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NCAA Hockey Tournament 2011: Boston College, Yale Highlight Tournament's First Night

Union versus Minnesota Duluth

Bridgeport, CT Regional

3 p.m., ESPNU/

Minnesota Duluth (22-10-6) will try to ride the Connolly not-brothers, Mike and Jack (though Jack is the little brother of Boston University captain Chris) over Union, a team that has been in the mix all season. Jack Connolly is a Hobey Baker finalist, and has 55 points this season. He's quick on the ice, and has been a standout for the Bulldogs all three years.

Union (26-9-4) will be making their first ever tournament appearance. Kelly Zajac, one of the ECAC's top forwards, leads a Union team full of underclassmen to what they hope kicks off a series of NCAA tournament berths.

Yale versus Air Force

Bridgeport, CT Regional

6:30 p.m., ESPN U/

The nation's first overall seed, Yale (27-6-1), faces the champion of the Atlantic Hockey league, Air Force (20-11-6). Two years ago, Air Force, led by then sophomore, now senior Jacques Lamoureux, was expected to make the Frozen Four. They lost to Vermont in the second round of the regionals after beating #1 seed Michigan in the regional's opening game. Air Force will face a Yale team that has been near or at the top of the nation all season.

Yale has a steady set of forwards, including sophomore Andrew Miller and junior Brian O'Niell, but has been rewarded by an outstanding year by senior goaltender Ryan Rondeau. Rondeau has the nation's best goals against average, and has kept Yale dominant all season.

Michigan versus Nebraska-Omaha

St. Louis, MO Regional

5:30 p.m.,

Nebraska-Omaha (21-15-2) fans will be looking to cement their school's status as a hockey school - coming on the heels of this morning's regents decision to get rid of football. In their first year in the WCHA, they finished a surprising third in the regular season, being beat by other conference newbie Bemidji State in the WCHA tournament last weekend. Nebraska-Omaha will be led by leading scorer Matt Ambroz, who has 17 goals and 17 assists thus far this season.

For Michigan (26-10-4), the trip is a chance to redeem a third place finish in last week's CCHA Tournament, being knocked out by Western Michigan. The Wolverines have won nine of their last ten games, and are led by senior Carl Haglein, whose 48 points makes him one of the top scorers in all of college hockey.

Boston College versus Colorado College

St. Louis, MO Regional

9 p.m.

Boston College (30-7-1) begins the road back to the Frozen Four against a team they haven't faced since 1998, the Colorado College Tigers (22-18-3) of the WCHA. Colorado College makes it to the NCAAs for the first time since 2008, and received the 14th seed and an at-large bid into the tournament. The Tigers will ride the dynamic Jaden Schwartz, whose hockey IQ is off the charts, if they have any chance against the defending national champions.

BC will ride an overall hot hand of forwards, including Cam Atkinson, who had two goals in the Hockey East championship game on his way to being named the Hockey East MVP. The Eagles will also find production from Brian Gibbons, who has at least a point in 33 of this season's games.