Hillman, Gilbert To Square-Off For National Championship Berth
The city of Chicago plays host to the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four on April 6 and 8, when the best of college hockey (also pronounced ‘Cawlidge Hawkey’) comes to the United Center to crown a National Champion. The four schools that will be represented are top-overall seed Denver University, second-seeded University of Minnesota-Duluth, third-seeded Harvard University, and unranked Notre Dame.
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This year’s Frozen Four features two Chicago Blackhawks prospects making the trip to the Windy City to compete for the National Championship as Blake Hillman of Denver University and Dennis Gilbert of Notre Dame advanced with wins in their Regional Finals on Sunday night.
Gilbert and Notre Dame defeated the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in a thrilling overtime game, 3-2. The Irish scored three unanswered goal to defeat the University of Minnesota in the Northeast Regional Semi-Finals before outlasting UMass-Lowell.
Gilbert, a 2015 third-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks, has 0 points and is a plus-three in the NCAA tournament as Notre Dame heads into the Frozen Four for the third time in school history, looking for their first NCAA Championship.
Hillman and the University of Denver Pioneers await Notre Dame on April 6 after defeating Penn State in the Midwest Regional Final, 6-3 on Sunday night. Denver dispatched of Michigan Tech in the Regional Semi-Finals, 5-2 before topping Penn State to reach the program’s 15th Frozen Four.
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Hillman, a 2016 sixth-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks, also has yet to tally a point in the NCAA tournament and is a plus-four heading into the Frozen Four.
Hillman and Gilbert will square off in the late match-up on April 6 as Notre Dame and Denver will play for the right to go to the National Title game to face the winner of the Minnesota-Duluth and Harvard game. So, no matter the outcome, the Blackhawks will have one of their NCAA prospects playing for a National Title on future home ice.
Semifinal 1: Harvard vs. Minnesota-Duluth, 5:00pm CT, Watch on ESPN2
Semifinal 2: Notre Dame vs. Denver, 8:30pm CT, Watch on ESPN2
National Championship: Semifinal 1 winner vs. Semifinal 2 winner, 7:00 pm CT, Watch on ESPN