Here’s a look inside the numbers at the 16 teams in the field for the 2015 NCAA tournament:
The Harvard Crimson have lost only once since Feb. 28, falling in one game of a best-of-three series against Yale in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. The Crimson are riding a surge of momentum with a return to health for Alex Kerfoot, Patrick McNally and Colin Blackwell, averaging 3.75 goals per game during that run.
The Miami RedHawks have only two conference tournament titles in program history, including the NCHC championship hauled in last Saturday. But that’s hardly a relevant number for the RedHawks, who are appearing in their 10th NCAA tournament in the last 12 years. They’ll face Providence for the 12th time in program history on Saturday, but Saturday’s game will be the first meeting in the postseason between the two.
Minnesota State has reached three consecutive NCAA tournaments, and this is only the fourth appearance overall in program history. The Mavericks enter the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed and look for their first Frozen Four appearance in school history. They won the Division II national championship in 1980, but since moving to Division I have not won an NCAA tournament game.
Five Quinnipiac Bobcats players were named all-ECAC Hockey selections last week. Among them is Matthew Peca, who scored a natural hat trick in four elapsed minutes in the 2013 East Regional, and Landon Smith, an all-rookie selection, marking the third time in four years Quinnipiac has landed a player on the all-conference rookie team.
Minnesota-Duluth’s Alex Iafallo has missed six consecutive games due to a case of mononucleosis. Even with his illness, Iafallo has the second-most points on the team this season. But in this recent six-game span, the Bulldogs have just one win and were swept out of the NCHC tournament by Denver in the quarterfinals. Before Iafallo’s illness, Duluth was 19-11-1.
Yale’s Alex Lyon has seven shutouts this season, one of three categories in which he leads the nation. His GAA (1.58) and save percentage (.939) are the other two. One more shutout would give Lyon the most in a single season since 2009, when Jordan Pearce recorded eight for Notre Dame.
Rochester Institute of Technology’s goaltending tandem of Mike Rotolo and Jordan Ruby has only allowed 10 goals during the Tigers’ seven-game winning streak entering the tournament. Rotolo started the first three games, Ruby the last four. Together, they’ve guided RIT through the full season, giving the Tigers the second-best penalty kill of all teams in the tournament, behind only the aforementioned Yale Bulldogs.
Jonny Brodzinski has scored 11 power-play goals this season for St. Cloud State, most in the nation. All the more impressive considering that, until facing Miami in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship, he hadn’t scored on the power play since Jan. 31. And outside of a two-goal performance against Denver to finish the regular season, he hadn’t scored at all since the end of January.
This will be Providence’s 12th game all-time at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, the first since 2004. The Friars won the 1985 Hockey East championship at what was then called the Providence Civic Center but haven’t played a postseason game in that building since 1986.
North Dakota has reached the NCAA tournament for 13 consecutive years. And yet, during this span, the boys in green have no national championships to their name, having won the title last in 2000. Tantalizingly close to the title game last year, they’ll have plenty of fans anticipating a return trip to the Frozen Four when they begin their tournament in Fargo, N.D., this weekend.
At the start of the season, Omaha had 18 underclassmen on its roster. And they’ve been incredibly important for Omaha’s success this year. The top seven scorers for the Mavericks are all underclassmen, with freshmen (32) and sophomores (49) accounting for 81 of the team’s 96 goals this season.
Minnesota’s power-play conversion rate stands at 28.2 percent, best in the nation. Minnesota State (48) owns the highest volume of power-play goals, but the Golden Gophers have scored their 40 power-play tallies on just 142 opportunities, 55 fewer tries than the Mavericks have needed.
It’s been 34 years since Michigan Tech last made the NCAA tournament, back in 1981. Not only have the Huskies reached the NCAA tournament, they’ve entered as a No. 2 seed and as one of the hottest teams in the country, with only two losses in their last 15 games.
Boston University’s Evan Rodrigues has scored 41 points since Jan. 1, the most in college hockey in the calendar year 2015. Although perhaps overshadowed by his rookie teammate (and likely Hobey Baker Award winner) Jack Eichel, Rodrigues is just as important to the Terriers’ run to the Hockey East title. Coupled with Danny O’Regan, the trio forms one of the most potent lines in the country.
Denver has scored 42 goals in a 10-game span since Feb. 20, tied with Miami for most in the nation, just behind Boston University (4.33) for the highest per-game mark. Trevor Moore and Danton Heinen have combined for 12 goals during the run, but Denver’s scoring depth has been throughout the lineup — neither of the two scored a goal in the Pioneers’ 5-1 rout over North Dakota in the NCHC third-place game.
Boston College has won 103 games over the last four seasons, just two behind Minnesota (105) for the most in college hockey during that span. The Eagles won the 2012 national championship but haven’t won a conference tournament in the three years since. They’ll face Denver in the opening round of the tournament for the second consecutive year.
And a bonus 17th number:
The number of combined national championships for this year’s 16 tournament participants, owned by nine programs: Denver (7), North Dakota (7), Boston University (5), Boston College (5), Minnesota (5), Michigan Tech (3), Harvard (1), Minnesota-Duluth (1) and Yale (1).