As the first round in the East and West regions was getting started on Saturday, the Northeast and Midwest regions played their second round games. The two games featured Boston College vs Minnesota Duluth in the Northeast region and Michigan vs. North Dakota in the Midwest region. They were two very compelling games. Let's jump into the analysis of the two second round games.
No. 2 Boston College 3 - No. 4 Minnesota Duluth 2 - Holy cow! What an ending to this one! Boston College jumped out to a 3-0 lead and Duluth came storming back and almost tied it in the third period. Unbelievable finish! Let's talk about how they got there.
Boston College's Teddy Doherty opened the scoring 14:06 into the first period. Adam Gilmour had the lone assist on the goal. It was the only goal of the first period, BC 1 Duluth 0.
Early into the second, the Eagles scored again. It was Teddy for his second goal on the night. The helpers went to Zach Sanford and Chris Calnan. This was also the only goal of the period, BC 2 Duluth 0 or Teddy Doherty 2 Duluth 0.
BC would strike for a third time, early in the third period on the power play. Ryan Fitzgerald got the goal, and the helpers went to Scott Savage and Casey Fitzgerald. Time of the goal 6:35.
The tide would turn from there to the Duluth side. Getting the first goal was Austin Farley. It was a power play goal at 12:49. About three minutes later, Karson Kuhlman scored, making it 3-2 BC.
You could not write a better ending to this game. BC's Miles Wood took an interference penalty with less than two minutes into the game. Duluth had to pull their goal because they were down 3-2. So, it was a 6 on 4 for Duluth for the last minute of the game. With 9 second left, Austin Farley had a gem of a chance to tie it but he fanned on the shot. The puck entered the blue crease and it was oh so close, yet so far away. It was a tough play for Farley but he might be sick about it for a while.
I picked Boston College to get to the Frozen Four, but I did not imagine it going down to the wire like it did. Holy Cow! This is why I love hockey, teams look like they may be out of it but they fight back into it and give themselves a chance to win.
No. 1 North Dakota 5 - No. 2 Michigan 2 - This game was much closer than the score might tell. It was close until late into the third and then North Dakota took control of the game. I said that Michigan needed their top line to come out and play well, and they did but they just did not get enough help. In the end, the deeper team won, and North Dakota was the first to punch their ticket to Tampa.
Drake Caggiula scored the game's first goal 18:54 into the first period. It was the only goal in the first period, leaving the score North Dakota 1 Michigan 0.
In the second period Michigan's top line got going with a strike from JT Compher, the goal tied the game at the 5:33 mark. The score would stay that way until late in the second period when Luke Johnson of North Dakota got his first goal of the game. The unassisted goal made the score at the second intermission Fighting Hawks 2 Wolverines 1.
Compher was at it again in the third period on the power play. His second goal of the game, at 8:39, tied things up at 2. Unfortunately, for Michigan that was their last goal of the game.
North Dakota was just getting revved up. At 12:03 in the third period, North Dakota got their first of the three goals in the period. Rhett Gardner was the first to score for the Fighting Hawks. He was joined one minute and fourteen second later by Coltyn Sanderson. Both goals were reviewed and determined to be good goals. Paul Ladue added an empty net, power play goal for the 5-2 Fighting Hawks victory. Michigan had pulled their goalie at this point to make it 5 on 5 since they were down 4-2 on the scoreboard.
It was a good game, Compher got his goals, but Michigan needed much more from the top line to beat North Dakota. Michigan was the only Big Ten team in the tournament, it was nice to see them at least get to the second round.
The Other Two Second Round Games - Sunday March 27th
East Region: No. 1 Quinnipiac vs. No. 2 UMass Lowell - 7:30 PM ESPNU
West Region: No. 2 Denver vs. No. 4 Ferris State - 5 PM ESPNU