The 2012 Frozen Four field includes two storied programs and a pair of of first-timers who have never advanced this far in school history. For Michigan's own Ferris State, the distinction definitely falls under the latter of the two categories.
Thankfully, though, for Ferris State to reach Saturday's coveted championship game, it will have to go through another first time Frozen Four participant in New York's Union College. The two schools combine to enroll less than 16,000 students, and yet one of the duo will be guaranteed to hit the ice with a chance to win a title. It's Cinderella hockey at its finest.
As expected, playing a stage this significant for the first time could be a distraction for any team, and Ferris State coach Bob Daniels admitted as much to the Tampa media. "We were on a conference call with the NCAA to go over all the events and I realized as a coach, once the wheels hit the airstrip in Tampa, I'm going to lose control of this team," Daniels said. "We're lucky our players are so mature and so focused. I think we're going to handle it well."
The two Cinderellas will hit the ice at 4:30 pm EST on Thursday in a game that will be televised on ESPNU and in select online markets on ESPN3. The winner will face the survivor of the second game of Thursday's powerhouse doubleheader for all the marbles on Saturday evening.
Where: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa Bay, Florida
Semifinal game one: Ferris State vs. Union College - Thursday, April 5th, 4:30 pm ET - ESPNU/ESPN3
Semifinal game two: Minnesota vs. Boston College - Thursday, April 5th, 8:00 pm ET - ESPN2/ESPN3
Championship: Game one winner vs. Game two winner - Saturday, April 7th, 7:00 pm ET - ESPN2/ESPN3