NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament Regional Wrap-up

Story posted March 30, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Matt Scalzo

After an exciting weekend of college hockey, the Frozen Four is set. Minnesota Duluth, Massachusetts, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State are the four teams that are heading to Pittsburgh.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how each team got here.

Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs - Fargo Champions

The winners of the Fargo Regional came into the tournament as the reigning national champions after winning in 2019. Led by head coach Scott Sandelin, Minnesota Duluth is heading to their fourth straight Frozen Four. 

The Bulldogs advanced to the Regional Final after their semifinal opponent, Michigan had to drop-out due to COVID-19 issues.

In the Regional Championship, Minnesota Duluth faced NCHC counterpart and No.1 overall seed, North Dakota. The two teams proceeding to play the longest NCAA men’s hockey tournament game ever, 142:13.

The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the third period, but with under two minutes left North Dakota scored two goals to tie the game and send it to overtime. After playing four extra periods of scoreless hockey, freshman Luke Mylymok was the hero, scoring 2:13 into the fifth overtime.

Massachusetts Minutemen - Bridgeport Champions

The Hockey East champions came into the Bridgeport Regional as the No. 2 seed and they were looking to head back to their second straight NCAA Championship game appearance.

In the semifinals, the Minutemen faced WCHA Champion Lake Superior State. After the first period, it was tied at 1, but then UMass took over scoring four unanswered goals winning, 5-1. Minutemen netminder Filip Lindberg made 30 saves in the contest.

Then, in the final, UMass faced another WCHA team, Bemidji State who upset No. 1 seed Wisconsin. However, there was no Cinderella story as the Minutemen blanked the Beavers, 4-0. Carson Gicewicz scored a hat-trick and Lindberg had 18 saves in the shutout.

Minnesota State Mavericks - Loveland Champions

Minnesota State entered into the tournament for the seventh time seeking their first-ever tournament win.

In their semifinal matchup, the No. 2 seeded Mavericks faced No. 3 Quinnipiac. Trailing 3-2 late in the third period Cade Borchardt tied the game for Minnesota State to send it to overtime. Then in overtime, the son of Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott, Ryan Sandelin scored the winner to give Minnesota State their first tournament win.

In the regional final, the Mavericks continued to turn heads as they shutout No. 3 Minnesota, 4-0. Goaltender Dryden McKay stopped all 22 shots he faced and the Minnesota State defense proved why they’re one of the best in the country making life tough for the Golden Gophers all game.

St. Cloud State Huskies - Albany Champions

After losing the NCHC Frozen Faceoff to North Dakota, 5-3, St. Cloud came in with a chip on their shoulder and it showed. They rolled through two of the best Hockey East teams en route to their second Frozen Four appearance.

The Huskies topped Boston University in their semifinal contest, 6-2. With the game tied at 2 in the second period, St. Cloud then scored the next four goals to close out the game. Leading goal scorer Easton Brodzinski had two goals and goalie Dávid Hrenák made 34 saves.

Against Boston College in the regional final, it was going to be a good matchup. Matt Boldy struck first for the Eagles and then Brodzinski left the game with a bad knee injury, it looked like it was going to be a long day for St. Cloud. 

However, that was not the case as the Huskies rallied together and dominated the pace of play winning, 4-1. St. Cloud scored three goals in the second period and Micah Miller iced the game with an empty-net goal. Hrenák was great again making 26 stops in net.

The Frozen Four will take place at PPG Paints Arena with the semifinals happening on April 8. The first semifinal is a rematch of the 2019 National Championship, Minnesota Duluth vs Massachusetts. The other semifinal is an all Minnesota showdown, Minnesota State vs St. Cloud State. The National Championship is set for April 10 at 7 p.m.

 

Matthew Scalzo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mms7477@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

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Matt Scalzo

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

Matthew “Matt” Scalzo is a second-year from Ridgefield, Connecticut majoring in broadcast journalism. Matt is a part of the CommRadio sports department as a broadcaster and writer. With CommRadio he has called football, volleyball, basketball and hockey games. Matt is also the Penn State Women’s Volleyball play-by-play broadcaster calling games on both TV and radio. He has written countless articles and appeared on podcasts, live shows and is a part of The Extra Point, a talk show centered around the NFL. If you want to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).