Bulldogs Punch Ticket For Frozen Four!
How ’bout them Dogs! UMD will have nice home ice advantage as they are just two wins away from becoming the NCAA Division I men’s hockey national champions.
Minnesota Duluth will carry the state banner into the 2011 NCAA Division I men’s hockey Frozen Four after taking down a second Eastern College Athletic Conference team in two days Saturday night.
The No. 9-ranked Bulldogs scored four second-period goals on the way to beating No. 1 Yale University of New Haven, Conn., 5-3 in the East Regional final before a crowd of 7,816 at Webster Bank Arena.
UMD (24-10-6) eliminated ECAC regular-season champion Union College 2-0 in Friday’s semifinals before eliminating ECAC playoff champion Yale (28-7-1), also the Bulldogs.
UMD’s top line led the way as Mike Connolly had a goal and three assists, Jack Connolly had a goal plus two assists, and Justin Fontaine had a goal and an assist. Defenseman Justin Faulk had two assists.
Yale had been No. 1 in the computerized PairWise rankings and in nearly every statistical offensive and defensive team category in Division I, and had won five straight games, allowing just one goal total the past four games.
“Statistically it says they are the best team of the regular season. This is the playoffs,” said junior winger Mike Connolly. “We’ve now reached one of our goals, to get to the Frozen Four, and we’d like to win two more games.”
UMD advances to the semifinals against the Northeast Regional winner April 7 at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.