| Wed 04/04/2018 - 04:14 EDT

Frozen Four 2018: Odds and Predictions for Each Team

Frozen Four 2018: Odds and Predictions for Each Team

Frozen Four Teams' Championship Odds

The Frozen Four may not get the same recognition as its basketball counterpart but this year's crop promises some fast-paced hockey with plenty of intensity. We have four evenly-matched contenders brimming with talent each with their own unique identity. But there can only be one winner.

The current odds (via SportsInteraction) indicate a free-for-all with a slight lean towards the higher seeds. But any of these teams are capable of capturing the National Championship. Get to know the four teams vying for the title in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+190)

Jake Evans

The Fighting Irish enter the Frozen Four as the highest seed (second overall) and the favourites although not by much. Notre Dame started the season on fire with a 16-game winning streak though they only went 4-5-1 to close out the season. 

They still managed to win the Big Ten Tournament and get here, their fourth Frozen Four appearance, on the strength of their defence and goaltending. Hobey Baker Finalist Jake Evans leads the team in points and will carry their offence as they look for their first-ever National Championship.

It will be a battle of unmovable defence versus unstoppable offence when they meet the surging Michigan Wolverines first. Should ND advance, they get the winner of OSU-UMD in the title game.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+190)

Ohio State Buckeyes (+245)

OSU is back in the Frozen Four after 20 years. The Buckeyes were one of just two teams to rank top-10 in goals scored, goals against, power play, and penalty kill. This team has little to no weaknesses from having six players with double-digit goals to a top netminder in junior Sean Romeo.  

The Buckeyes went 26-9-5 in the regular season and got through the toughest bracket in the tournament. They dethroned the defending champions. Denver while also taking out a feisty Penn State team in their own town. 

They don't have a star player and even with all their high-profile victories like against the aforementioned Pioneers and MU earlier in the season, they remain under-the-radar.

They will be facing the talented and youthful UMD Bulldogs and if they get past them, they face either the defensive stalwarts of Notre Dame or the explosive Michigan Wolverines for the National Championship.

Ohio State Buckeyes (+245)

Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (+290)

Riley Tufte

UMD will be sentimental favourites. Not only are they the hometown boys, but they are a team that overcame a slew of difficulties to get this far. The Bulldogs came into the season short of ten key players. They lost their starting goalie and six of their top eight scorers and started the season 3-7.  

Despite this, the Bulldogs bit down and went 18-9-3 the rest of the way. While they lack a true offensive threat, they arguably have the deepest lineup including Dallas Stars prospect Riley Tufte. Goaltender Hunter Sheppard has been unbeatable for them and will again be the X-Factor. 

Despite their lack of playing experience, most of the Bulldogs have been here before. They were the runner-ups last season. They will need to play disciplined and not get caught up by the local crowd. 

They face the Buckeyes who are a solid team top-to-bottom and the difference could be one possession in the final period. Should they win, the winner of Notre Dame and Michigan awaits them in the Finals. 

Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (+290)

Michigan Wolverines (+325)

The best defence is a good offence. That is Michigan's motto heading to their 25th Frozen Four appearance. The young Wolverines are still adjusting to new bench boss Mel Pearson who is taking over for the legendary Red Berenson. They finished 2017 at just 7-7-2 but an explosive surge in 2018 led them all the way here. 

The Wolverines are young and potentially undisciplined but they exciting, energetic, and have great chemistry. They are seventh in the nation in goals scored with 133 although their special teams need plenty of work. Their goaltending is also patchy but Hayden Lavinge has come through in big games.

Facing Notre Dame in the semis, the Wolverines are 2-2 against them though they won their last two meetings including a shutout. If they win, they meet either UMD or their nemeses, the Buckeyes, who have swept them this season.

Michigan Wolverines (+325)

Best Canadian Sportsbooks for Hockey

The Frozen Four will be broadcasted on TSN GO on April 5th, Thursday, while the National Championship will be on TSN2 this Saturday, April 7th. This isn't just an underrated type of hockey but sharp Canadians use it to profit. These online bookmakers are the go-to for their wagering needs.

Read the detailed reviews to learn more about each. 

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