With the help of message board member “Fighting Sioux 23”, USCHO will simulate the entire NCAA tournament beginning with this weekend’s regionals and continuing through the Frozen Four on April 9 and 11.
The field for the simulated tournament was selected and seeded using a similar process used for the conference tournament and the seeding by USCHO bracketologists Jayson Moy and Jim Connelly.
Loveland, Colo., Regional
#4 Ohio State 3, #1 Minnesota Duluth 2 (OT)
It didn’t take long for this tournament to produce a major upset as two-time defending national champion Minnesota Duluth, the #1 seed in the Loveland Regional, fell to Ohio State when Carson Meyer scored in overtime giving the Buckeyes a 3-2 victory.
Meyer was in the right place at the right time, picking up a shot from Wyatt Ege that deflected off Dylan Samberg and right to Meyer’s stick. He was able to fire the puck past Duluth netminder Hunter Shepard to explode the Ohio State bench into celebration.
It was the second goal of the game for Meyer who also tallied in the first period to even the game at one after Minnesota Duluth’s Scott Perunovich scored just three minutes into the game.
After a scoreless second period, the Buckeyes grabbed their first lead when Ronnie Hein one-timed a pass from Quinn Preston early in the third.
The game remained that way until the final minute when, with the goaltender pulled, Justin Richards even the game forcing overtime.
#2 Denver 3, #3 Maine 2
Denver’s Ian Mitchell’s goal with less than three minute remaining broke a 2-2 tie and helped propel the Pioneers to the Loveland Regional final with a 3-2 victory over third-seed Maine.
Denver will face Ohio State in Saturday’s regional final, the winner heading to Detroit and the Frozen Four
After a scoreless, Maine took a 1-0 lead early in the second on the power play. Adam Dawe’s shot was stopped by Denver netminder Magnus Chrona, but the rebound sat near the post where Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup poked it home.
Denver answered immediately as Cole Guttman fired a one-timer past Maine goaltender Jeremey Swayman less than a minute later.
The game remained that way until the final minute of the second when Slava Demin’s shot from the point beat Swayman to put the Pioneers ahead, 2-1, heading to the third.
In the third, Denver pushed to extender the lead, but a major penalty to Jake Durflinger midway through the period game Maine the opportunity it needed to tie the game. Towards the end of the power play, Mitchell Fossier buried a Tim Doherty pass to even the score and set up the dramatic ending for Denver.
Worcester, Mass. Regional
#1 Cornell 3, #4 Michigan 1
Max Andreev and Ben Berard each tallied in the second period to give top-seed Cornell a 2-0 lead and the Big Red held on in the third to earn a 3-1 victory over fourth-seed Michigan in Friday opening game.
Will Lockwood cut the lead to a single goal late in the second period and had ample chances to tie the game in the third, particularly on a late power play where the Wolverines mustered four shots. But Cornell netminder Matthew Galajda came up strong each time.
As Michigan continued to press late, Cornell took advantage as Branden Locke finished a Morgan Barron pass on a 2-on-1 to provide the insurance goal and the 3-1 victory.
#2 Boston College 2, #3 Bemidji State 1
David Cotton and Mike Hardman each tallied goals and netminder Spencer Knight was phenomenal in net as second-seed Boston College outlasted third-seed Bemidji State, 2-1, to set up a date on Saturday with top-seed Cornell with a trip to the Frozen Four in Detroit on the line.
It didn’t take the Eagles long to get their offense going, as, after a penalty to the Beavers in the opening minute, Cotton fired a wrister past Bemidji State goaltender Zach Driscoll on power play for a 1-0 lead.
It remained that way into the second, thanks much in part to Driscoll. But early in the second, Ben Finkelstein fired a shot through traffic that rookie Mike Hardman deflected to extended the Eagles lead to 2-0.
But Bemidji State brought plenty of pressure in the third. Owen Sollinger beat Spencer Knight five hole midway through the period. A late penalty to BC’s Graham McPhee gave the Beavers a chance to pull even. Knight, though, was strong and had some help when Adam Brady rung a shot off the crossbar. That was as close as Bemidji State could get.