Michael M. McMahon
Monday March 31st, 2014

North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg starred in backstopping the team to the Frozen Four. (Al Behrman/AP) North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg starred in backstopping the team to the Frozen Four. (Al Behrman/AP)

By Mike McMahon

Boston College is off to its 24th Frozen Four after defeating UMass-Lowell 4-3 on Sunday to win the Northeast Regional in Worcester, MA. The Eagles, led by Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau, also beat Denver in the first round of the single-elimination tournament.

The Eagles will face off against East Regional winner Union in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 10 for a chance to play for the National Title two days later. The Dutchmen dispatched Providence 3-1 in the regional final in Bridgeport, CT, one day after knocking off Vermont. Flyers draftee Shayne Gostisbehere starred on the blue line as arguably the best defenseman in the four-team playoff, even chipping in some crucial saves in the crease to help Union top the Friars.

On the other side of the bracket, North Dakota  comes out of the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati, OH, after Zane Gothberg, a 2011 Bruins draft pick, came up with 44 saves in a 2-1 double overtime victory over Ferris State. Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi chipped in a hat trick -- including two empty net goals in the final minute -- to help oust Wisconsin in the first round.

Grimaldi will be met by another Panthers' draft picks in Kyle Rau, who helped lead the Minnesota Gophers to a 4-0 win over St. Cloud State on Sunday. The Gophers cruised past Robert Morris 7-3 in the opening round of the West Regional in St. Paul, MN. The school have a storied history as WCHA rivals before a Div. I reorganization this season.

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