St. Cloud State, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament for the second year in a row, is out of the tournament early. Again.
American International edged the Huskies 2-1 on Friday night in Fargo in the second West Region semifinal on goals by Joel Kocur and Brennan Kapcheck.
Last year the Huskies lost to Air Force 4-1 in their first game of the national tournament.
“Congrats to AIC for a great game played,” Huskies coach Brett Larson said. “The hardest thing is [this is] one of the best groups of people I have ever been around. Their hearts are ripped out. They left it all out there tonight.”
Trailing 2-0 after two periods to the Yellow Jackets of Springfield, Mass., SCSU cut the lead to one goal on Easton Brodzinski’s power-play goal at 9:27 of the third period, and with under two minutes left a shot by Nick Poehling hit a post.
“Our execution in the situation with the goalie pulled at the end of the game went exactly as planned,” Larson said, “other than the puck going in the net.”
The Huskies (31-5-3) had a 34-13 shot advantage — 15-3 in the third period.
Zackarias Skog had 33 saves for the Yellow Jackets (23-16-1), making their first NCAA trip. David Hrenak stopped 11 shots for SCSU.
Denver 2, Ohio State 0: Defenseman Les Lancaster scored with 39 seconds left in the second period to give the Pioneers (23-11-5) a 1-0 lead over the Buckeyes (20-11-5) in the first West Regional semifinal. Denver added an empty-netter in the final minute of play. Filip Larsson, a freshman, had 24 saves for the shutout.
Notre Dame 3, Clarkson 2 (OT): Cam Morrison’s 11th goal of the season at 15:53 of the third period enabled the Irish (23-13-3) to beat the Golden Knights (26-11-2) in the region semifinals in Manchester, N.H. The Irish tied the game with 2:20 left in the third on Bobby Nardella’s goal. Cale Morris had 20 saves for Notre Dame. Jake Kielly of Clarkson stopped 35 shots.
Massachusetts 4, Harvard 0: Anthony Del Gaizo scored in the 15th minute of the second and UMass (29-9) added three goals in the third to beat the Crimson (19-11-3). Filip Lindberg had 17 saves in the win.