Kenny Reiter has become accustomed to handling heavy workloads during Minnesota Duluth's run in the NCAA men's hockey tournament.

The Bulldogs' were outshot 65-54 in victories over Union (2-0) and Yale (5-3) in the East Regional two weekends ago, but Reiter's performance helped Minnesota Duluth advance and earned him most outstanding player honors.

On Thursday, the junior goalie rebounded from a rocky start in a 4-3 victory over Notre Dame in the first semifinal of the Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center. Reiter stopped 31 shots, including all but one in the third period when Notre Dame outshot UMD 15-2. The Bulldogs had only 21 shots on goal.

"He's been outstanding for us," Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said. "You need that at this time of year. Every coach would say that. ... We went with him because we knew he was capable of playing that way. We've seen it in his time here. We had confidence going into the regional, and he's lived up to that.

"I think our guys are feeding off that, too. I didn't really like the shots in the third period. We didn't need to make him work that hard, but sometimes through the year your goalie needs to win games for you, and he's certainly been a big, big part of that the last three games."

In a first period in which both teams appeared to have some big-game jitters, the Irish took a 1-0 lead only 49 seconds in when Jeff Costello scored on a wrist shot from the circle to the left of Reiter. The Bulldogs tied it but Notre Dame went back up when T.J. Tynan scored his 23rd goal of the season when he beat Reiter from a bad angle at 9:46, scoring from just to the left of the goalie.

Reiter said he took a deep breath and focused.

"You just want to stop the bleeding there," he said. "But I'm playing best when I'm on top of my crease being aggressive, so that's what I try and focus on no matter what happens."

Minnesota Duluth led 3-2 after the first period, and Reiter gave up only one more goal.

"He made some huge saves for us going down the stretch and even throughout the whole game," Bulldogs defenseman Justin Faulk said. "He just played amazing."

Reiter especially took pride in his performance because it came before his parents and older sister, Melany, who made the trip from the family's home in Pittsburgh. It was the first time Melany got a chance to see her brother play at the collegiate level. "It was awesome," Reiter said. "If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here. It's definitely really gratifying to see them there and they can be a part of it."