and Quinnipiac for all the Frozen Four marbles/pucks on Saturday night in the Southeast (8
p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Quinnipiac, the top-ranked team in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey, punched its ticket to the national championship game after outlasting sixth-ranked Boston College, 3-2, at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Thursday afternoon. North Dakota then made its first final in 11 years by rebounding for a late 4-2 victory last night over National Collegiate Hockey Conference rival
Denver in the nightcap.
After taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Kevin McKernan and Andrew Taverner in the first eight minutes of play, a power-play tally by Landon Smith early in the second period stood up as the game-winner for Quinnipiac (32-3-7 overall), the 2013 national runner-up. BC (28-8-5) got goals from Alex Tuch and Ryan Fitzgerald (PPG) in playing catch-up, but couldn’t get the equalizer despite outshooting the Bobcats, 36-30. The Eagles came up short when Michael Garteig (34 saves) got a glove on Ian McCoshen’s right-side blast with less than five seconds remaining in regulation.
Dakota (33-6-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of
second-period goals by Drake Caggiula, only to watch as the seventh-ranked Pioneers
(25-10-6) tied the game in the third period on tallies eight minutes apart by
blueliners Will Butcher and Matt VanVoorhis. Nick Schmaltz’s backhander in
front with 57 seconds left won it for the Fighting Hawks, as did 21 saves by Cam
Johnson, while Rhett Gardner iced affairs by flipping the puck the length of the
ice and into an empty Denver
net with two seconds left.