Apr 7, 2017

Frozen Four 2017: Denver, Minnesota Duluth Win To Advance To Championship

The Frozen Four is down to two after Thursday night, as the remaining NCAA hockey teams were in action.

Minnesota Duluth took on Harvard in the first matchup, and Cinderella story Notre Dame went head-to-head with top-seeded Denver in the second. None of the four teams remaining in 2017 were finalists in 2016, so we're looking at a new national champion regardless of result.

Here is a look at how things panned out Thursday.

Minnesota Duluth 2, Harvard 1

Heading into the 59th minute, it appeared we were going to overtime in the night's first contest. Then Alex Iafallo sent a shot rocketing into the net with 26.6 seconds remaining and sent Minnesota Duluth to the national championship game.

Iafallo's last-minute goal gave Duluth a 2-1 win over Harvard and came amid a hard-fought game where neither side wanted to give an inch. It's Iafallo's sixth game-winning goal of the season, which ranks fourth in the nation, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Twittersphere understandably went crazy after Iafallo's goal:

The sides spent nearly the entire game deadlocked. Harvard's Tyler Moy scored a power-play goal at the 15-minute mark in the first period, but Duluth answered a little over three minutes later on a Joey Anderson goal at even strength.

From there, it was a battle of wills as the goaltenders kept things knotted up. Harvard's Merrick Madsen finished with 36 saves on 38 opportunities, while Duluth's Hunter Miska swatted away 38 of Harvard's 39 shot attempts.

Denver 6, Notre Dame 1

It did not take long for Denver to take Notre Dame's slipper and smash it into a million pieces. Emil Romig scored a goal at the 8:18 mark in the first period, setting the stage for a 6-1 Denver thrashing of Notre Dame in their national semifinal matchup.

Dylan Gambrell scored two goals, and Tariq Hammond had three points (one goal, two assists) in the win. Denver held Notre Dame scoreless for the first two periods and held a 5-0 lead going into the third.

The NCAA's Ice Hockey feed had a GIF of the early dominance:

Tanner Jaillet faced just 17 shots and stopped all but one, with Notre Dame's Cam Morrison getting on the board in the third period to help the Irish avoid a shutout.

Denver sent 42 shots in the direction of Notre Dame goalie Cal Petersen, who did his best but couldn't halt the barrage coming his way.

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