The National Collegiate Hockey Conference has finalized its broadcast plans for the Frozen Faceoff, which will be held in Ralph Engelstad Arena next month.
The four quarterfinal games on March 12-13 will be on Midco Sports Network locally and streamed on NCHC.tv.
Midco's Alex Heinert will do the play-by-play for all four quarterfinals. Jake Brandt will serve as the color commentator for two games, including UND's game, while Dave Starman will provide color for the other two.
The semifinals on March 15 and the championship on March 16 will be on CBS Sports Network. Those games will not be streamed. Rob Carlin, who covered the Washington Capitals for a decade with NBC Sports Washington, will serve as the play-by-play announcer for the semis and championship. Starman will handle the color commentary.
All of the commentators will be on site in Grand Forks for the games.
The first two quarterfinals will be held at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 12. UND will play on opening day. Its opponent, the No. 8 seed, and the game time has yet to be determined. The league's second-place team will play the seventh-place team on that day, too.
The second set of quarterfinals will be held at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13. Those matchups will feature the third seed against the sixth seed, and the fourth seed against the fifth seed. None of those seeds have been set yet.
The semifinals will be at 3:05 and 8:05 p.m. on Monday, March 15.
The championship will be at 7:35 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16.
This is not the first time that Starman, the longtime NHL scout and college hockey analyst, has joined with Midco to call games. Starman called 20 games during the NCHC Pod in December in Omaha.
“We are excited about our continued partnership with MidcoSN to produce the 2021 NCHC Frozen Faceoff quarterfinal matchups in a high-quality manner that will make the experience excellent for our fans on both NCHC.tv and linear TV,” NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton said.
UND won the Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champions Saturday night with a victory over Omaha. It marked the fourth Penrose Cup in the eight-year history of the league for the Fighting Hawks.
But UND has never won the Frozen Faceoff.
The Fighting Hawks played for the championship in 2017, but fell to Minnesota Duluth. They lost in the semifinals in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018, and they lost in the quarterfinals in 2019. UND was set to be the No. 1 seed in 2020, but the tournament was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament is using a unique format this year because of the pandemic.
In a normal year, there are best-of-three quarterfinal series at the site of the higher seed, while the semifinals, championship and third-place game are played at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center. This year, the entire tournament is going to be played in Grand Forks. It will be a single-elimination event and there will not be a third-place game.
Full event ticket packages -- access to all seven games -- are currently on sale to the public.
The NCHC plans to return to its traditional postseason format next season.
Hosting the event at Ralph Engelstad Arena should be an advantage for the Fighting Hawks.
They're 26-1 in their last 27 games in the building dating back to the end of the 2018-19 season. They're 6-0 in The Ralph this season. None of the six games have been within three goals.