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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, April 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.



Coach: Keith Allain

Record: 20-12-3

Conference: Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC)

Top players: Junior center Jesse Root is a Mt. Lebanon native who was the NCAA West Region MVP after scoring the winning goal in both West Region games. ... Bulldogs leading scorer Kenny Agostino (40 points in 35 games) last week was part of the package the Penguins sent to the Calgary Flames for Jarome Iginla. ... Senior captain Andrew Miller is within one assist of the school career record.

Frozen Four appearances/record: First appearance

All-time record vs. 2013 Frozen Four opponents: 5-10-2 vs. Quinnipiac, 0-1 vs. Saint Cloud State, 3-8 against UMass-Lowell

How they got here: Was the No. 4 seed in the four-team West region, upset top seed and No. 2 nationally ranked Minnesota, 2-1, in overtime Friday before using a four-goal third period to come back to beat North Dakota in the Regional final Saturday. The Bulldogs were third place in the ECAC during the regular season.

Key team stats: Tied for 10th in the nation in power-play percentage (21.1 percent). ... Have allowed 1.95 goals per game in wins this season; 4.08 in losses. ... Are 5-0-3 in overtime games this season.


Coach: Norm Bazin

Record: 28-10-2

Conference: Hockey East

Top players: A shutout in the Northeast Regional final Saturday left freshman goalie Connor Hellebuyck leading the nation in save percentage (.953) and shutouts (six) and second in goals-against average (1.31). ... Former Penguins draft pick Scott Wilson, a sophomore forward, is tied with junior Joseph Pendenza for the team lead with 37 points.

Frozen Four appearances/record: First appearance

Record vs. 2013 Frozen Four opponents: 8-3-0 all-time against Yale, 1-0-0 against Saint Cloud State, 1-0-0 against Quinnipiac;

How they got here: The nation's hottest team over the final third of the season, the River Hawks have won seven consecutive and 14 of 15. UMass-Lowell won its first Hockey East regular season and tournament championships during the surge to climb into the top five of the national rankings. The River Hawks allowed a total of two goals in beating Wisconsin and New Hampshire in the NCAA Northeast Region.

Key team stats: Season goals-against average of 2.00 is tied for third nationally. ... Penalty kill ranks 10th at 85.7 percent and has allowed one power-play goal over the past 19 opportunities against. ... Is undefeated this season when leading at an intermission: 12-0-1 when leading after one period and 18-0-1 when leading after two.

Saint Cloud State

Coach: Bob Motzko

Record: 25-15-1

Conference: Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA)

Top players: Senior forward Drew LeBlanc leads the nation in assists with 41. ... Freshman forward Jonny Brodzinski is tied for fifth nationally with 22 goals. ... Senior forward Ben Hanowski (17 goals) was traded from Penguins to the Calgary Flames last week in the Jarome Iginla deal.

Frozen Four appearances/record: First appearance

All-time record vs. other 2013 Frozen Four opponents: 1-0 vs. Yale; 0-1 vs. UMass-Lowell; 3-1 vs. Quinnipiac

How they got here: Won WCHA regular-season title but lost in conference tournament “Final Five.” Was No. 4 seed in four-team NCAA tournament Midwest Regional but upset two teams among the top five of the national rankings — No. 4 Notre Dame, 5-1, Saturday and No. 5 Miami, 4-1, Sunday.

Key team stats: The Huskies are second in the country in goals per game at 3.41. They allow an average of exactly one goal fewer per contest (2.41). ... Are the least-penalized team in the country at 8.32 minutes per game. ... Freshmen play key roles: Brodzinski led the team in goals throughout season, and Joey Benik took Midwest Region MVP honors with four goals in two games.


Coach: Rand Pecknold

Record: 29-7-5

Conference: Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC)

Top players: Senior goalie Eric Hartzell is among the national leaders in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. ... Sophomore Matthew Peca had the fastest natural hat trick in NCAA tournament history in Sunday's win against Canisius. That tied him for the team lead in goals with junior Jordan Samuels-Thomas — until Samuels-Thomas scored his 16th of the season in the second period.

Frozen Four appearances/record: First appearance

All-time record vs. 2013 Frozen Four opponents: 10-5-2 vs. Yale, 1-3 vs. Saint Cloud State, 0-1 vs. UMass-Lowell

How they got here: Spent most of the second half of the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the nation but lost in the ECAC semifinals after winning the conference regular-season championship for the first time. The No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament East Regional, the Bobcats beat Canisius, 4-3, Saturday and Union, 5-1, Sunday to advance to the Frozen Four.

Key team stats: Has the nation's top team goals-against average (1.63) and its top penalty kill (90.1 percent). ... Fifth-most penalized team nationally at 15.9 minutes per game. ... Allowed one or fewer goals against in 21 of their 41 games this season. ... Righted the ship after not playing its best down the stretch; was 21-3-4 at one point but had won just six of 11 entering the NCAA Tournament.

— Compiled by Chris Adamski

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