Gophers hockey seeded third overall, first in regional bracket for NCAA tournament

As the first seed in the West Regional, Minnesota will head to Loveland, Colorado to face Omaha.

Gophers+Defenseman+Matt+Staudacher+steers+the+puck+at+3M+Arena+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+20.+The+Gophers+defeated+Michigan+State%2C+5-1.

Ethan Fine

Gophers Defenseman Matt Staudacher steers the puck at 3M Arena on Saturday, Feb. 20. The Gophers defeated Michigan State, 5-1.

Julianna Landis, Sports Reporter

Minnesota’s men’s hockey team earned an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament when it claimed the Big Ten title last weekend, but had to wait until the tournament’s Selection Show on Sunday night to learn where it would be placed to start regional play.

The team’s success in the Big Ten Tournament, where it played three games in three nights to win it all, had some anticipating whether Minnesota would be the first seed overall in NCAAs, but it was awarded to North Dakota.

Ranked third overall, Minnesota was placed in the West Regional with Omaha, Minnesota State Mankato and Quinnipiac. The winners of each Regional will advance to the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh. Minnesota will face off against Omaha in the first round on Saturday at 9 p.m. CST.

Despite not earning the first seed overall, this year was still noteworthy for the Gophers, as it marked their 38th appearance in the national tournament, an NCAA record matched only by Michigan.

And for the first time in history, all five of the Division I programs in the state of Minnesota – Minnesota, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, Bemidji State and Minnesota Duluth – will all compete for a national title.

This story has been updated with the latest time for the Minnesota vs. Omaha match.