WNY Hockey Prospects

NCAA Frozen Four Preview

Matt Lane (Image Credit Matt Dewkett)

 
The 2015 NCAA Frozen Four Tournament begins tomorrow at TD Garden in Boston and for Western New York hockey fans, there will be more to follow than just the play of Freshman phenom Jack Eichel. Both Semifinal matchups will feature local connections as Trevor Mingoia (Fairport, NY) and the Providence Friars take on Nebraska – Omaha Mavericks followed by Matt Lane (Greece, NY) and the Boston Terriers taking on North Dakota.
 
The Friars have had an incredible run thus far as the tournament’s #15 overall seed. Providence has reached the Frozen Four with some incredible goaltending from Calgary Flames 3rd Round pick and two time World Junior Championship selection Jon Gillies. Gillies, who won Hockey East Goaltender of the Year and First Team All-Star honors. Providence will be matched up against another one of the nation’s elite goaltenders in Ryan Massa who’s fresh off an impressive shutout victory over R.I.T. in the quarterfinals. The battle between Gillies and Massa and is likely to go a long way in determining whether or not Providence is to advance to Saturday’s final. Helping the Friars offense will be Fairport, NY native Trevor Mingoia. A 5-foot-11 190 lb forward, Mingoia bounces back and forth between between the Friars top two lines and sees plenty of power play time as well. Even though he was held off the score sheet in the Friars last game against Denver, his goal, assist and ability to generate offense played a large part in Providence’s first round win over the Miami RedHawks. Mingoia has 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points in 38 games this season.
 
On the other side of the bracket Matt Lane and the Boston Terriers will take on red hot North Dakota. The Terriers were 3-2 winners over Yale and Minnesota-Duluth and both games were incredibly close right down to the end. It’s worth noting that the Terriers also boast an elite goalie in Matt O’Connor who boasts great size at 6-foot-5 2 who will have no less than 10 teams courting his services as a free agent following the tournament. Everyone in Western New York will likely have their eyes on Jack Eichel but Evan Rodrigues, Danny O’Regan and Ahti Oksanen all have 21 or more goals on the season and can do more than just compliment the talents of Eichel. Although he doesn’t score at the same rate as some of his teammates, Matt Lane and his contribution to the Terriers cannot be understated. During the Terriers quarterfinal game against the University of Minnesota-Duluth Lane scored an important goal and was arguably the best player on the ice. An adept player at both ends of the ice, Lane centers a 3rd line that can provide a spark on offense but also equally as effective shutting down the opposing team’s top line. If Boston is going to be successful in this game it will take more than just the contributions of their highest scorers and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if one of those players making a contribution is Greece, NY’s Matt Lane.

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