Badgers hockey in NCAA

Wisconsin (21-12-8) got an at-large bid to the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, and will face Ohio State (26-15) Friday night in the East Regional, Pepsi Arena, Albany, N.Y.

Ohio State was seeded No. 2, Wisconsin No. 3. Sixteen teams will compete at four regional sites. The four regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The 2004 bracket is only the second with 16 teams after having only 12 teams in the field since 1988.

Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of six conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at large.

The University of North Dakota was the No 1 overall seed, its first No. 1 seed since 1999. The other No. 1 seeds included Boston College, the University of Maine-Orono and two-time defending champion University of Minnesota. The Gophers defeated the University of New Hampshire 5-1 to win the 2003 championship.

Maine (30-7-3) faces Harvard (18-14-3) in the other East regional game, with the two winners facing off for the East crown and a Frozen Four berth April 8 and 10 at FleetCenter, Boston.

Other teams in the field: North Dakota (29-7-3), Holy Cross (22-9-4), Denver (23-12-5), Miami of Ohio (23-13-4), Boston College (27-8-4), Niagara (21-14-3), Michigan (26-13-2), New Hampshire (20-14-6), Minnesota (26-13-3), Notre Dame (20-14-4), Minnesota-Duluth (26-12-4) and Michigan State (23-16-2).

Minnesota got an automatic berth as winner of the WCHA tourney. Minnesota is making its 28th appearance in the NCAA tournament, the most of any school.

ESPN2 will broadcast the semifinal games. ESPN will televise the national championship game. For a complete list, log on to, click broadcast info, then click TV schedule.

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