The West Region of the NCAA Hockey tournament begins on Saturday afternoon, with the No. 1 seed North Dakota Fighting Sioux playing the No. 4 seed Western Michigan Broncos.
UND is on a roll entering the tournament after winning the WCHA Tournament with a 4-0 shutout win over Denver. Sophomore forward Brock Nelson, a New York Islanders draft pick, leads the Fighting Sioux with 44 points far this season as UND averages 3.25 goals per game. Junior goaltender Aaron Dell has a 2.64 goals against average while saving better than 90% of opponent's shots.
Sophomore Chase Balisy leads the offense for the Broncos as the Nashville Predators' draft pick has 13 goals and 24 assists on the season. Western Michigan averages 2.85 goals per game but has benefited from a strong penalty killing effort throughout tournament play. Freshman goaltender Frank Slubowski has a 2.03 goals against average and was named CCHA Tournament MVP.
The winner will play either Minnesota of Boston University in the regional final on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four.
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul. MN
Game Time: March 24, 12:30 p.m. CT
TV: Fox Sports North/ESPN3
You can find a full bracket for the NCAA hockey tournament on the official NCAA site.
For more on the 2012 NCAA hockey tournament, check out SB Nation's NHL hub storystream.