It seems that college hockey’s version of march madness is deeply overshadowed by the real march madness with college basketball. Yet, I would argue, some of the games on the road to the Frozen Four are way more entertaining than those on the road to the Final Four. Last night’s frozen four games with Minnesota-Duluth vs. Ohio State and Notre Dame vs Michigan were sure to not disappoint.
Minnesota-Duluth vs. Ohio State
Minnesota Duluth was probably the most surprising team to make it this far despite making it to the National Championship a year ago. This team was heavily made up of freshman as they lost large amounts of their veterans after last season. Yet, that didn’t stop them from advancing to their second straight National Title game.
Minnesota Duluth got off to an extremely hot start, scoring both of their goals within the first 4 minutes of the game from the sticks of Louie Roehl and Jared Thomas. Those goals would be all they would need though. After those two goals, the game quickly turned into a defensive battle with both teams struggling to find the net. Ohio State would eventually get on the board with a goal from Tanner Laczynski in the third period but wouldn’t be able to get that equalizer in a disappointing loss for the Buckeyes.
Notre Dame vs Michigan
When you think of Notre Dame vs Michigan, the main thing that comes to your mind is the football rivalry. However, that rivalry has carried over to the ice and these games never disappoint.
Michigan got off to the hot start in this one, scoring the first goal of the game in the first period thanks to Tony Calderone. The Wolverines wouldn’t score again in the first period but would quickly grab a 2-0 lead right out of the gates in the second period as Dexter Dancs scored just 17 seconds into the period.
After that, it was all Irish. The Irish would quickly cut the deficit to 1 after Andrew Oglevie netted one in not too long after the Wolverines took a 2-0 lead. The Irish would score the equalizer in the same period, this time it was a clapper from captain Jake Evans which was his first of two goals on the night.
The Irish would quickly grab the 3-2 lead in the third period with Cal Burke driving one into the back of the net. Things got real interesting (and intense) as the Wolverines would tie the game at 3 after a goal from Michael Pastujov. It seemed as though the game would go to overtime but the Irish had other plans in mind.
After the Irish moved the puck out of their own zone with about 7 seconds left, Cam Morrison headed up the ice, skating fast down the slot and with eyes in the back of his head dropped a pass behind him perfectly to the skating Jake Evans who then re-directed the pass past Hayden Lavigne and into the back of the net to send the Irish to the National Title game.
Saturday, April 7 Minnesota Duluth vs Notre Dame for the College Hockey National Championship