The host is crashing the party for regional No. 1 seeds at the 2017 NCAA men’s Frozen Four.
Notre Dame, the No. 4 seed in the Northeast Regional and the host school at the United Center, is the only team bound for Chicago that wasn’t a top seed in a regional.
Still, with Denver, Minnesota Duluth and Harvard qualifying for the NCAA semifinals, three top seeds at the regional level are in the Frozen Four for the fifth time in 15 seasons of a 16-team tournament.
Minnesota Duluth and Harvard will play in the 5 p.m. CDT semifinal on Thursday, April 6. Denver and Notre Dame are scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
The semifinal winners meet at 7 p.m. CDT on Saturday, April 8.
Minnesota Duluth (27-6-7) and Harvard (28-5-2) have some similarities going into their national semifinal game.
Both are on lengthy winning streaks — 16 games for the Crimson, seven games for the Bulldogs.
Both have won one national championship, and both came in overtime in St. Paul, Minn. The Crimson beat Minnesota in 1989; the Bulldogs beat Michigan in 2011.
Both won their state or city championship this season — the Beanpot for Harvard and the North Star College Cup for Minnesota Duluth.
And both won their conference playoff championship.
The Bulldogs are making their fifth Frozen Four appearance and first since the 2011 championship.
They advanced with overtime victories over Ohio State and Boston University in the West Regional in Fargo, N.D.
The Crimson are going to the Frozen Four for the 10th time but the first in 23 years. They toppled Providence and Air Force in the East Regional in Providence, R.I.
Minnesota Duluth has a 9-4 record against Harvard, but the teams haven’t played since December 1996.
The Bulldogs swept an NCAA first-round, total-goals series against the Crimson in 1985, winning a pair of 4-2 games in Duluth.
Denver leads its series against Notre Dame 35-10-5, with the teams playing to 1-1 and 2-2 ties in Denver in January 2016.
The Pioneers and Irish were conference foes in the WCHA from 1971 to 1981, when Notre Dame left for the CCHA.
The Fighting Irish (23-11-5) lost to UMass Lowell 5-1 in the Hockey East semifinals on March 17, but they got revenge on Sunday. A 3-2 overtime victory over the River Hawks in the Northeast Regional final followed a 3-2 victory over regional top seed Minnesota in the opening round.
Notre Dame is the eighth regional No. 4 seed to make the Frozen Four in 15 seasons since the tournament expanded to 16 teams. Providence (2015) and Yale (2013) won the national championship as a fourth seed.
It’s the third Frozen Four appearance for the Irish, who fell to Boston College in the 2008 championship game and lost to Minnesota Duluth in the 2011 semifinals.
Denver, meanwhile, has the most Frozen Four experience of the four programs. The Pioneers (31-7-4) are in the national semifinals for the 15th time (16, if you count a 1973 runner-up finish that the NCAA later vacated for infractions).
And it’s a second straight national semifinals appearance for Denver, which lost to North Dakota in Tampa, Fla., last season.
The Pioneers have lost just once in their last 17 games, that being a semifinal defeat to the Fighting Hawks in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff. They defeated Michigan Tech and Penn State in the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati.