Tonight, the second round of the NCAA Men's Hockey tournament was completed. Yesterday, North Dakota and Boston College punched their tickets to the Frozen Four. Two more teams joined them tonight on the Road to Tampa. The two Sunday match-ups were, in the East region, No. 1 Quinnipiac vs. No. 2 UMass Lowell and in the West region it was No. 2 Denver vs. No. 4 Ferris State. Two very closely matched ups, let's discuss what went to down on Frozen Four Second Round Sunday.
No. 1 Quinnipiac 4 vs. No. 2 UMass Lowell 1 - Quinnipiac after being down early, ran away with this one. I said that UMass goaltending needed to help them in the game or it would get away from them. Quinnipiac has looked really good in their first two games. UMass Lowell seniors final record 100-44-17, the most ever for a senior class at the school. Well played Riverhawk seniors, well played!
The Riverhawks did open the scoring in this one at 3:01 mark of the first period. The goal was scored on the power play by Dylan Zink. Unfortunately, it was the lone goal for Lowell in the game. At the end of the first period, Riverhawks led 1-0.
Quinnipiac had an offensive explosion in the second period when they scored three goals in seven minutes and thirteen seconds. The first goal was scored by Landon Smith at the 10:33 mark. Smith's goal was followed by Sam Anas' goal at the 12:11 mark. The final goal for Qunnipiac, in the second period, was scored by Scott Davidson at 17:51. The three goals were more than enough to put the game on ice. At the end of two, 3-1 Quinnipiac.
Travis St. Denis scored an insurance goal 16:06 into the third period to make it 4-1. That would be the final score of the game as Quinnipiac held on for the 4-1 victory. They were the final team to punch their ticket to the Frozen Four. They will face Boston College in the semifinal of the Frozen Four.
No. 2 Denver 6 vs. No. 4 Ferris State 3 - This was a close game until Denver got a couple of goals late in the third period. Coupled with the goals, Ferris State took a major penalty just after and that sealed the game for the Pioneers. The hit was borderline, but it was high. In today's game if you hit someone high you have to be ready to serve a major penalty. You cannot fault the refs for watching out for player safety, especially with hits to the head.
Danton Heinen was first to score for Denver. The goal came 5:34 into the first period. Just about ten minutes later Gerald Mayhew scored for Ferris State to tie it up at one. Denver had an answer for the Ferris State goal when Dylan Gambrell scored. Ferris State refused to go into the locker room down at the end of the first period. Their second goal came a minute later from Corey Mackin. Denver 2 Ferris State 2 - First Intermission.
Compared to the first period, the second period was low scoring. Denver got an early goal from Trevor Moore. Moore's goal came 2:34 into the second period. It was the lone goal of the second period. Denver 3 Ferris State 2.
Ferris State capitalized on a Denver tripping penalty 7:17 into the third period. This time it was Kyle Schempp. The score stayed tied 3-3 well into the latter stages of the third period when Denver got two quick goals. The first of the goals was scored by Blake Hillman at 15:28. Hillman was followed up by Nolan Zajac, 25 seconds later. Denver 5 - Ferris State 3.
All bets for Ferris State pulling the upset were off at the 16:27 mark of the third period when Brandon Anselmini was given a major penalty. The major penalty was for checking from behind. He was also given a 10 minute game misconduct. Denver added a goal on the major penalty from Quentin Shore. Thus, closed the scoring at 6-3 Denver.
This was a close game like I thought. Denver got a couple of late goals that propelled them to victory. The major penalty sealed Ferris State's fate. I originally picked St. Cloud to get to the Frozen Four from this region. Denver was the better team tonight and they are going to the Frozen Four for the 14th time. Congrads to the Pioneers! They will face North Dakota in the semifinal for the Frozen Four.
Hockey East sends six teams to the tournament but only one made it to Tampa (Boston College)
NCHC sends four teams to the tournament and two made it to Tampe (Denver and North Dakota)
ECAC rounds out the Frozen Four (Quinnipiac)
In the six years I have filled out a hockey bracket I have only gotten 3 of 4 team right (2012, 2016)
I have never picked all four Frozen Four teams
April 7 - No. 1 Quinnipiac vs. No. 2 BC - ESPN2 - 5 PM or 8:30 PM TBD
April 7 - No. 1 North Dakota vs. No. 2 Denver - ESPN2 - 5 PM or 8:30 PM TBD
I will have a Frozen Four preview edition coming out some time this week! Have a great night!