An exciting day of college hockey has settled who will face off for the 2014 Division I Men’s Ice Hockey National Championship. The two semifinals were about as opposite as the matchups.
The first semifinal was a matchup of one of the most storied programs in the country and an up-and-comer. The talent and skill of Boston College could not beat the will and determination of Union College (NY). BC tallied first when Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames draft pick) picked up the trash in front just two minutes into the game. However, Union scored two goals in the second period from Mat Bodie and Daniel Ciampini to take a 2-1 lead. BC tied it late in the 2nd with a goal from Steve Santini (Devils draft pick). A crazy third period would result in a 5-4 victory for Union. Ciampini would score two more goals and earn a hat trick as the Dutchmen’s team defense helped kill off a 5 minute power play for BC leading Union to a birth in the National Championship game.
The second semifinal didn’t see its first goal until just past the halfway point of the third period. Goaltenders Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick) for Minnesota and Zane Gothberg (Boston Bruins draft pick) for North Dakota put on a clinic in the first two frames. Minnesota tallied first with a goal from Sam Warning. However, North Dakota would answer back very quickly with a great individual effort from Connor Gaarder. North Dakota really amped up the pressure in the last half of the third period and only Wilcox was able to keep it a tie game until the final seconds. With just over nine seconds left, there was a face off in the Minnesota zone. The Gophers got control and moved through center ice with about five seconds remaining. They attempted a wrist shot from the near boards that deflected to Minnesota senior defenseman Justin Holl (Chicago Blackhawks draft pick). He would bank a shot off the far post and in for the game winner with just 0.6 seconds remaining on the clock.
All in all, they were two incredible games with some incredible plays. Union and Minnesota now will face off for the National Championship on Saturday at 7:30 PM ET/ 4:30 PM PT on ESPN2. The only Anaheim Ducks prospect participating in the Frozen Four is freshman defenseman Keaton Thompson who attends North Dakota and he was not much of a factor tonight.
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