NCAA FROZEN FOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Denver vs. Minnesota State Mankato
7 p.m. Saturday, ESPN2
Pioneers at a glance: Denver (30-9-1) will play in its 12th national championship game and seek its ninth NCAA title, which would tie Michigan for the most ever. The Pioneers advanced with a 3-2 overtime victory over top overall seed Michigan. LW Carter Savoie scored the winner 13:31 into OT, with national scoring leader Bobby Brink (14-43-57) getting the primary assist. Savoie (23-22-45) and Brink are two of four Pioneers with 40 or more points. G Magnus Chrona made 19 saves against Michigan and is 27-8-1 with a 2.14 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.
Mavericks at a glance: Minnesota State (38-5) made the Frozen Four for the second consecutive year and will play for the title for the first time. The Mavericks gave up a first-period goal before scoring five unanswered to beat the Gophers 5-1 in the semifinals. Minnesota State has won 18 consecutive games, giving up more than two goals only twice in that span. G Dryden McKay is 38-4 with a 1.27 GAA and .934 save percentage. McKay's 34 career shutouts are an NCAA record, and his 112 career wins stand second in NCAA history. Olympic F Nathan Smith (19-31-50) leads the Mavericks in scoring, one point ahead of F Julian Napravnik (18-31-49).
The X factor: RW Ryan Sandelin leads the Mavericks in goals with 21 and has three game-winners. You usually can find Sandelin around the net and below the faceoff dots, where he has scored 18 goals.
The quote: "There's always a little extra roar at the rink once Dryden's name gets called.'' — Benton Maass, Minnesota State defenseman