Today I made the trek to Manchester, NH to see the regional final that would send 1 team to the Frozen Four in Chicago.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish took on the UMass Lowell Riverhawks.
It was a good hockey game all around that was tied 1-1 after the first and second period, then the teams traded goals to send it to overtime tied at 2-2. In the OT, just after the Riverhawks took a timeout to rest their players, Notre Dame came down the ice and got the game winner. Anders Bjork had 3 assists and while the first 2 were nothing special, the presence of mind and patience he showed in overtime to hold onto the puck before finding Andrew Oglevie was a special play. Oglevie put it home and the Irish moved on. Bjork is a Hobey Baker finalist with 1.30 points per game this season in college play. Last year he had a solid turn for Team USA at the WJC in Finland, which I was fortunate enough to attend. He is a fifth round pick of the Bruins and has the smarts to make an impact, perhaps even in the top 6. The other 2 goals Notre Dame scored were both netted by Cam Morrison, a second round pick of the Avalanche.
Cal Petersen had a solid effort in goal for Notre Dame and neither of the goals he gave up were his fault. He is solid if unspectacular, but that is the name of the game for goalies in today’s game. He is a Buffalo Sabres prospect who has been offered the starting job for the Rochester Americans in the AHL for all intents and purposes. So regardless of the result of the Frozen Four it will be interesting to see if he turns pro.
Jointing Notre Dame in Chicago will be Denver, Minnesota Duluth, and Harvard. Recent performances would indicate that Denver is the class of the field, but in a single elimination format anything can happen. April 6 are the semifinals with Bulldogs vs. Crimson up first and the Fighting Irish vs. the Pioneers in the late game.