NCAA Hockey Tournament Roundup: BU Downs UMD, Punches Frozen Four Ticket

Boston University will have the chance to win an NCAA championship on its own turf.

The top-seeded Terriers took care of business in Manchester, N.H, on Saturday, earning a dramatic 3-2 win over the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament to advance to their first Frozen Four since 2009. The semifinals and finals will be held at TD Garden on April 9 and 11.

BU entered the contest riding high after winning the Hockey East tournament and dispatching Yale in the opening round Friday night, but things didn’t come easy for the Terriers against the Bulldogs.

BU twice took the lead on goals from Evan Rodrigues and Matt Lane in the first and second periods, respectively, but both times UMD answered to tie the score.

With less than three minutes to play in regulation, though, Rodrigues played the role of hero by depositing a power play goal off assists from defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and forward Danny O’Regan.

The Bulldogs nearly tied the score with a shot on net in the game’s final seconds, but Terriers goaltender Matt O’Connor stopped the puck just before it crossed the line, and officials ruled “no goal” upon video review.

BU’s quest to capture its sixth national title will continue when it takes on North Dakota in the semifinals at TD Garden on April 9 at 8:30 p.m.

Here are the rest of the result’s from Saturday’s NCAA tournament action.

Denver 5, Boston College 2: The No. 2 seed Pioneers (24-13-2) held just a one-goal lead over the No. 3 seed Eagles (21-14-3) entering the third period but netted three goals in the final 20 minutes — including two from forward Grant Arnold — to send BC to a disappointing first-round exit.

Providence 7, Miami (Ohio) 5: The top-seeded Friars (23-13-2) appeared well on their way to victory over the No. 4 seed RedHawks (25-14-1) after scoring five straight goals to take a 6-2 lead into the third period. Yet Miami staged a furious comeback, scoring three goals in the third to cut the lead to 1 before Providence stopped the bleeding with an empty-net goal to seal the win.

RIT 2, Minnesota State-Mankato 1: The No. 4 seed Tigers (20-14-5) entered Saturday as the clear underdogs against the top-seeded Mavericks, but they made their presence felt with a first-period goal from Alexander Kuqali. MSM’s C.J. Franklin tied the score in the second, but RIT’s Josh Mitchell netted the game-winner with less than six minutes remaining in regulation to secure the upset.

Nebraska-Omaha 4, Harvard 1: The No. 2 seed Mavericks (19-12-6) got down to business right away, scoring an even-strength goal two minutes into action and adding a power-play goal near the end of the period to take a two-goal lead over the No. 3 Crimson (21-13-3). Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey cut that lead to one early in the second period, but Omaha added two empty-net goals as time wound down to prevent any comeback.

North Dakota 4, St. Cloud State 1: No. 2 seed North Dakota (29-9-3) trailed the No. 4 seed Huskies early when St. Cloud’s Jimmy Murray struck first in Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup. It was all North Dakota after that, however, as the squad scored three straight goals to earn a trip to the Frozen Four at TD Garden.

Thumbnail photo via Elise Amendola/The Associated Press