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Union beats Massachusetts-Lowell 4-1 to earn first Frozen Four trip @NHLdotcom

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Union College reached the Frozen Four for the first time with a 4-2 win against Massachusetts-Lowell in the NCAA East Regional on Saturday night.

Daniel Ciampini, Kyle Bodie, Jeremy Welsh and Josh Jooris scored for the Dutchmen (25-7-7), who were making their second appearance in the Division I NCAA tournament.

Union will face the Midwest Regional champion in the national semifinals on April 5 in Tampa, Fla.

Troy Grosenick, a Hobey Baker Award finalist, made 19 saves for Union, a small school from Schenectady, New York.

"The guys in front of me have been awesome," Grosenick said. "The (defencemen) clear rebounds. I can tend to leave a few out there once in a while. If I let up a rebound like that, the defencemen are there.

"They do a great job letting me see the puck. The forwards do a great job blocking shots from the point."

The River Hawks' Doug Carr made 35 saves, and Matt Ferreira and Terrence Wallin scored.

Lowell was also seeking its first Frozen Four berth. The River Hawks made their fourth NCAA tournament appearance in Division I and their first since 1996.

"They came in droves," Lowell coach Norm Bazin said, "and we were a step off. . They were the better hockey team."

Lowell cut the lead to 3-2 at 5:40 into the third. Welsh lost the puck going behind the net, and it slipped to the front, where Ferreira fired it past Grosenick.

I'd turned my head, to communicate to Welshy that he had some time. The moment I turned my head is the moment he lost the puck," Grosenick said. "It happens. The main point is Welshy's a great player. He got over it really quickly."

Grosenick made a big save on a rebound try by Ferreira with 4:49 remaining to preserve the lead, and he stood up to another Lowell scramble with about three minutes to go.

Bodie put it away with an empty-net goal from the neutral zone with 40.6 seconds remaining.

Union outshot UMass Lowell 12-4 in the second period and scored twice to take control.

Welsh, the most outstanding player of the regional, scored his 27th goal of the season in the slot on a rebound to make it 2-0.

Lowell scored on its 13th shot, 14:06 into the second. Terrence Wallin cut in off the left-wing boards and flipped a shot that banked into the net off Union defenceman Mat Bodie.

But the Dutchmen restored their two-goal lead with a late power-play goal. After UMass-Lowell captain Riley Wetmore was sent off for holding Welsh, Jooris scored off freshman Shayne Gostisbehere's drop pass in the slot, beating Carr just inside the right post with a backhand shot.

Union scored 3:03 into the game. Kevin Sullivan, from nearby Darien, negated an icing, which allowed the Dutchmen to set up. Kyle Bodie centred to freshman Ciampini in the slot for his third goal of the year.

An ECAC team had not made the Frozen Four since Cornell lost in the semifinals in 2003.

We've been progressing. I've been here for three years, and each year, we've taken a step, into ECACs, and (Saturday), this," Welsh said. "Maybe my freshman year this would've been a big, wild moment, but the program has come so far."

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