Off-Ice News

Frozen Four head coaches speak to media ahead of Saint Paul

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

Tuesday morning the head coaches of the Frozen Four teams — Michigan, Boston College, Boston University, and Denver — all spoke to the media ahead of traveling to Saint Paul, Minnesota next weekend for the national championship and semifinals games. 

Here is a notebook of the remarks that Jay Pandolfo and David Carle — head coaches for Boston University and Denver, respectively — made to the media. 

Jay Pandolfo

BU head coach Jay Pandolfo stressed the importance of experience in BU’s core group as a main factor as to why he’s expecting a stronger performance than last year’s in the Frozen Four. 

“Really excited to have the opportunity to go back to the Frozen Four,” Pandolfo said. “I think this year we have a lot more experience, none of them had been there, none of them had been in that situation…this year the core of our group is back and they’ve been there and know what to expect, so we’re excited for it.”

Outside of that returning core group, however, are two of BU’s biggest pieces, junior goaltender Mathieu Caron and freshman forward Macklin Celebrini. Pandolfo, though, believes that he’s seen enough out of the two of them in big games to be confident about how they’ll play in Saint Paul. 

“[Macklin] knows he wants to win so bad, he knows he wants to do so well, he puts a lot of pressure on himself,” Pandolfo said. 

As far as Caron, Pandolfo believed that playing in big games all season has prepared him for the moment in the Frozen Four. 

“I think over the course of the year, he’s had a lot of experience in high pressure situations,” he said. 

Pandolfo cited performances in Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden as well as the Beanpot and Hockey East Championship as examples of Caron’s big-game bonafides. 

“Moving on to the regionals in a tough environment, even though we were the home team out in Sioux Falls, big Minnesota crowd, I think he handled it very well. So he’s gained a lot of experience this year in impressive situations and he seems to thrive in those,” Pandolfo said.

Pandolfo talked about how playing in three single-elimination tournaments already has uniquely prepared the Terriers for this moment in the NCAA championship, despite the fact that BU lost in the Beanpot and Hockey East playoffs. 

“This year we’ve lost in some of these one-and-done, talking Beanpot talking Hockey East finals, where I know our season wasn’t over in either of those but if you wanted to win the championship, you don’t win that game, you don’t have the opportunity,” Pandolfo said. 

Pandolfo said that the team is learning from those moments, coming up short in some of the season’s biggest games, to prepare for the semifinals in Saint Paul.

“Each and every thing that happens in a game really can have an impact, I think that our group has learned that and we learned some of that last year as well,” he said. 


David Carle

While David Carle, head coach for the Denver Pioneers, hasn’t coached his team against Boston University this season, he faced off against two teams in the regional who had had success against the Terriers this year. 

First in a 2-1 double-overtime thriller against UMass, and then a 2-1 win over the Cornell Big Red. 

“I think all four teams are very dynamic offensively. Obviously, every team has great players – BU is no exception,” Carle said. 

The offensive prowess of this year’s Frozen Four crop is no joke, as Carle pointed out. The four teams traveling to Saint Paul are the top four highest scoring offenses in the country this season, with Denver being first and the Terriers being fourth. 

“I think what you’ll see is everyone will want to talk about the offense of all these teams. You know, I think Jay and his staff have done a great job defensively with their group as well,” Carle said. “There’s not a lot of weaknesses that we see, and it’s going to be a great hockey game.”

While the experience of teams in big games at NHL arenas is being cited as a plus across the board, Carle said that that experience is a non-factor in the Frozen Four this year when asked if his team would have a leg up after playing in the Xcel Energy Center recently. 

“I mean, it doesn’t hurt, I know that. But is it a major factor? I don’t believe so,” he said. 

Carle cited how both BU and BC had played games in TD Garden this year while Michigan has played games in the Red Wings’ stadium the Little Caesars Arena. 

“I think all the teams have experience on big stages, in NHL buildings,” he said. 


BU and Denver will face off in the national semifinal April 11 at 5 p.m. ET at the Xcel Energy Center. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage of the tournament and game, so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram


  1. i believe we can beat Denver

    that said, go Michigan

  2. Vito digregorio

    Go michigan? Don’t you want BC in the final so we can get revenge and have all time bragging rights? More beanpots and more nattys Vinnie?

  3. Hi Vito,

    Not really. For me, I have seen enough of BC

    Let’s play someone new