ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira’s own Johnny Beecher is one game away from playing for it all.
Beecher, a junior forward on the University of Michigan men’s hockey team, will compete in the NCAA Frozen Four Thursday. The puck drops at 5 pm in Boston against fellow top regional seed Denver. It marks the first time these two teams will play since 2002 and will be televised on ESPN2.
The winner of the Michigan (31-9-1) and Denver (29-9-1) game will square off with the winner between Minnesota and Minnesota State in the finals Saturday night at 8 pm.
Thursday’s game marks the 26th overall NCAA Frozen Four appearance for the Wolverines. Michigan’s last national title came back in 1998. Beecher, a first-round NHL Draft pick by the Boston Bruins in 2019, would like nothing more than be on the Michigan team to take it all for the first time in nearly 25 years.
This season, Beecher has scored six goals with nine assists at forward. Johnny missed the first eight games of the year returning in November after a lengthy process amid suffering season-ending shoulder surgery last season.
Now 100 percent healthy and focused, Beecher and Michigan control their own destiny. The Wolverines already hold the record for most national championships with nine, but getting 10 sounds that much sweeter for Michigan.
Stay with 18 Sports for more on the Frozen Four and Beecher’s progress.