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Thread: 2018 NCAA Frozen Four

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    2018 NCAA Frozen Four

    2018 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship Selections

    Last Updated - Mar 18, 2018 12:44 EDT

    INDIANAPOLIS --- The NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee has selected the 16 teams that will be participating in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. The regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination format.


    St. Cloud State University was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, include the University of Notre Dame, Cornell University and The Ohio State University. The dates, sites, times and pairings of this year’s championship are as follows:


    West Regional, March 23-24

    Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

    Friday, March 23, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN No. 1 St. Cloud State (25-8-6) vs. No. 4 Air Force (22-14-5)

    Friday, March 23, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN3/WatchESPN

    No. 2 Minnesota State Mankato (29-9-1) vs. No. 3 Minnesota Duluth (21-16-3)

    Saturday, March 24, 9 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN West Regional Championship


    Midwest Regional, March 24-25

    PPL Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania

    Saturday, March 24, 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN No. 1 Ohio State (24-9-5) vs. No. 4 Princeton (19-12-4)

    Saturday, March 24, 7 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN3/WatchESPN No. 2 Denver (22-9-8) vs. No. 3 Penn State (18-14-5)

    Sunday, March 25, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN Midwest Regional Championship

    Northeast Regional, March 24-25

    DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts

    Saturday, March 24, 1 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNews/WatchESPN No. 1 Cornell (25-5-2) vs. No. 4 Boston U. (21-13-4)

    Saturday, March 24, 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNews/WatchESPN No. 2 Michigan (20-14-3) vs. No. 3 Northeastern (23-9-5)

    Sunday, March 25, 4 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN Northeast Regional Championship

    East Regional, March 23-24

    Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut

    Friday, March 23, 3 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN No. 1 Notre Dame (25-9-2) vs. No. 4 Michigan Tech (22-16-5)

    Friday, March 23, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN No. 2 Providence (23-11-4) vs. No. 3 Clarkson (23-10-6)

    Saturday, March 24, 6 p.m. Eastern time, ESPNU/WatchESPN East Regional Championship


    Men’s Frozen Four, April 5 and 7

    Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    Thursday, April 5, 6 and 9:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN (order of games TBD) West Regional Champion vs. Midwest Regional Champion

    Northeast Regional Champion vs. East Regional Champion


    Saturday, April 7, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, ESPN2/WatchESPN National Championship

    The following conferences and teams received automatic qualification:

    Atlantic Hockey Association – Air Force
    Big Ten Conference – Notre Dame
    ECAC Hockey – Princeton
    Hockey East Association – Boston U.
    National Collegiate Hockey Conference – Denver Western Collegiate Hockey Association – Michigan Tech
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    wow no UND, no Minnesota, and no BC. Only 3teams from the NCHC, tied for fewest since it began play in 2013.

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    Bracket courtesy of NCAA

    Schedule & results

    All times ET



    Friday, March 23
    No. 1 Notre Dame 4, Michigan Tech 3 (OT)
    No. 4 Air Force 4, No. 1 St. Cloud State 1
    No. 2 Providence 1, No. 3 Clarkson 0
    No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth 3, No. 2 Minnesota State-Mankato 2 (OT)

    Saturday, March 24
    No. 1 Cornell vs. No. 4 Boston, 1 p.m. (ESPNews)
    No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Princeton, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Northeastern, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
    East regional final: Notre Dame vs. Providence, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 2 Denver vs. No. 3 Penn State, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
    West regional final: Air Force vs. Minnesota-Duluth, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

    Sunday, March 25
    Northeast regional final: Cornell/Boston vs. Michigan/Northeastern, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Midwest regional final: Ohio State/Princeton vs. Denver/Penn State, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

    Frozen Four

    Thursday, April 5
    Semifinal 1, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
    Semifinal 2, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

    Sunday, April 7
    Championship game, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN, TSN2)
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Air Force beating St. Cloud was HUGE !!!
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    2018 Frozen Four preview: Players to watch, keys for each team

    Ohio State center Mason Jobst and goalie Sean Romeo are big reasons why Ohio State return to the Frozen Four for the first time since 1998. Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire

    The connections between the four teams set to play in the men's Frozen Four semifinals are undeniable, starting with Thursday night's first game between Ohio State and Minnesota-Duluth.

    The Bulldogs, last year's national runner up, needed significant help to get into the NCAA tournament. The last domino to fall was actually a Notre Dame overtime victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten final. That allowed the Bulldogs to sneak into the last at-large spot, thanks to a RPI rating .0001 better than that of University of Minnesota.

    The top 10 college programs based on NHL lineups

    With the 2018 tournament upon us, we look at the legacy of college hockey's top programs -- some involved in this year's bracket, some in a down cycle -- and rank the ultimate lineups for them, based on the players' success at the NHL level.

    Players to watch in the NCAA men's Frozen Four

    After exciting regional rounds, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Minnesota-Duluth advance to the Frozen Four in St. Paul on April 5-7. Chris Peters looks at some of the more exciting players to watch, many of whom project as future impact NHLers.

    College hockey rivalries run deep in NHL locker rooms

    The NCAA hockey tournament is rife with rivalries, and that enmity extends to the pros. We asked some NHL players who are alumni of top college programs to sell us on their alma mater's virtues, talk trash about their rivals and pick this year's winner.

    Meanwhile, Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach under Scott Sandelin at UMD, leaving for an assistant job at Ohio State one year before UMD went on to win the school's first national championship (2011). Now UMD, the team that's only in because the Buckeyes lost their conference title game, stands between Rohlik and Ohio State playing for its own national championship. And don't think Ohio State forgot that the Bulldogs ended its season last year in the opening round of the NCAA tournament in overtime.

    The second semifinal will feature a pair of teams that have played each other four times already as conference foes, with the season series split 2-2. However, Michigan also may not have gotten here were it not for Notre Dame.

    Michigan coach Mel Pearson believes his team's season turned a corner after being swept by Notre Dame in a home-and-home series in early January. The Wolverines lost a pair of close 2-1 games, but showed signs of life amid an 8-10-2 record, including a 3-7-2 mark in Big Ten play at that point.

    UM then went 14-4-1 the rest of the way, including a home-and-home sweep of Notre Dame in mid-February, surging into position to claim an at-large bid after looking dead in the water at the midpoint of the season. Wins over Northeastern and Boston University, in which Michigan's ability to defend proved crucial in shutting down two highly skilled teams, punched its ticket to the Frozen Four for a record-tying 25th time.

    The Irish are back in the Frozen Four for the second straight year. They had steamrollered the competition over the first half of the season, winning their first 13 games in the conference. Notre Dame forced the Big Ten teams to get better, and as the season wore on, most of them did. The Irish followed up their conference win streak with a 4-6-1 record to close out Big Ten play, but still managed to clinch the conference's regular-season title in early February. They ramped it right back up for the playoffs, winning the Big Ten championship, as well as a pair of tight regional games, dispatching Michigan Tech in overtime before beating Providence 2-1 on a game-winning goal with just 27 seconds remaining in regulation.

    Ohio State and Minnesota-Duluth face off at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, while Notre Dame and Michigan meet later that evening at 9:30 p.m. ET. The winners play for the championship on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. All three games will be aired on ESPN2. Click here for the full schedule, bracket and tournament recap.

    While each team can be appreciative for the roles their opponents may have played on their road to the Frozen Four, they'll now have to get through each other to get what they came for. Here's a look at all four teams vying for the national title in St. Paul.


    Ohio State Buckeyes

    The Buckeyes are back in the Frozen Four for the first time since 1998 and only the second time in program history. They got here on the strength of a defensive game anchored by veteran goalie Sean Romeo, while top forwards Tanner Laczynski and Mason Jobst carried the load offensively. The Buckeyes also have the nation's top penalty kill, boasting an impressive 89.3 percent success rate with the disadvantage.

    With only one freshman getting regular playing time, Ohio State is a veteran team that has been trending up in recent seasons, posting improved records and earning tournament berths in each of the past two seasons as Rohlik continues building his program.

    "I think Ohio State is the best team we've played all season long," said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson, whose Irish beat the Buckeyes in four of five meetings. "We got some breaks against them."

    Notre Dame was the only team Ohio State regularly struggled against. It swept the season series against rival Michigan and ended up bouncing the Wolverines in overtime in the semifinal of the Big Ten tournament. Before the Buckeyes can get another crack at their conference foes, they've got a formidable opponent in Minnesota-Duluth. There's enough players on the Ohio State roster to remember the sting of last year's season-ending loss to the Bulldogs.

    "We hadn't been [in the tournament] in a while as a program, going against one of the best teams in the country at the time," Rohlik recalled. "I thought [UMD] were definitely the better team. It was a good learning experience."

    Now they'll look to put those lessons to good use on college hockey's biggest stage.

    Key players

    Tanner Laczynski, C/W, sophomore: The Philadelphia Flyers prospect leads Ohio State with 46 points in 40 games. He is also an excellent two-way player, which is why his stock as a prospect continues to rise. Laczynski is difficult to contain and has become a model for how the Buckeyes expect to play.

    Mason Jobst, C, junior: A gifted skater, Jobst also has a solid skill set that has allowed him to score a team-best 21 goals. His ability to get to the good scoring areas and beat teams with speed in transition also has him on NHL radars as a potential free-agent option.

    Sean Romeo, G, junior: After sitting last season out as a transfer from Maine, Romeo has been a rock between the pipes for the Buckeyes. He posted a .927 save percentage while making 36 appearances. Romeo was a major difference-maker in Ohio State's regional run, making 53 saves on 56 shots over the two games.

    "He never wavers, never loses focus and doesn't take shortcuts," Rohlik said. "When you have a goalie like that, it gives your team confidence."

    Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs

    After falling just short last year, this was supposed to be more of a transitional year for the Bulldogs. They lost several seniors and a few players earlier than expected to the pros, including starting goalie Hunter Miska, who was a major part of the team's success last season. Also gone are impact players such as Alex Iafallo, Neal Pionk and Dominic Toninato, all three of whom have seen time in the NHL already this season.

    The Bulldogs have about 11 regulars from last year's team, with 10 freshman on the roster. On top of that, they're playing closer to home, providing another layer of excitement, pressure and perhaps distraction, especially for the 17 Minnesota natives on the roster. It's a challenge, but there's no doubt that they have talent throughout the lineup.

    It's amazing that Minnesota Duluth got in at all, but the team appears to have been energized at the remarkable opportunity they've been given after getting into the tournament by the skin of their teeth, needing a lot of help after losing in the NCHC semifinals.

    "When a couple of the other teams lost, the last-ditch scenario came up and the guys watched the end of the Notre Dame-Ohio State game. When Notre Dame won, they knew the consequences. It was pretty dramatic," said Scott Sandelin, head coach at UMD. "Maybe the way it happened gave our guys a sense of how hard it is and gave them a second life. They seized the opportunity with two hard-fought wins [over Minnesota State and Air Force in the regionals] to get the chance to go back to the Frozen Four."

    Key players

    Scott Perunovich, D, freshman: One of the big surprises of the season has been Perunovich's play as a freshman. He caught the eye of Team USA for the World Juniors with his early-season performance, but just kept producing throughout the year. He led the team in scoring from the blue line with 36 points, including 11 goals, and will likely earn a mid-round selection in the NHL draft after going unselected out of the USHL last year. Perunovich is a quality puck mover with higher-end hockey sense, making him a factor in all zones.

    Riley Tufte, LW, sophomore: It took Tufte a while to adjust to the college game coming straight out of high school. However, the Dallas Stars first-rounder appears to be turning the corner a bit more this season. He led the Bulldogs with 16 goals after collecting 16 points all of last season. He still has a long road ahead as a prospect, but you have to like the upside of a 6-foot-6 forward who can skate, and you can expect him to make an impact this weekend.

    Joey Anderson, RW, sophomore: He's only a sophomore, but Anderson plays such a mature, responsible game. He also has good speed and enough skill to be tough to defend. The New Jersey Devils prospect's numbers took a dip this year without some of the skilled veterans he played with last year, but he remains one of the Bulldogs' best players in terms of ability.

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    The Fighting Irish introduced themselves rather rudely to their new conference, posting 13 consecutive wins to open conference play. The Irish had previously been in Hockey East for four seasons after college hockey's realignment saw the dissolution of the CCHA. Hockey East challenged the Irish, but proved to be an ill fit geographically, leading Notre Dame to head to more familiar territory with former CCHA opponents Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the Big Ten.

    Winning both the regular-season and tournament titles in their first year in the conference has been nice, but there are a lot more reasons it has been a beneficial move.

    "We found out in the second half how challenging the conference is and how much better it got," said Jackson, noting he isn't surprised to see three Big Ten teams in the Frozen Four. "For our program, it was an obvious move. It's helped our fan base and our team in terms of travel. We're playing against big-time programs every night. It's created more of a buzz in our building. It's going to be exciting to watch as it grows over the next several years."

    Notre Dame's second half had more stumbles, but the recovery has been impressive in the postseason. The Irish have won each of their past four games by one goal. It certainly doesn't hurt to have the best goalie in the country stopping pucks for them.

    Jackson, who just received the Spencer Penrose Award as the nation's top coach, always has a team that is going to be tough to play against. Led by a veteran D corps that has the ability to get the puck up ice and play a physical brand of hockey, the Irish excel based on their depth. All of their lines offer unique challenges, and if teams can manage to cut through their defensive structure, Cale Morris is there as the last line of defense. Every game against Notre Dame is going to be a battle.

    "They don't beat themselves," Pearson said.

    Key players

    Cale Morris, G, sophomore: The front-runner for the Mike Richter Award as the nation's top goalie, Morris owns a .945 save percentage and 1.91 goals-against average. The undrafted free agent played less than 20 minutes last season as an understudy to Cal Petersen, who ended up signing with the Los Angeles Kings after his junior year. It has been one of the more dominant performances by a college goalie in recent memory.

    "I think he's had a bigger impact on our team than any player has had [on his team] in the country," Jackson said.



    Michigan forward Cooper Marody and Notre Dame goalie Cale Morris will be keys to their respective teams in the Frozen Four. Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

    Jake Evans, C/W, senior: These past two seasons have been eye-opening as Evans has come into his own as a player. With 84 points over that time, Evans has been an offensive catalyst for the Irish. He has good playmaking skills and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty to create chances. He has gone from borderline prospect selected in the seventh round to a player the Montreal Canadiens should be eager to sign.

    Jordan Gross, D, senior: Gross provides both stability and production on the back end as Notre Dame's top blue liner. He had 38 points this year, but the two biggest came against Michigan Tech in the opening round, as he scored a pair of goals -- including the overtime game-winner -- to help the Irish avoid a scare. Expect him to play big minutes.

    Michigan Wolverines

    The turnaround job Mel Pearson did in his first season at Michigan has been especially impressive. In earlier viewings of Michigan, the team didn't seem to have much of an identity or strong enough structure. That was easy to understand with a new head coach coming in and trying to replace Red Berenson, who retired after 33 years behind Michigan's bench. Even though Pearson was a longtime assistant of Berenson's, he had spent the previous six seasons as the head coach at Michigan Tech. The players didn't have much of a frame of reference for him, and they were young.

    "We're the third-youngest team in college hockey, and that youth showed a lot of nights," Pearson said. "Red and I have a lot of the same philosophies, but it took a while for our guys to figure out who this guy from the [upper peninsula] in Northern Michigan was."

    Having had a veteran top line led by junior Cooper Marody throughout the season allowed the Wolverines to stay afloat when it looked like they were cooked. Once they started building more chemistry, getting better goaltending from Hayden Lavigne and getting their younger players better acclimated to the way they wanted to play, things took off.

    It culminated in a pair of hard-fought wins in the regional. The Wolverines managed to hold the nation's top scoring line in check to beat Northeastern before sending Boston University's roster full of top-level NHL draft picks home. As impressive as they can be offensively, Michigan showed they can take care of their own end, too.

    Key players

    Quinn Hughes, D, freshman: One of the more entertaining players to watch in college hockey, Hughes is expected to be a top-10 pick in the 2018 NHL draft. Pearson expects his freshman blueliner to play somewhere between 25 and 30 minutes Thursday alongside Joseph Cecconi on Michigan's top pairing. Hughes has 29 points in in 36 games. His 0.81 points per game is the seventh highest for a defenseman 18 or younger in the NCAA since 1997-98. Over his past 20 games, Hughes has registered 19 points.


    Cooper Marody, C, junior: An especially creative forward, Marody isn't going to blow by anyone with speed. He uses a higher-end hockey sense to exploit gaps and has the hands to beat defenders one-on-one. Perhaps that's why the Edmonton Oilers traded for his rights in mid-March. The former Flyers draft pick has been excellent for the Wolverines all season with 50 points in 39 games, ranking sixth in the country in scoring.

    "He's very creative not only with hockey, but off the ice," Pearson said of his leading scorer. "You can see that in his game. He's a fantastic young man, very cerebral. He has some of that 'it' factor. Quinn Hughes has the same wow factor. We're in the entertainment business, and those guys entertain."

    Tony Calderone, RW, senior: Another veteran helping carry this team through its early struggles, Calderone has been a goal-scoring machine this year. The Michigan captain has 24 goals, showing off a nasty release. He's garnering some interest as an undrafted UFA amid his senior breakout.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Minnesota Duluth beats Ohio State 2-1 in NCAA semifinals


    ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Duluth played like a team that knew its way around a big stage, especially early. The reward was another crack at the national title.

    Quick start sends Minnesota Duluth to Frozen Four final

    The Bulldogs' young team, the last program invited to the NCAA men's hockey tournament, will play Notre Dame for the national championship after holding on to an early lead against Ohio State.





    Louie Roehl and Jared Thomas scored in the first 3:04 and Minnesota Duluth held off Ohio State 2-1 on Thursday night to reach the NCAA championship game for the second straight year.

    Hunter Shepard made 19 saves for the Bulldogs (24-16-3), giving up only Tanner Laczynski's power-play goal in the third period. Sean Romeo stopped 26 shots for the Buckeyes (26-10-5).

    The Bulldogs will face Notre Dame, a 4-3 winner over Michigan, on Saturday night for the title. Duluth lost 3-2 to Denver in the title game last season in Chicago. The Bulldogs were the last at-large entrant to make the 16-team NCAA field.

    "When you're fighting for your life to get into the tournament, you're kind of playing playoff hockey a couple weeks earlier than everyone else, and you get on a run and keep it going and find out how to play tough, close games like that," Thomas said. "I think the fact that we had to crawl and scratch our way from the bottom from the start of the season to where we are now, it's been a heck of a run.

    The Bulldogs needed less than two minutes to ignite the heavily partisan crowd, with freshman defenseman Roehl scoring his third career goal after a cross-ice pass from Matt Anderson. Roehl is one of five freshmen playing defense for the Bulldogs.

    "It's been fun to watch that whole group grow," Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said. "We let them make mistakes early, but we knew we were going to have to play all those kids. It's been fun, and we're reaping the benefits of it."

    Just 1:11 later, they made it 2-0 when Thomas got behind the defense and scored on a breakaway. Minnesota Duluth outshot Ohio State 17-4 in the opening period.

    The Buckeyes rebounded for an 8-6 shot advantage in the second but could not solve Shepard until midway through the third. On Ohio State's second consecutive power play, Laczynski's wrist shot hit Thomas' left hand and changed directions in front of Shepard.

    "Tough way to start a hockey game against a really good hockey team," Buckeyes coach Steve Rohlik said. "We dug ourselves a hole, but I couldn't be more proud of my group. They didn't quit and like they have all year, played right to the end."

    Duluth's lone NCAA title came in 2011 when the Bulldogs beat Michigan 3-2 in overtime, the last time the Frozen Four was played at Xcel Energy Center. This will be their fourth title-game appearance in six trips to the Frozen Four.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Irish's Jake Evans scores with 5.2 seconds left to beat Michigan in Frozen Four semifinals

    ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Notre Dame won another nail-biter, and this one has the Irish on the verge of a school first.

    Jake Evans scored his second goal of the game with 5.2 seconds left and Notre Dame beat Michigan 4-3 on Thursday night in the Frozen Four semifinals.

    It is the fifth straight postseason game that Notre Dame has scored in the final minute or overtime.

    Charging down the slot, Evans redirected a pass from Cam Morrison past Hayden Lavigne to send the Irish to their second championship game in school history.

    "I knew there was a little bit of time left so I thought I'd give it one last rush and Cam just did a really good job of putting it out there for me," Evans said.

    Notre Dame, which fell to Boston College for the 2008 title, will face Minnesota Duluth on Saturday for the title. The Bulldogs scored two quick goals and held off Ohio State 2-1 in the other semifinal.

    It's been a dramatic ride for the Irish. Dylan Malmquist scored with 27 seconds left to beat Providence 2-1 to get to the Frozen Four. That goal came a day after Jordan Gross scored in overtime to beat Michigan Tech 4-3. Morrison scored in overtime to beat Ohio State 3-2 in the Big Ten Tournament final after Jack Jenkins scored with 31 seconds left to beat Penn State 3-2 the game before.

    "We've got so much confidence right now that when we're down one, down two or they get a late goal we're a calm team," Evans said.

    Andrew Oglevie had a goal and an assist, Cal Burke also scored, and Cale Morris stopped 25 shots for the Irish (28-9-2). Gross had two assists.

    The Big Ten-champion Irish have five straight wins, but are 9-6-1 in their last 16 games since a 16-game win streak ended Jan. 21.

    "If you look back to when we had that 16-game winning streak we were winning a lot of 1-0, 2-1 games," coach Jeff Jackson said. "We've always been concerned a little bit about our scoring depth. We got a real good defensive group and a good goaltender. If we can get timely scoring that's the most important thing."


    Tony Calderone and Dexter Dancs had a goal and an assist and Michael Pastujov also scored for the Wolverines (22-15-3), who lost for just the fourth time in 14 games. Lavigne made 25 saves.

    Burke gave the Irish a 3-2 lead early in the third, but Patujov scored on a rebound with 5:22 left in regulation to tie the game 3-3.

    "Once we got behind, we saw the desperation we needed to play with from the start," said Michigan coach Mel Pearson.

    Calderone scored midway through the first and Dancs shot from the left wall deflected off the arm of Notre Dame's Dennis Gilbert in front of the net for a 2-0 Michigan lead 17 seconds into the middle period.

    Oglevie answered for Notre Dame just over two minutes later with his eighth power-play goal of the season and a one-timer from Evans tied it at 6:20.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Karson Kuhlman lifts Minnesota Duluth past Notre Dame for Frozen Four title


    ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Duluth squeaked into the NCAA tournament -- and celebrated like crazy when it was over.

    Karson Kuhlman had a goal and an assist, and the Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 2-1 on Saturday night to win the school's second NCAA hockey championship.

    Minnesota Duluth gets redemption with NCAA hockey title

    The Bulldogs, who lost in last year's final and were the last team invited to this year's tournament, held on to beat Notre Dame for the men's championship. They were the only non-Big Ten team in the Frozen Four.

    Jared Thomas also scored, and Hunter Shepard stopped 19 shots for the Bulldogs (25-16-3). UMD also won the 2011 title at the Xcel Energy Center.

    "We were fortunate enough to make the tournament, and we ran with that opportunity," Kuhlman said.

    No kidding.

    Minnesota Duluth looked like a long shot for the 16-team NCAA field after it dropped its second game in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament on March 17. The Bulldogs needed six conference finals that evening to go their way.

    They did, allowing UMD to edge Minnesota by .0001 in the formula used to determine the at-large teams. Notre Dame's overtime win over Ohio State in the Big Ten title game put the Bulldogs in the tournament.

    "One day you think you owe them a little bit like a thank you, and the next day you're playing them in the national title game," said Kuhlman, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

    Andrew Oglevie scored and Cale Morris made 33 saves for Notre Dame (28-10-2), winless in two national title games. The Irish lost to Boston College in 2008.

    "They became that team of destiny that you're always hoping to be at the end of the year," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said.

    Minnesota Duluth lost to Denver in last year's championship. The Bulldogs had seven seniors on that team, and then three underclassmen departed early for the NHL, including their starting goaltender.

    The Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs celebrate with the NCAA championship trophy after beating Notre Dame 2-1 in the Frozen Four final on Saturday night. Marilyn Indahl/USA TODAY Sports

    Five of Minnesota Duluth's top six defensemen are freshmen, and Shepard, a sophomore, recorded a sub-2.00 goals against average with eight shutouts.

    "We felt our forward group was pretty good. We were replacing scoring, but we had some good depth," Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin said. "The job that young group back there did, I think it really moved forward when Shep grabbed the net and played the way he did. It gave our whole team confidence."

    UMD has played 11 consecutive one-goal games in NCAA tournament play, winning eight of them.

    For the second straight game, the Bulldogs scored two first-period goals and held on. They beat Ohio State 2-1 Thursday.

    UMD took advantage of two Irish turnovers.

    Pressured by Kuhlman, Notre Dame's Jordan Gross lost the puck in the neutral zone. Jade Miller poked the puck ahead to Kuhlman at the Irish blue line, and after a brief hesitation in the right circle, the captain beat Morris with a rising shot.

    An aggressive forecheck led to Thomas knocking Andrew Peeke off the puck in the right corner. The puck went to Kuhlman and back to Thomas, who banked a shot from near the goal line off Morris and in with 1:21 left in the period.

    Oglevie redirected a pass from Cam Morrison for a power-play goal in the second period to get the Irish on the board.

    "There was never a panic, there was never any doubt in that room," Thomas said. "If we needed to win the game 2-1, we were going to win the game 2-1. You saw it on third-period play where we really shut them down."

    Struggling to get pucks deep, Notre Dame had just five shots in the final 20 minutes.

    Since Feb. 21, 2015, UMD is 56-0-3 when taking a lead into the third period, including 23-0-1 this season.

    Notre Dame had won its previous five postseason games by one goal, with the game-winners coming in the final 31 seconds of regulation or overtime.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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