The women’s Frozen Four starts Friday night at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. No. 4 seed Wisconsin takes on No. 1 Minnesota at 5 p.m. ET, followed by unseeded Mercyhurst vs. No. 3 Clarkson at 8 p.m. The championship is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. Here are 10 fast facts to know before the puck drops.
1. The Frozen Four dates back to the 2000-01 season. Minnesota-Duluth won the inaugural title and has won five of the 13 titles overall (2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010).
2. Minnesota is looking for its third straight national title. The Gophers completed the first undefeated season in NCAA women’s hockey history with a 6-3 win over Boston University at last year’s championship game. The Gophers (37-1-1) are 112-6-3 over the past three seasons. Their lone loss this season was a 3-2 defeat to North Dakota in November.
3. With 22 goals and 41 assists for 63 points, Minnesota sophomore forward Hannah Brandt is the top Division I scorer this season.
4. In 2006, Wisconsin became the first school outside of Minnesota to take home the national title. The Badgers have won three more titles in the years since (2007, 2009, 2011).
5. Minnesota and Wisconsin have met four times this season, with the Gophers winning all four by a combined score of 11-3. The teams account for eight of the last 10 national championships.
6. The most lopsided championship game in history was Wisconsin’s 5-0 win over Mercyhurst in 2009.
7. Mercyhurst is making its second consecutive Frozen Four appearance and fourth overall. The Lakers have qualified for the NCAA tournament every year since 2005.
8. Clarkson reached its first Frozen Four in program history with a 3-1 win over Boston College, ending the Eagles’ run of consecutive Frozen Four appearances at three.
9. Since 2008, Clarkson has been led by co-head coaches Shannon Desrosiers and Matt Desrosiers, the first wife-husband coaching tandem in college hockey. They're making it work. Over six seasons, they've compiled a 132-68-27 record.
10. The Frozen Four features two of the three finalists for the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Minnesota's Brandt and senior forward Jamie Lee Rattray of Clarkson are joined by Jillian Saulnier of Cornell. The winner will be announced on Saturday. Amanda Kessel, who sat out this season for Minnesota to represent Team USA at the Sochi Olympics, was the 2013 winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.