UMass will face Minnesota on Friday in the Worcester regional of the NCAA tournament

Minutemen are a No. 3 seed in the regional and the No. 11 overall seed

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Thom Kendall/ UMass Athletics

By Colin McCarthy, Assistant Sports Editor

The Massachusetts hockey team is staying close to home for the first round of the NCAA tournament, taking on Minnesota in Worcester on Friday, March 25 at 6:00 p.m.

UMass (22-12-2, 14-8-2 Hockey East) earned the 11th overall seed in the tournament, making it a No. 3 seed in the regional. The Gophers (24-12, 18-6 Big Ten) are the No. 2 seed and 6th overall. The Worcester regional also includes No. 3 overall Western Michigan facing off against No. 14 Northeastern in the first game of the day at the DCU Center.

Minnesota faced a very difficult schedule, including five games against Michigan where the Gophers went 2-3 over the course of the season. The Minutemen lost both their matchups against the Wolverines in January, and they did not share any other common opponents with Minnesota.

UMass’ quest to defend its national championship will remain local, with their first two rounds taking place in Worcester and the Frozen Four set for Boston. No matter how far the Minutemen advance, they will always be in Massachusetts with their home crowd able to cheer them on. Puck drop is set for 6:00 p.m. from the DCU Center.

Colin McCarthy can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @colinmccarth_DC.