their team will make it all the way to the... Frozen Four?

Basketball isn't the only college sport that holds a championship tournament in March. College hockey teams work just as hard to make it to the Tournament and to the National Semifinals, called the Frozen Four. While the Frozen Four doesn't get as much attention as the basketball championships, it is just as important to the teams that are trying to get there.

This year's College Hockey Tournament starts today and the first round lasts through the weekend. Boston University, which has a 23-5-2 record this year, is the top-ranked team in the Tournament. Other top teams to watch are Notre Dame, University of Michigan and the University of Denver.

College hockey is a fun sport to watch because you get to see a lot of different schools. Colleges that have strong hockey programs are sometimes different than the schools that are strong in football and basketball. Take a look at the Boston University Terriers. They don't have a football team and their basketball team didn't make the NCAA Tournament, but in hockey they are number one. Three Ivy League schools, Yale, Cornell and Princeton, are in the Hockey Tournament. These schools have great athletic traditions, but usually don't compete for national championships in football and basketball. But in hockey these schools are in the Tournament and have a good chance of reaching the Frozen Four.

The Tournament also features Bemidji State, which is a small school in northern Minnesota. The Bemidji State Beavers, who reached the Tournament by winning the College Hockey America Conference Championship, will match up against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first round. Notre Dame is one of the most famous teams in the nation, partly because their athletic program is so powerful. In football or basketball, Bemidji State would almost certainly never play the Irish. But in hockey, the schools are evenly matched.

Not only does the College Hockey Tournament give hockey fans some thrilling games, it also provides an opportunity to learn about some new colleges.

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