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Familiar foes meet in Frozen Four final

PITTSBURGH — Yale and Quinnipiac typically meet on the ice with little more than local bragging rights and the upper hand in hockey's Eastern College Athletic Conference at stake. Not so much tonight.

The schools, separated by 10 miles of central Connecticut highway, play for the NCAA championship in the Frozen Four final at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

It will be their fourth meeting since Groundhog Day. Quinnipiac is 3-0 against Yale (21-12-3) this season, though it will hardly matter if the Bobcats (30-7-5) can't make it four straight.

"The one thing I've seen from Yale, this is a different team than when we beat them (last)," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said.

The rematch guarantees a member of the ECAC will hoist the trophy for the first time since Harvard in 1989.

Also, St. Cloud State forward Drew Le­Blanc, who led his team to the national semifinals, won the Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation's top player. The NHL's Blackhawks agreed to terms with him on a one-year deal.

SEC network: The SEC is expected to hold a news conference Tuesday in Atlanta to announce the launch of the conference's television network in a partnership with ESPN, the Associated Press reported. The SEC cable channel is expected to be broadcasting by August 2014, Sports Business Journal reported.

basketball: Trey Burke of national runnerup Michigan won the John R. Wooden Award, completing the sophomore guard's sweep of the major player of the year awards (Naismith, Associated Press). Brittney Griner of Baylor won the women's award for the second consecutive year. … North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston said he will return for his junior season. … Guard Jamaal Franklin, who led San Diego State to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, will skip his senior season to enter the NBA draft. … Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy received a raise and a contract extension through 2017. … Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley agreed to an extension through 2019-20, eliminating him from contention for the Rutgers job, the Associated Press reported. … Jim Crews, who led St. Louis to a 28-7 record in place of Rick Majerus, who died in December, had the interim tag removed and was named coach.

Familiar foes meet in Frozen Four final 04/12/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 13, 2013 12:22am]
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