The NCAA Frozen Four is here. From the initial 16 teams that started the tournament, we are now down to the four sides heading to Tampa to compete for this year’s NCAA Division 1 hockey championship.
My early pick was for Quinnipiac to win it all and the Bobcats have not disappointed, even if their odds are tied for the longest left in the tournament.
Frozen Four National Championship Odds
|Team||Current Odds||Opening Odds|
Odds as of April 3
Frozen Four Odds: The Quinnipiac Bobcats are still The Right Bet
At the start of the Frozen Four tournament, I backed the Bobcats to win it all. I believed in their combination of the country’s third-ranked offense (154 goals), an elite defense that allowed the fewest goals on the season (60) and the hot hand of netminder Yaniv Perets, who ranks first in goals-against average (1.46) and second in save percentage (.932).
They haven’t let me down. The Bobcats have won their first two games by a combined 9-1 margin. They were outplayed by Ohio State, which had an 18-shot advantage, but Quinnipiac still came away with a 4-1 win. Good teams find a way.
Oh my... Cristophe Tellier just scored one of the best goals of the season.— Steven Ellis (@SEllisHockey) March 26, 2023
An alley-oop too himself. Quinnipiac makes it 3-1 with four minutes to go.
When it comes to winning the tournament, I like to back a side that has strong goalkeeping like Quinnipiac. Perets has been incredible for the last two seasons, when he has been a top-10 Hobey Baker finalist both times.
Look, there’s a reason a goaltender has won the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award more often than any other position. A goalie has won it 26 times since 1948 (or 34% of the time) because shot-stoppers are the biggest difference-makers on the ice.
They typically play a full 60 and a good one – like Perets – can keep teams in games they should be losing.
Yanni = 𝐇𝟏𝐌#BobcatNation x #NCAAHockey x @HobeyBakerAward pic.twitter.com/jhpOiK6064— Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey (@QU_MIH) March 29, 2023
That’s why I’m going to continue backing Quinnipiac to win the tournament, even if they have the lowest odds to do so at the moment.
Last 10 NCAA Champions
|2016||North Dakota (8)||NCHC|
|2012||Boston College (5)||Hockey East|
*The numbers in parentheses represent the number of total championships.
As you can tell, the NCAA Division 1 hockey national championship has been dominated by the NCHC and Hockey East conferences. They’ve traded the last eight championships. I do not think that continues this year.