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:
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.
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.