N. Dakota rallies to upset Wisconsin
CINCINNATI -- Mark MacMillan was standing his ground in front of the goal when the puck caromed off his side and into the net. His deflection set up an NCAA tournament upset.
MacMillan's goal broke a tie with 1:44 to go, and North Dakota added a pair of open-net goals in the final minute Friday night, pulling away to a 5-2 victory over top-seeded Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament's Midwest Regional semifinals.
No. 3 North Dakota (24-13-3) will face second-seeded Ferris State for the regional title Saturday and a trip to the Frozen Four. Ferris State beat Colgate 1-0 in the other semifinal.
The seven-time national champions got an at-large berth when Wisconsin (24-11-2) beat Ohio State for the Big Ten title, eliminating the Buckeyes. North Dakota then knocked out its longtime rival with three late goals, the most important one coming quite by chance.
Brendan O'Donnell shot from the right wing, and the rising puck hit MacMillan and went past goaltender Joel Rumpel for a 3-2 lead.
"I was just trying to go to the net," MacMillan said. "It just went off my side and bounced into the net. Bit of a lucky one, but we'll take it."
The goal was reviewed to see whether the puck deflected off MacMillan's raised stick or whether he had interfered with Rumpel.
"The ref did come over and say the North Dakota player did not bump your goaltender," Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. "It hit him and it went in."
Rocco Grimaldi scored a pair of empty-net goals in the final minute, giving him three goals in the game and ending the latest installment of a long-standing hockey rivalry.
It was the 164th game between the schools. They've met three times in the NCAA tournament, and North Dakota has won all three -- 5-2 in the 1982 title game and 3-2 in overtime in a 2008 regional final.
Union 5, Vermont 2
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Max Novak and Matt Hatch each scored two goals to help top-seeded Union beat Vermont 5-2 on Friday in the opening game of the NCAA East Regional.
Mat Bodie also scored for Union, which came into the tournament as the nation's top-ranked team for the first time in program history after winning the ECAC tournament for the third straight season. Kevin Sullivan added three assists and Daniel Carr had two for the Dutchman (29-6-4).
Chris McCarthy had two goals for Vermont (20-15-3), which was making its first NCAA appearance since 2010.
Union is 13-0-1 in its past 14 games.
The Catamounts took eight penalties, and Union converted three times on special teams.
The Dutchmen got on the board 4:15 into the game with a short-handed goal. Hatch went almost end-to-end unimpeded, skating down the right half-wall before cutting into the slot and beating goalie Brody Hoffman to the glove side.
"That really got the bench going," Bodie said. "Special teams often dictate who wins, and I thought our special teams did it tonight."
Vermont tied in the period when McCarthy went behind the Union net, threw the puck in front and saw it ricochet back to him for an easy shot past Colin Stevens, who made 23 saves. Hoffman had 34 for Vermont.
Union took the lead back just more than a minute later with a power-play goal. Carr's slap shot rebounded to Sullivan, who found Novak to the left of the goalie. Novak backhanded it into the net from his knees.
Carr played give-and-go with Novak on the power play to give the Dutchman a 3-1 lead in the second. Novak's pass back to Carr hit the stick of Vermont's Yvan Pattyn and into the net.
"We were moving the puck well, but more importantly we were winning the battles down low, and that's a huge component to the power play," Novak said.
Bodie made it 4-1 on a 4-on-1 rush after taking a pass from Sullivan in front of the net.
Vermont cut the deficit to two goals on a backhander by McCarthy at 13:19 of the third. But Hatch got his second goal on an empty net to put the game away.
"Our kids played their hearts out, but just took too many penalties," said Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon, who coached Union from 1999 to 2003.
The Dutchmen, who lost to Quinnipiac in last year's regional championship game in Providence, will face the Friars, winners of Friday's second East Regional game, on Saturday for a berth in the Frozen Four.
"We're very honored to be going to that game," coach Rick Bennett said.
Providence 4, Quinnipiac 0
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Jon Gillies made 37 saves, and third-seeded Providence beat second-seeded Quinnipiac 4-0 on Friday night in an NCAA East Region semifinal.
Mark Jankowski, Anthony Florentino, Shane Luke and Trevor Mingoia scored for Providence (22-10-6). The Friars led 1-0 after the first and scored three second-period goals.
That was more than enough with Gillies in net.
"It's unbelievable when you have a goalie like Jon behind you," Jankowski said. "If we bend a little too much, we have Jon back there to help us out."
The Friars will play top-seeded Union on Saturday in the regional championship game. The Dutchmen beat Vermont 5-2 in the first semifinal.
The game will pit Providence coach Nate Leaman against the program he led from 2003 to 2011 and former assistant Rick Bennett, a former Friars star.
"I think once the puck is dropped, I don't think anyone on the ice is going to think about it," Leaman said. "It's one game to see who advances. That's our goal, and there's really nothing that's going to distract me or the team, I think, from that."
Providence is making its first tournament appearance since 2001. It last won an NCAA game during a three-game first-round series with Minnesota in 1991.
Michael Garteig made 22 saves for Quinnipiac, which finished the season 24-10-6, a year after making it to the national championship game.
"It was a different game out there than what we've been used to all year," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. "There was a lot of obstruction and hooking and holding, and we've got to find a way to fight through it a little bit better."
Ferris State 1, Colgate 0
CINCINNATI -- C.J. Motte got past his rough weekend with an NCAA tournament shutout.
The Ferris State junior goalie turned away 35 shots Friday, making Gerald Mayhew's power-play goal midway through the first period hold up for a 1-0 victory over Colgate in the NCAA tournament regional semifinals.
The second-seeded Bulldogs (29-10-3) advanced to the Midwest Regional final, where they will meet North Dakota, by pulling off their sixth shutout of the season, their fifth with Motte in goal.
The Bulldogs finished the season by giving up eight goals in two games at the WCHA Final Five championship last weekend. Coach Bob Daniels thought it had more to do with leaky defense in front of Motte than with the goalie himself.
Both were solid Friday, repeatedly turning away a Colgate (20-14-5) team that had more shots on goal but couldn't get one to go in.
"He's always good," defenseman Scott Czarnowczan said of his goalie. "He might have been better today."
Motte made two impressive stops during a power play in the third period. He also made a glove save on Spiro Goulakos' slap shot with 1:37 to go. Colgate's Tyson Spink was called for cross checking with 57.9 seconds left, allowing Ferris State to finish it off on a power play.
"We just didn't get a bounce tonight," Goulakos said.
Colgate freshman goaltender Charlie Finn was solid Friday, stopping 26 shots. Mayhew flipped the puck over his leg from in front of the goal for the only score.
Mayhew, a freshman forward, had a pair of goals at the Final Five championship last weekend, including the game winner during a 5-4 victory over Anchorage Alaska.
"He's played well as of late," Daniels said. "Gerald's got a very quick stick. You could see the chances coming more and more."
Once he scored, it was a matter of holding on.
"They played their game," Colgate coach Don Vaughan said. "They did a great job defending the lead when they got it."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.