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Frozen Four forecast: UND to face Minnesota in Frozen Four in Philly

UND players celebrate after winning the East Regional championship on Saturday to advance to the Frozen Four. Chris Classen Eric athletics

So, UND and Minnesota will meet after all this season.

In the City of Brotherly Love, no less.

The longtime rivals, who were not on each other’s schedule for the first time since the 1940s this season, will take center stage at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia in two weeks, meeting in a primetime game at 7:30 p.m. on April 10 on ESPN2.

UND earned its spot in the Frozen Four with its dramatic double overtime victory over Ferris State on Saturday night in Cincinnati. Connor Gaarder scored the game-winning goal for UND.

On Sunday, the Gophers joined them by knocking out St. Cloud State with a 4-0 victory.

This will be the fourth meeting between UND and Minnesota in the NCAA tournament in the last 10 years.

UND beat the Gophers 4-2 in the 2005 Frozen Four semifinals and 3-2 in overtime in the 2007 West Regional final. Minnesota beat UND 5-2 in the 2012 West Regional final.

The last meeting between the teams came Jan. 19, 2013. The teams tied 4-4 in Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena.

Boston College and Union will join them in Philadelphia. The Eagles and Dutchmen will play at 4 p.m. on April 10 at Wells Fargo Center, the home of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Three teams in Philadelphia are No. 1 seeds — Minnesota, Boston College and Union. It is the first time in four years that three No. 1 seeds have reached the Frozen Four. Those teams have occupied the top three spots in the polls for the last two months.

UND is the darkhorse of the group. As a No. 4 seed, UND took out No. 1-seeded Wisconsin and No. 2-seeded Ferris State — both anchored by Hobey Baker Award finalist goaltenders — in the Midwest Regional.

Now in UND’s way is the third and final goaltender up for the Hobey Baker Award in Minnesota sophomore Adam Wilcox.

The teams are regulars in the Frozen Four, too.

In the last decade, UND and Boston College have reached the Frozen Four six times. Minnesota is third with three trips and six times are tied with two, including Union.

Gophers roll into Frozen Four with shutout win over St. Cloud State

For the 21st time since 1953, the Gophers hockey team is headed to the Frozen Four after a 4-0 win over St. Cloud State in the NCAA West Regional final Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center.

In a quest for their sixth national title, the Gophers (27-6-6) will face North Dakota in a national semifinal April 10 in Philadelphia. Union and Boston College will play in the other semifinal.

Sunday, the top-seeded Gophers renewed their rivalry with the Huskies for the 94th time and first time in the NCAA tournament. Just like the 53-28-12 record as mostly WCHA foes, the Gophers came out on top.

And the tradition continues.

Two goals from freshman center Justin Kloos and 24 saves from sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox gave coach Don Lucia his 650th career win, 10th most all time.

And the tradition continues.

Three of the Gophers’ goals Sunday came off rebounds, but the third at the midpoint of the game came as a result of crisp passing by Nate Condon and Taylor Cammarata to set up Kloos’ second goal at 9:53.

That proved to be a backbreaker for the Huskies (22-11-5), who were attempting to reach the Frozen Four in consecutive seasons.

St. Cloud State outshot the Gophers 11-10 in the period, but gave up two goals.

The third-seeded Huskies (22-10-5), who ranked third in the nation with 3.68 goals per game, were blanked for only the second time this season.

After Saturday’s win over Robert Morris, Lucia said the regional championship would come down to which team defended better.

That was the Gophers.

The Huskies’ starting goalie, Ryan Faragher, gave up three goals on 15 shots and was replaced by freshman Charlie Lindgren at 14:40 of the second period.

Faragher, who tied a season high with 39 saves Saturday against Notre Dame, has been battling flu symptoms all weekend.

In the first period, Gopher freshman center Justin Kloos wrapped around the net and caught Faragher out of position for a 1-0 lead at 11:09.

Faragher came out of the net to defend Nate Condon, who shot wide. Kloos controlled it and went over to the left side, and Faragher dove back too late.

When they score first, the Gophers are unbeaten in 21 games (16-0-5).

In the second period, Seth Ambroz netted a rebound at 3:48 to give the Gophers a 2-0 lead.

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 12th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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