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Yale beats North Dakota to make Frozen Four

Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 12:11 AM NHL.com

Yale, the last team to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, became the first team to earn a berth in this year's Frozen Four by scoring four times in the third period to beat North Dakota 4-1 on Saturday in the final of the NCAA West Regional in Grand Rapids, Mich.

It's the first trip to the championship round since 1952 for Yale, which didn't qualify for the tournament until Michigan lost to Notre Dame in the CCHA tournament final on Sunday.

Jesse Root, whose overtime goal on Friday eliminated top-seeded Minnesota, broke a 1-1 tie with 4:56 left in regulation with a power-play goal. He worked his way into the left circle and whipped a shot from the faceoff dot that beat goaltender Clarke Saunders.

Freshman Stu Wilson added an insurance goal when he knocked in a rebound with 2:21 remaining, and Kenny Agostino hit the empty net with a minute to play.

Yale (20-12-3) of the ECAC had tied the game with 7:35 left in regulation when Andrew Miller's pass from the right wall found an unchecked Josh Balch just in front of the crease. Balch quickly one-timed the puck past Saunders to get the Bulldogs even.

North Dakota (22-13-7) of the WCHA took the lead 7:22 into the game when Corbin Knight weaved through the Yale defense and beat goaltender Jeff Malcolm from below the hash marks.

Malcolm made 24 saves for Yale, while Saunders stopped 35 shots.

Midwest Regional

St. Cloud St. 5, Notre Dame 1

Notre Dame became the second No. 1 seed to lose its first tournament game as Joey Benik had two goals and an assist to help fourth-seeded St. Cloud State beat the Fighting Irish in the first semifinal in the Midwest Regional in Toledo, Ohio.

The Huskies (24-15-1) of the WCHA will face Miami (Ohio) on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.

Benik, Cory Thorson and Jonny Brodzinski scored on St. Cloud State's first seven shots of the second period to make it 4-0. Ben Hankowski also scored, and Ryan Faragher made 17 saves.

Mike Voran had a shorthanded goal in the third period for Notre Dame (25-13-3). The Irish entered the game with a seven-game winning streak after winning the final CCHA tournament championship.

Miami (Ohio) 4, Minnesota State 0

Ryan McKay made 20 saves and Miami broke the game open with three goals in the third period to make the regional final against St. Cloud State.

The second-seeded RedHawks (25-11-5) opened the scoring when Curtis McKenzie scored midway through the second period. Marc Hagel, Cody Murphy and Max Cook added goals in the third. Miami, the CCHA regular-season champion, made it past the first round of the tournament for the first time since 2010, its last trip to the Frozen Four.

The Mustangs of the WCHA (24-14-3) got 21 saves from Stephon Williams in their second NCAA Tournament appearance.

East Regional

Quinnipiac 4, Canisius 3

The Bobcats, seeded No. 1 in the tournament, got goals by Matthew Peca, Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Kevin Bui in a 6:26 span of the third period to overcome a two-goal deficit and beat Canisius in their East Regional semifinal at Providence, R.I.

Quinnipiac, which survived an upset by Brown in the ECAC semifinals to earn the top seed in the 16-team field, will face defending national champion Boston College or Union on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four.

The Golden Griffins (19-19-5), the Atlantic Hockey tournament winner, led 3-1 were primed for an upset after Kyle Gibbons beat Hobey Baker finalist Eric Hartzell at 3:43 of the third period.

But Quinnipiac made it 3-2 on Peca's goal at 8:02, Samuels-Thomas tied it with a power-play goal at 10:42 and Bui fired a rebound past Tony Capobianco with 5:32 left. Hartzell preserved the win when he stopped McKellar's shot at the final buzzer.

Connor Jones had a first-period goal and an assist for the Bobcats (28-7-5).

Stephen Farrell and Duncan McKellar scored 44 seconds apart in the second period for Canisius, which saw its eight-game winning streak end.

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