The first day of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship is in the books—and will be tough to top the rest of the tournament.
At the West Regional in Fargo, Boston University edged de facto host and defending national champion North Dakota, 4-3, in double overtime after an apparent UND goal in the first extra session was disallowed, due to an offside play on Ludvig Hoff. The Fighting Hawks had fought back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period with goals just three minutes apart by Hoff and Christian Wolanin to force sudden death, and outshot BU by a 59-29 margin on the afternoon. Charlie McAvoy connected for the game-winner 11:48 into the second OT off a cross-ice feed from Clayton Keller for BU, while goaltender Jake Oettinger finished with 56 saves for the Terriers.
In the nightcap in North Dakota, top-seeded Minnesota-Duluth took a 2-0 lead on Ohio State, which had a supposed goal of its own called back in the opening 20 minutes. The Buckeyes responded with two third-period goals by defensemen Matt Joyaux and Gordi Myer to tie matters, but it was NCHC champion UMD winning in sudden death on a slapshot by blueliner Willie Raskob at 11:58 of the additional session. Hunter Miksa made 40 saves for the Bulldogs, who will now face BU at 6 p.m. ET (ESPNU) on Saturday at Scheels Arena in the West Regional final.
At the East Regional in Providence, ECAC champion and top-seeded Harvard won its first NCAA Tournament game in 23 years, getting two goals from Tyler Moy and 41 saves from Merrick Madsen in topping Providence, 3-0. The Crimson also won its 15th straight game dating back to January.
In the second game, Atlantic Hockey champion Air Force outlasted Western Michigan, 5-4, with Kyle Haak scoring twice and Shane Starrett stopping 22 shots for the Falcons, who led by a 4-1 score early in the third period. Griffen Molino and Sheldon Dries scored 23 seconds apart to pull the Broncos within one, but Tyler Ledford’s goal just over a minute-and-a-half later stood up as the game-winner for AFA. The Falcons will now meet the Crimson on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU) at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in the East Regional final.
The Northeast Regional at SNHU Arena in Manchester, N.H. gets underway with Cornell encountering UMass Lowell at noon ET (ESPN3.com) on Saturday, capped by Minnesota skating against Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU). The Midwest Regional at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati faces off with Denver meeting Michigan Tech at 1 p.m. ET (ESPNews), followed by Union (NY) taking on Penn State at 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3.com).
The Northeast and Midwest regional finals will be contested on Sunday, at 3:30 p.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET, respectively, both showing on ESPNU. The four regional winners will advance to the NCAA Frozen Four on April 6 at the United Center in Chicago.