It was a netminder's game on Friday, and one Nick Ellis deserved to win after the performance he put up in goal for Providence Friars. Even though Ellis faced a Northeast Regional-high 56 shots from the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs with a shade over 80 minutes of play, superb goaltending was not enough to save Providence.
But that's just how the cookie crumbles in the NCAA tournament, which once again will not have a repeat winner thanks to the Bulldogs' 2-1 win over last season's champions from Providence in double overtime.
11th straight tourney a #1 seed has lost in the NCAA Tournament. Karson Kuhlman scores :57 into 2nd OT to send home defending champs PC.— Nate Wells (@gopherstate) March 26, 2016
If the Friars did win, they would have owed it all to Ellis' performance. Providence looked gassed for most of the overtime period and the lopsided shot count favored the Bulldogs as the game went on.
Minnesota-Duluth did finally crack Ellis 3:18 into the third period for the game's first score. Providence did respond four minutes later, but it was the only gasp of offense they could manage as they were suffocated by the Bulldogs' relentless game.
The famed CCM line of Michigan continued to roll as the Wolverines downed Notre Dame 3-2 in an overtime of their own. The trio of Tyler Motte, J.T. Compher and Kyle Conner looked dangerous all game, but were held off the scoreboard until Michigan needed them most. Compher connected with Motte for the game-winner and the Fighting Irish could only watch as a bad bounce went the Wolverines way. Notre Dame held a 2-1 lead until the final 10 minutes of regulation before Michigan connected to send the game to overtime.
Welcome to the Big Ten, Notre Dame.
In the least surprising result of the day, the No. 1 Midwest team in North Dakota took it to Northeastern in a 6-2 drubbing in the tournament's first game. An early goal from the Huskies had the Fighting Hawks on their heels, but North Dakota scored the next five straight and put the game away. The Huskies were the NCAA's hottest team coming into the tournament, with 13 straight wins leading back to early February. Canucks draft pick Brock Boeser had a goal and two assists for North Dakota as six Hawks lit the lamp in the victory.
No. 2 Boston College was also bolstered by their goaltending as they picked up a 4-1 win over the Harvard Crimson in the second of the Northeast Regional matches of the day. Early goalscoring from the Eagles gave Boston College all the advantage they needed as Alex Tuch's even strength pair frustrated the Crimson. Goaltender Thatcher Demko did the rest for Boston College with 32 saves in the victory. Harvard bowed out of the Beanpot semifinals to Boston College earlier this year in a 3-2 loss.
With one half of the preliminaries to go, here's the bracket from the NCAA: