(Photo Credit: Brody Hannon/BC Athletics)

By Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis

One of the best weekends in college hockey is upon us as the Frozen Four gets underway tonight in St. Paul, MN. New Englanders will have a rooting interest in tonight’s games as Boston University takes on Denver and Boston College squares off against Michigan. The Bruins are well-represented in this year’s tournament, with three prospects lacing up their skates in college hockey’s biggest tournament. Here’s everything you need to know:

Boston University vs. Denver

Where to Watch: 5:00 pm on ESPN2

BU: 28-9-2, 13 NHL draft picks

Denver: 30-9-3, 12 draft picks

The Terriers and Pioneers come into this matchup boasting two of the best offenses in college hockey, with Denver ranked first in goals per game (4.71) and BU ranked fourth (4.15). The Terriers earned their way to the Frozen Four after a pair of 6-3 victories over RIT and Minnesota. The Pioneers prevailed 2-1 against UMass after a double-overtime slog in round one and edged out Cornell 2-1 in round two.

All eyes will be on BU freshman Macklin Celebrini (32-32-64), who, at 17, is a Hobey Baker nominee and ranks 25th all-time in single-season freshman scoring. Celebrini is the projected number-one overall pick in the NHL Draft and will be instrumental in the Terriers’ pursuit of a National Championship.

On BU’s backend, electric defenseman and Montreal Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson (15-34-49) is another player fans should look out for. He’s dangerous whenever he has the puck on his stick and is as good a passer as there is in this tournament. When you couple his vision with his elite skating, you will have one of the best prospects in college hockey.

The biggest story coming out of St. Paul might be the return of Denver center Massimo Rizzo (10-34-44) to the lineup for the first time since February 3rd. Rizzo will provide an offensive boost to a Pioneers squad that has had to grind out two close wins against tough defensive opponents.

The return of Rizzo may also inject some life into the game of leading scorer Jack Devine (27-29-56), who has been goalless in his last five games. Devine leads the charge up front, and Zeev Buium (11-38-49) anchors the defensive corps. Buium is another highly-touted draft prospect whose dynamic skating and skill with the puck make him a threat whenever he steps on the ice.

Bruins Angle:

The only Bruins prospect suiting up in this game is BU defenseman Ty Gallagher (0-5-5). After a promising first year, Gallagher has taken a step back this season, often being relegated to the role of seventh defenseman. Gallagher had two assists in his team’s quarterfinals victory over Minnesota and, when given the opportunity, has shown that he’s a capable defender with the ability to generate offense from the blue line.


Cornell and UMass gave BU the book on Denver, and although the return of Rizzo will help the Pioneers’ offensive woes, they still won’t be able to slow down BU’s attack. The Terriers take this one 5-3 and advance to the National Championship.

Boston College vs. Michigan

Where to Watch: 8:30 pm on ESPN2

BC: 33-5-1, 14 draft picks

Michigan: 23-14-3, 10 draft picks

The number one overall Boston College Eagles eked their way into the Frozen Four after drubbing Michigan Tech 6-1 in the first round and squeaking by last year’s National Champion Quinnipiac in overtime in the quarterfinals. The Michigan Wolverines topped North Dakota 4-3 in their opening-round contest and vanquished rival Michigan State 5-2 to advance to the Frozen Four. BC boasts a top-five ranking in scoring offense, scoring defense, penalty-killing percentage, powerplay percentage, and scoring margin. Michigan makes its living on the offensive side of the puck, ranking third in the nation in scoring offense and first in powerplay percentage.

The Eagles are loaded with talent, and it starts up front with their all-freshman line of Will Smith (23-46-69), Ryan Leonard (31-28-59), and Gabe Perrault (18-39-57). The trio were all first-round picks in the 2023 NHL Draft and have combined to be one of the most dangerous and productive lines in college hockey history.

BC also has a Hobey Baker nominee, and he’s their second-line center. Cutter Gauthier leads the NCAA with 37 goals and has one of the best releases I’ve ever seen. He’s a dynamo on the powerplay and can take over games when called upon. Gauthier and company are offensive juggernauts and have been NCAA front-runners the entire season.

The Wolverines are one of the few teams in the NCAA that can match BC’s offensive potential. They have six players with over 15 goals and are headlined by Rutger McGroarty (16-36-52) and Gavin Brindley (25-28-53). Both players have been leading the charge for Michigan this season and will be looking to burst out of their small offensive slumps to start the tournament.

One Wolverine who isn’t slumping is junior forward Dylan Duke (26-23-49), who has four goals and one assist across the first two games of the NCAA tournament. Duke must continue his hot streak and help spark his struggling teammates if the Wolverines want a chance at upsetting the Eagles.

Bruins Angle:

Boston College has two Bruins prospects that flank Cutter Gauthier on the team’s second line. Oskar Jellvik (13-29-42) is a skilled, speedy winger with a goal and four assists across his first two tournament games. He’s an excellent passer with great vision and an underrated shot. Look for him to be involved in at least a few Eagle goals in tonight’s game.

Andre Gasseau (12-17-19) is the third sophomore on Gauthier’s line, and he is a power forward in more ways than one. The 6’4″, 217-pound forward loves to play the body, has a heavy shot, and can wreak havoc in front of opposing nets. The speed of the tournament has gotten to him at times, but when he’s in rhythm, he’s a forechecking weapon for the Eagles.


Michigan is playing well, but Boston College has too much talent. I expect this game to be a track meet, with both goalies having to scramble to keep their teams in it at times. The Eagles will prevail 5-3