Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/24/13
MINNEAPOLIS The Minnesota men's hockey team knew for a while that it would be in the NCAA tournament. Now the Gophers know where they'll be and who they'll play in the first round. Minnesota was given a No. 1 seed and will play Yale in Grand Rapids, Mich., to start the tournament in the West regional. The Bulldogs finished 18-12-11 and 12-9-1 in the ECAC. The Gophers' game will be held Friday at 1 p.m. CT. The winner of the game between Minnesota and Yale will face the winner of the other regional matchup featuring North Dakota and Niagara. That means the Gophers might have a chance to face their rival, UND, with a spot in the Frozen Four at stake. Quinnipiac was given the tournament's No. 1 overall seed, while the Gophers were second overall. Several other WCHA teams will be playing in the tournament along with Minnesota. That includes North Dakota, which is the No. 8 overall seed. St. Cloud State, which split the WCHA regular-season title with the Gophers, will face Notre Dame in Toledo, Ohio. Minnesota State will open the tournament with Miami (Ohio), also in Toledo. The Wisconsin Badgers, who secured an NCAA tournament bid by winning the WCHA Final Five championship, will face Massachusetts-Lowell. The winner of that game will face either New Hampshire or Denver. The Gophers finished the season with a record of 26-8-5 but lost in the Final Five semifinals to Colorado College. Last year, Minnesota advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa before losing 6-1 to Boston College. This year's Frozen Four will take place April 11-13 in Pittsburgh. Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
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