The NCAA’s Frozen Four is in two weeks at the United Center, but it will have a familiar look, as former Indiana Ice players have had a huge hand in getting their teams to Chicago.
Adam Johnson, who played six games for the Ice in 2012-13, scored the overtime winner to send Minnesota-Duluth into the Frozen Four with a 3-2 victory over Boston University on Saturday.
On Sunday, Troy Terry, who played one game for the Ice in 2013-14 as an affiliate player, had a hat trick for Denver as the Pioneers clinched a second straight Frozen Four berth with a 6-3 win over Penn State. Terry also had two assists in that contest in addition to his first career hat trick. He and Emil Romig, who played for the Ice in 2011-12, are key pieces of the Pioneers squad.
The Frozen Four will feature Denver facing Notre Dame in the second semifinal on April 6 at approximately 9:30 p.m. The first semifinal will feature Minnesota-Duluth facing Harvard at 6 p.m.
In Denver’s 6-3 win over Penn State on Sunday, two members of the Ice’s 2014 Clark Cup team played key roles for Penn State. Vince Pedrie had an assist, while Denis Smirnov scored a goal for the Big Ten champion Nittany Lions. Pedrie was +4 and Smirnov had a goal in PSU’s 10-3 semifinal win over Union the day before. Romig had a goal in Denver’s 5-2 first-round win over a Michigan Tech squad that features former Ice blueliner Matt Roy. The latter had a big hand in MTU’s WCHA title.
In other NCAA tournament action, Aidan Muir had an assist for Western Michigan in its 5-4 first-round loss to Air Force on Friday. Air Force fell to Harvard in the championship game at Providence. Two key pieces of the Ice’s 2014 championship team – Brian Pinho and Scott Conway – suited up for Providence in its 3-0 first-round loss to Harvard. Another player with local connections, Speedway’s Mason Jobst, had five shots in Ohio State’s 3-2 OT loss to Minnesota-Duluth in Friday’s first round at Fargo.