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NCAA hockey bracket 2017: Preview, schedule, TV, streaming, scores

The Flyers have four prospects in the NCAA tournament, which kicks off Friday afternoon.

2017 Beanpot Tournament - Boston University v Harvard - Championship Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The 2017 NCAA hockey tournament kicks off this weekend with 16 teams vying for four spots in the Frozen Four, which will be held in Chicago in two weeks.

Four Flyers prospects will be in action, and with the entire tournament on national TV, you’ll have the opportunity to see them -- in some cases for the first time all year. . Four other NCAA prospects have had their seasons conclude already: David Drake (UConn), Cooper Marody (Michigan), Terrance Amorosa (Clarkson) and Mark Friedman (Bowling Green).

Flyers prospects in the NCAA Tournament

Merrick Madsen, G, Harvard

The Crimson enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed in the East regional, and the No. 3 overall seed in the bracket. Madsen has played 33 games in net for Harvard, leading them to the Whitelaw Cup as ECAC tournament chanpions. He was also named the ECAC tournament MVP. Harvard gets a rough draw in Round 1 of the tournament, however, facing the Providence Friars at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center ... in Providence.

Matej Tomek, G, North Dakota

Well ... OK, we probably won’t see Tomek in action. He’s played just two games this season for the Fighting Hawks, compiling a 7.46 GAA and a .692 save percentage in those games. Those numbers are not typos. Tomek’s team, the defending national champion, has what is essentially home game in Fargo against a tough Boston University squad.

Wade Allison, RW, Western Michigan

After a 22-12-5 season that was good enough for the third spot in the NCHC standings, Allison’s Broncos are the No. 2 seed the East Regional. That could potentially set up a matchup against Madsen and Harvard in Round 2. Allison has 12 goals and 17 assists in 35 games for Western Michigan this year, which is good for top five production on the team. As a freshman ... that is not bad at all.

Tanner Laczynski, C, Ohio State

The Buckeyes are the lowest seed in the West Regional out in Fargo, and they’ll draw a tough one against Minnesota-Duluth in Round 1. They probably have the toughest road to the Frozen Four of any team in the field. No matter how the year ends, though, it’s safe to say Laczynski has had a good one: 31 points in 33 games as a freshman and a spot on the gold-medal winning USA World Junior squad.

One other player to keep an eye on will be Union senior forward Mike Vecchione. A former teammate of defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, Vecchione will be a free agent whenever Union’s season ends. There’s been talk that he may sign a contract with the Flyers once he becomes a free agent, so stay tuned.

Vecchione has been one of the NCAA’s top scorers this year, but he’ll be the enemy of many Philadelphians on Saturday afternoon when he takes on Penn State, who will be playing in their first-ever NCAA tournament game.

The schedule

All games are streaming on the WatchESPN app. All times are ET.

Friday, March 24 (First Round)

  • No. 2 Boston University vs. No. 3 North Dakota: 3:00 p.m., ESPN2
  • No. 1 Harvard vs. No. 4 Providence: 4:00 p.m., ESPNU
  • No. 1 Minnesota Duluth vs. No. 4 Ohio State: 6:30 p.m., ESPNU
  • No. 2 Western Michigan vs. No. 3 Air Force: 7:30 p.m., ESPN3

Saturday, March 25 (First Round)

  • No. 2 UMass Lowell vs. No. 3 Cornell: 12:00 p.m., ESPN3
  • No. 1 Denver vs. No. 4 Michigan Tech: 1:00 p.m., ESPN News
  • No. 1 Minnesota vs. No. 4 Notre Dame: 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
  • No. 2 Union vs. No. 3 Penn State: 4:30 p.m., ESPN3
  • West Regional Final: 6:00 p.m., ESPNU
  • East Regional Final: 8:30 p.m., ESPNU

Sunday, March 26 (Quarterfinals)

  • Northeast Regional Final: 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
  • Midwest Regional Final: 6:00 p.m., ESPNU

Thursday, April 6 (Frozen Four)

  • West vs. East National Semifinal: TBA, ESPN2
  • Northeast vs. Midwest National Semifinal: TBA, ESPN2

Saturday, April 8 (Championship)

  • National Championship Game: 8:00 p.m., ESPN