DETROIT - APRIL 10: Steven Whitney #21 and Joe Whitney #15 of the Boston College Eagles celebrate with the trophy after the championship game of the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four on April 10, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Boston College defeated Wisconsin 5-0 to win the national title. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

2011 Frozen Four Set As Notre Dame, UMD, North Dakota, Michigan Advance

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NCAA Hockey Tournament 2011: Notre Dame, North Dakota Move On, Complete Frozen Four Field

Sunday's NCAA hockey tournament action saw the final two teams advance to the Frozen Four. In the Midwest Regional Final, the North Dakota Fighting Sioux crushed the Denver Pioneers 6-1 to advance, while in the Northeast Regional, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame squeaked by New Hampshire.

North Dakota 6, Denver 1: At the end of the first period of Sunday's game, it looked as though we might've had a close battle on our hands. Mario Lamoureux gave the Sioux a 1-0 lead on a shortie five minutes in, but with a second left in the period, Jason Zucker answered for Denver.

As the second period began, though, North Dakota asserted their dominance. They hit, they skated, they looked like they were on another stratosphere. Denver simply couldn't hang. It became 3-1 after the second period, but by the time the final horn sounded, the score was an embarrassing 6-1. 

Notre Dame 2, New Hampshire 1: It was the complete opposite of the offensive show of force that the Sioux put on, as the goaltending stole the show in the Northeast Regional Final. Irish goalie Mike Johnson made 38 saves against the Wildcats on Sunday to lift his team to the Frozen Four.

Johnson was especially key late in the third period. After losing a shutout bid a little more than midway through the period, Johnson and the Notre Dame penalty killers were tested by a UNH squad hungry to tie the score at 2-2. Johnson made sure that didn't happen, and ultimately, the Irish were able to squeeze by with the win.

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NCAA Hockey Tournament 2011 Schedule, Day 2: First Round Closes Out With 4 Games Saturday

After four games to kick off play on Friday in the 2011 NCAA hockey tournament, the first round will conclude on Saturday with four more games. This time, it's action in the Northeast Regional and the Midwest Regional.

Today's schedule:

Northeast Regional -- Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH

No. 1 Miami vs. No. 4 New Hampshire (4 p.m., ESPNU)
No. 2 Merrimack vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (7:30 p.m., ESPN3.com)

Midwest Regional -- Resch Center, Green Bay, WI

No. 1 North Dakota vs. No. 4 RPI (1:30 p.m., ESPN3.com)
No. 2 Denver vs. No. 3 Western Michigan (5 p.m., ESPN3.com)

The finals in the East and West Regionals will also be held tonight between the winners of last night's first round games. The winners will advance to the Frozen Four, held in St. Paul, Minn. on April 7 and April 9. 

In the East, No. 1 Yale will take on No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth (6:30 p.m., ESPNU). In the West, No. 2 Michigan will take on No. 4 Colorado College (9 p.m., ESPNU).

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NCAA Hockey Tournament 2011 Bracket Update: Yale Survives Scare; Colorado College Upsets BC

There were four games on Friday night as the 2011 NCAA hockey tournament got underway. In the East Regional, No. 2 Union took on No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth while No. 1 Yale took on No.4 Air Force. In the West Regional, No. 1 Boston College hosted No. 4 Colorado College while No. 2 Michigan faced off against No. 3 Nebraska-Omaha.

Quick recaps and a bracket update:

EAST REGIONAL

Yale 2, Air Force 1 (OT): The Bulldogs entered the tournament as the top overall seed, which essentially earned them a date with the so-called worst team in the field. But the Air Force Falcons, the champions of Atlantic Hockey, certainly didn't go down without a fight.

After Yale took the lead in the first period, the Falcons hung with them and tied the score just a few minutes later. It was the first goal allowed by Yale goalie Ryan Rondeau in about four games, but it was clear that the Falcons were hanging with the nation's best. After a scoreless third period, the teams headed to overtime, where just one bounce could've ousted the Bulldogs.

Instead, Chad Ziegler poked a puck through the pads just three minutes into OT to seal the win. Yale moves on, Air Force goes home with their pride in tact.

Minnesota-Duluth 2, Union 0: It was the first tournament game in the history of Union College, and it ended in disappointing fashion. Two power play goals from the UMD Bulldogs were all they needed to knock off the favored Dutchmen to move on to the East Regional final. 

Yale will take on UMD in the regional final.

WEST REGIONAL

Colorado College 8, Boston College 4: The defending national champs are done, much sooner than they ever anticipated. The Eagles were laughed out of the building by Tigers, despite taking an early 1-0 lead in the first period. From there, CC reeled off eight goals, with the momentum mainly created by special teams. CC killed all five BC power play opportunities while scoring on three of their own four to solidify the victory.

Michigan 3, Nebraska-Omaha 2: It didn't look good early for the Wolverines, as UNO jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period. But what makes a dangerous team this time of year is the never-give-up factor, and Michigan certainly had that in their court. After two second period goals pulled them even with the Mavericks, Mike Lynch scored the game-winner in overtime. 

Michigan will take on Colorado College in the regional final. 

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NCAA Hockey Tournament 2011 Schedule: First Round Action Begins With Four Games On Friday

While the NCAA men's hockey tournament isn't as large as its basketball comparison, the 16 teams that are in the tournament are looking to work their way to Saint Paul, MN for the Frozen Four. That action begins with the first four games on Friday night, two in the East Regional and two in the West Regional. 

East Regional 

No. 2 Union vs. No. 3 Minnesota Duluth (3 p.m. ET, ESPN U)

The first game of the tournament features two teams with at-large bids looking to make an impact in the tournament. The Union Dutchmen are appearing for the first time in the tournament after going 26-9-4 in the regular season and finished one point ahead of overall number one seed Yale in the ECAC regular season. They boast a 16-1-1 record to finish the regular season but they lost to Cornell 3-0 in the ECAC tournament. 

The Dutchman will have to go up against Hobey Baker finalist Jack Connolly. Connolly finished the season with 16 goals and 55 points to finish second in overall points in the WCHA. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the regular season in the WCHA and flamed out in the WCHA Final Five early to Bemidji State. Another player to watch for is Minnesota Duluth goaltender Kenny Reiter. Reiter has played well this season, boasting a .911 save percentage, but has struggled down the stretch winning three of his last ten games. 

No. 1 Yale vs. No. 4 Air Force (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN U)

The Yale Bulldogs are the favorite at the moment to win the NCAA Championship this season as they are the number one overall seed in the tournament. They made it to the tournament by winning the ECAC tournament over Cornell. Yale has the best defense in the NCAA's this season, allowing only 68 goals this season in 34 games, and they are currently on a three game shutout streak in wins against St. Lawrence, Colgate, and Cornell. 

Air Force comes into the tournament as the Atlantic Hockey champions, defeating RIT in the finals. Air Force has already faced Yale once this season, beating them 4-3 on November 14th. That came on their home ice and they won't be as fortunate to have that as the East Regional is being played in Bridgeport, CN, in Yale's backyard. 

West Regional 

No. 1 Boston College vs. No. 4 Colorado College (9 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

The Boston College Eagles start their title defense with a showdown against Colorado College. Boston College got into their 30th tournament through winning the Hockey East tournament and finishing the season with an 30-7-1 record, the second best winning percentage in the NCAA. They are led by Hobey Baker finalist Cam Atkinson who had 30 goals and 51 points this season for BC. Goaltender John Muse is also lights out in the NCAA Tournament, with a record of 8-0 when the postseason rolls around.

Colorado College finished sixth in the WCHA with a 22-18-3 overall record and found their way into the tournament with a semifinal appearance in the WCHA tournament. They are led by Jaden Schwartz, whose story was made famous with his sister Mandi Schwartz battling with leukemia. Schwartz has 42 points in 28 games played for Colorado College this season. 

For more on the Eagles, check out our Boston College site, BC Interruption

No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Nebraska-Omaha (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3.com)

The Michigan Wolverines finished first in the CCHA regular season and ended up third in the CCHA tournament to make their way into the tournament this season. The Wolverines have played well this season including winning nine of their last ten games of the regular season. They looked good through the CCHA tournament before losing to Western Michigan in the semifinals. Coach Red Berenson has experience in the tournament as well as the Wolverines have made 21 straight tournament appearances. 

The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks don't have the tournament pedigree that Michigan does, but they do have an experienced coach in Dean Blais. Blais won two championships and made seven tournament appearances with North Dakota. Nebraska made their way into the tournament with a third place finish in the WCHA regular season but never made it to the WCHA Final Five, losing to Bemijdi State in the first round. 

For more on Michigan, check out Maize n Brew.

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