NCAA Tournament React

Let’s take these games in order of start time today:

Midwest Regional semifinal: (1) UND 5, (4) Princeton 1
The WCHA finally picked up a victory in the 2008 NCAA tournament, but it wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy for North Dakota. Sioux goaltender (and Hobey Baker finalist) Jean-Philippe Lamoureux made 38 saves and reigning Hobey Baker winner Ryan Duncan netted a natural hat trick in the victory. Cam MacIntyre scored the lone goal for the Tigers with 33 seconds remaining to spoil the shutout bid, but Princeton outplayed the Fighting Sioux for much of the game, outshooting North Dakota 39-18. Chay Genoway notched an empty net goal and added two assists, while Hobey Baker finalist T.J. Oshie collected two assists. North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol is 8-3 in the NCAA tournament, and his team has a chance to make it a perfect four Frozen Fours in his four seasons behind the bench. UND moves on to face Wisconsin in the Midwest Regional final Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Northeast Regional semifinal: (1) Miami 3, (4) Air Force 2 (OT)
Miami scored a power play goal with 6:16 remaining to tie the game at two and Justin Mercier scored the game winner 15:21 into overtime as the Redhawks avoided the upset and move on to face Boston College in a rematch of last season’s Northeast Regional championship game. The power play with 7:50 remaining in the hockey game came on a questionable too-many-men penalty. 2007 Hobey Baker finalist Eric Ehn returned to the ice for the first time in two months (broken fibula) and was a factor for the Falcons. Miami opened the scoring just 19 seconds into the hockey game. Air Force nearly knocked off top seed Minnesota last season, leading 3-1 with ten minutes to play in the third period before falling, 4-3. Falcons goaltender Andrew Volkening was spectacular, making 30 of 33 saves for the game. Miami junior forward Nathan Davis left the game with a shoulder injury and is questionable for the championship game on Sunday.

Midwest Regional semifinal: (3) Wisconsin 6, (2) Denver 2
Wisconsin blew this game open with four goals on nine shots in the third period after leading just 2-1 after two periods. Cody Goloubef and John Mitchell scored one minute apart midway through the final frame and the Badgers got great goaltending from Shane Connelly (30 saves on 32 shots). Five different Badgers scored goals in this statement game (the statement being: yes, we belong in this tournament). The Pioneers became the third Colorado school to fall short of the Frozen Four, held at Pepsi Center (Denver, CO), as Colorado College and Air Force also lost in regional action.

East Regional final: (1) Michigan 2, (3) Clarkson 0
Hobey Baker finalist Kevin Porter figured in the scoring on both Wolverine goals, assisting on Aaron Palushaj’s game-winner with 5:37 to play in the first period and adding an insurance goal 26 seconds into the third period. Porter collected 5 goals and 1 assist in two East Regional games. Michigan goaltender Billy Sauer stopped all 27 shots he faced for his fourth shutout of the season. Clarkson finished 0 for 9 on the power play (and 0 for 13 for the weekend), and that was ultimately their undoing. The Wolverines became the first team to punch their ticket to the Frozen Four, and will face a familiar opponent in the national semifinals, as fellow CCHA members Michigan State and Notre Dame face off for the West Regional championship and a date with the Wolverines.

Northeast Regional semifinal: (2) Boston College 5, (3) Minnesota 2
Early on, this game looked like a mismatch. The Eagles played a nearly flawless first period, but led only 1-0. Minnesota elevated their play in the second, but traded goals with Boston College and went into the third period trailing 2-1. Defensive breakdowns led to two quick BC goals, but the Gophers went on the power play with four minutes remaining and pulled Kangas for a 6 on 4 advantage. Ben Gordon appeared to score, although play went on for more than two minutes before the Eagles scored an apparent empty-net goal to make the score 5-1. After a lengthy review, the Gordon goal stood (making the score 4-2) and the clock was reset to 3:27. Minnesota applied furious pressure for the remainder of the hockey game but would come no closer. Gerbe added an empty net goal for the final margin. The Eagles face the Miami Redhawks in Sunday’s Northeast Regional championship, and hope to replicate last season’s result, when they blanked Miami 4-0.

The West Regional final between (3) Michigan State and (4) Notre Dame was still in progress at the time this article was published.

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