Frozen Four set to feature multiple Chicago Blackhawks' prospects

The NCAA Tournament for men's hockey opened play this past weekend, and while only a few Blackhawks' prospects and their teams remain, there were still plenty of contributions from those that made the tournament.

Boston University Terriers v Boston College Eagles
Boston University Terriers v Boston College Eagles / Winslow Townson/GettyImages
1 of 3

The men's hockey NCAA Tournament began on Thursday, which featured a variety of Blackhawks' prospects that made the field. Even though we now know who will be heading to the Frozen Four in Saint Paul, whether those teams won or lost over the weekend, there were quite a bit of contributions from those prospects.

Kicking off the festivities was forward Liam Gorman and the UMass Minutemen, as they took on forward Aidan Thompson and the Denver Pioneers on Thursday. In a game where goals were at a premium, the Pioneers were able to survive with a 2-1 2OT win.

Early in the second period Gorman scored his first goal of the season for UMass, and it could not have come at a better time, as it was the equalizer that eventually sent the game to sudden death. Gorman finished the year with four points on one goal and three assists in 27 games for the Minutemen.

Hoping to play in a Frozen Four close to home were the Minnesota Gophers, however, they would fall just short of achieving that goal. After winning their first round game by a final of 3-2 over Omaha, the Gophers' season came to an end with a 6-3 loss to the Boston Terriers in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Freshman defenseman Sam Rinzel was held without a point in the opening round win, but was able to add two blocks and finished with a plus/minus of two. On Saturday, Rinzel received a secondary assist on a goal by Jaxon Nelson that gave the Gophers an early 1-0 lead.

Another freshman for the Gophers, forward Oliver Moore, was held without a point throughout the weekend. Moore went a combined 6-for-20 on faceoffs and took three shots. Still, the pair put together tremendous first-year campaigns for the Gophers in 2023-24.

Moore finished with 33 points on nine goals and 24 assists in 38 games and was named to the 2023-24 Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Rinzel finished with 28 points on two goals and 26 assists with 47 blocks and a plus/minus of +24 in 38 games. Rinzel also was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team as well.