The ACHA has released the teams and pairings for this season's Division 1 national championships, held March 2nd through 7th at Hoover Arena in Strongsville, OH. This year's event is notable for its inclusion of four extra teams, 20 in all, and for the removal of all consolation games to make way for an extra round of competition, which will take place Friday.
It should be of little surprise to anyone paying attention that the Icers, via a dominant 25-3-1 regular season (with two games remaining) have a) kept the program's unparalleled streak of being the only one invited to every ACHA tournament ever intact (the association started in 1991-1992) and b) earned the top seed. Penn State will open with the winner of Friday's Rutgers-West Virginia opening-round tilt on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Should PSU advance - and I don't have reason to believe the Scarlet Knights or Mountaineers will present any issues - the Icers' quarterfinal will involve either Iowa State or Oklahoma.
Of course, Penn State has faced three of those four possible opponents this season, sweeping Rutgers and West Virginia at home by combined 22-2 and 14-1 counts. The Oklahoma games offered a little more drama, with the Icers winning at OU 3-0 on January 7th, then 7-2 and 4-3 (in overtime) at the Ice Pavilion on February 3rd and 4th. That latter game was notable for PSU's three goals in the final 5:00 of regulation to force overtime, followed by George Saad's winner in the extra frame.
Ticket prices have been announced as well, with prices ranging from a $15 single day pass ($10 for students) to a $45 tournament pass ($25 for students). Here is the full bracket and schedule, with the semifinals and final underneath the first three rounds.