NCAA update: WCHA bounces back in West

Three of Saturday’s games are in the books. Here are some details.

West Region

No. 2. Minnesota 7,

No. 3 Boston University 3

ST. PAUL — Minnesota completed a WCHA sweep by the top two West Region entries by beating Boston University 7-3 in a contentious semifinal that ended with a pair of empty-net goals.

That puts the Golden Gophers (27-13-1) into Sunday’s final against North Dakota at Xcel Energy Center, in a rematch of their stunning WCHA Final Five reversal in which North Dakota fell behind 3-0 but rallied to beat Minnesota 6-3. This time, the winner gets to advance to the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., in two weeks.

Minnesota freshman Kyle Rau recorded a goal and three assists.

No. 1 North Dakota 3, No. 4 Western Michigan 1

ST. PAUL — Sophomore forward Brock Nelson registers a goal and an assist to lead North Dakota to a 3-1 victory against Western Michigan in the first game of the NCAA West Regional on Saturday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center.

Northeast Region

No. 1 Boston College 2, No. 4 Air Force 0

WORCESTER, Mass. — Chris Kreider scored two goals and Parker Milner stopped all 20 shots he faced as Boston College, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, beat Air Force, 2-0, in the NCAA Northeast Regional at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. Boston College improved to 30-10-1 overall this season and will play in Saturday’s regional final against the winner of the Maine/Minnesota-Duluth game. Air Force’s season comes to an end with a 21-11-7 overall mark.

Midway through the first period, BC opened the scoring on Chris Kreider’s 21st of the season. Kevin Hayes came out from the behind the net and found Kreider on the weak side for a 1-0 lead.

In the final four minutes of the third period, Air Force had two quality chances bu could not score. Kreider scored a late power play goal to clinch it.

“Boston College is a heck of a hockey team, but in my opinion we have a heck of a hockey team too,” head coach Frank Serratore said. “We got the game into the third period and put ourselves in a good position, but we didn’t find a way to score a goal. We couldn’t get a bounce. I am really proud of our guys. They executed the game plan to perfection.”

BC outshot AFA, 34-20, in the game. Torf made 32 saves for the Falcons.

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About paisleyhockey
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports with 20-plus years of experience.

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