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Union, North Dakota advance to Frozen Four @NHLdotcom

Top-ranked Union College advanced to the Frozen Four for the second time in three years by beating Providence 3-1 on Saturday in the NCAA East Regional Final at Bridgeport, Conn.

Max Novak, Mat Bodie and Matt Hatch scored for Union (30-6-4) of the ECAC, which is 14-0-1 in its past 15 games. The Dutchmen, who lost to Ferris State in the 2012 national semifinals, are ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history.

Nick Saracino scored with just over five minutes left in regulation for Providence (22-11-6) of Hockey East to make it 2-1. But Novak set up Hatch in front for a one-timer past goaltender Jon Gillies 1:08 later to end the Friars' comeback hopes.

Union goaltender Colin Stevens made 25 saves, including a key stop in the first period when he gloved a rebound from point-blank range by Derek Army. Gillies stopped 28 shots.

It was the first game between the schools since coach Nate Leaman left the Dutchmen to take over the Friars after the 2011 season. Rick Bennett, his former assistant, has led Union to the regional finals in each of the past three seasons. Bennett was a Hobey Baker finalist when he starred at Providence.

Midwest Regional

North Dakota 2, Ferris State 1, 2OT

North Dakota, the last team to get into the 16-team field, earned its 20th trip to the Frozen Four when Connor Gaarder scored 1:28 into the second overtime to beat top-seeded Ferris State in Cincinnati.

The seven-time national champions, now in the NCHC, got an at-large berth and the fourth seed in the Midwest Regional when Wisconsin beat Ohio State for the Big Ten title. North Dakota (25-13-3) then beat top-seeded Wisconsin on Friday.

Sophomore goalie Zane Gothbert had a career-high 44 saves to help North Dakota advance to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2011.

Ferris State (29-11-3) opened the scoring 7:31 into the second period on a goal by Cory Kane; North Dakota tied it just over three minutes later period on Stephane Pattyn's power-play goal. Ferris State outshot North Dakota 26-8 in the third period and overtime but couldn't get another puck past Gothbert.

Northeast Regional

Boston College 6, Denver 2

Mass.-Lowell 2, Minnesota State 1

Johnny Gaudreau scored three goals and set up three others for top-seeded BC, which rolled over Denver in the first Northeast Regional semifinal at Worcester, Mass.

The Eagles, who won the regular-season Hockey East championship, will face Lowell, the tournament winner, which held off Minnesota State in the second game. The conference rivals will play Sunday for a berth in the Frozen Four.

Gaudreau tied the regionals scoring record and was one point shy of matching the NCAA tournament record for points in a game. He scored 25 seconds into the game and BC built a 6-0 second-period lead. The hat trick was his first with Boston College (27-7-4).

Linemate Kevin Hayes had two goals and an assist; top-line center Bill Arnold had a goal and set up two others.

Denver, from the NCHC, finished 20-16-6.

In the second game, Connor Hellebuyck stopped 35 shots for the River Hawks (26-10-4), who are seeking a return trip to the Frozen Four.

Hellebuyck came within 10.8 seconds of his seventh shutout of the season. After Lowell defenseman Zack Kamrass scored an empty-net goal to make it 2-0 with 40.9 seconds left, Zach Stepan had a power-play goal for the Mavericks (26-14-1), the WCHA champion.

Joe Pendenza scored a shorthanded goal in the first period for Lowell, which ended Minnesota State's 12-0-1 unbeaten streak.

Cole Huggins made 33 saves for the Mavericks.

West Regional

Minnesota 7, Robert Morris 3

St. Cloud St. 4, Notre Dame 3, OT

The top-seeded Gophers delighted the crowd at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., by routing the Colonials, who were making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Big Ten regular-season champion Gophers (26-6-6) will face in-state rival St. Cloud State, which beat Notre Dame on Nic Dowd's overtime goal, on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four.

Minnesota scored three times in the final five minutes of the first period and never looked back. Nate Condon opened the scoring on an end-to-end rush, then iced the win by hitting the empty net during a penalty kill with 1:48 left.

Cody Wydo and Zac Lynch scored for Robert Morris (19-18-5), the AHA tournament champion, late in the second period to cut it to 4-2. David Friedmann had a third-period goal and Dalton Izyk made 43 saves.

In the second game, Dowd scored with 2:39 left in overtime to lift St. Cloud State into the regional final.

Dowd, a Hobey Baker Award finalist who leads the Huskies with 22 goals, fired a high wrist shot from the left circle that beat Steven Summerhays.

Ryan Papa, Brooks Bertsch and Jonny Brodzinski also scored, and Ryan Faragher made 39 saves for the third-seeded Huskies (22-10-5) of the NCHC. Bryan Rust, Kevin Lind and Thomas DiPauli scored for Notre Dame (23-15-2) of Hockey East. DiPauli's goal midway through the third period sent the game into overtime

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