With the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament behind us, the collegiate world has presented us with yet another form of elimination-style action. In one of the most anticipated events of the year, we've reached the Frozen Four of the 2013 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament.
So, who ruled supreme with a place amongst legends on the line?
In our first game, the Yale Bulldogs looked to continue their improbable run against the UMass Lowell River Hawks. Yale reached the Frozen Four with shocking upsets of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and North Dakota.
UMass Lowell took down the Wisconsin Badgers and New Hampshire Wildcats by a combined score of 6-1.
On the other side of the bracket, the No. 1 Quinnipiac Bobcats will battle the St. Cloud State Huskies. This comes after St. Cloud State upset the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks.
Quinnipiac escaped the Golden Griffins and won comfortably against the Union Dutchmen.
The question is, which of these teams will take the next step toward carving out their respective legacies? In a battle between underdogs, we found that out.
So who's headed to the championship game?
Yale Defeats UMass Lowell 3-2 in OT
In our first of two Frozen Four games, the Yale Bulldogs took on the UMass Lowell River Hawks. The goals came early, but the men in net stepped up when it counted to make this a thrilling ending.
So how did it all transpire?
After nearly 13 minutes of scoreless action, Yale struck first with a goal at the 12:55 mark. Off of assists from Carson Cooper and Andre Miller, freshman Mitch Witek blasted one in to make it a 1-0 game off of a power play.
A second goal soon followed.
Off of a Matt Killian feed, senior Antoine Laganiere netted one to make it 2-0. That score stood for nearly 20 more minutes.
And then UMass Lowell struck back.
The River Hawks received a goal from Riley Wetmore at the 14:38 mark of the second quarter. Derek Arnold and Scott Wilson came up with the assists, thus enabling UMass Lowell to cut it to a 2-1 deficit.
Fourteen seconds later, they struck again.
A.J. White and Scott Holmstrom found junior Joseph Pendenza for the equalizer at 14:52. This score stood throughout the remainder of the period.
At the end of the third period, we were still tied 2-2.
As we entered overtime, both teams were eager to secure the goal in this sudden-death period of play. After trading shots, however, it became evident that UMass Lowell entered into a defensive style of play.
With Yale on the offensive, an opportunity was presented.
Carson Cooper passed it outright to junior Andrew Miller, who attacked the goaltender within seconds. With the defense trailing, Miller faked one way and watched UMass Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck spread his legs just a bit too much.
Miller slipped it in, the puck hit the back of the net and Yale advances!
This was a stunning end to a game in which Yale out-shot UMass Lowell by a margin of 47-18. Even as Hellebuyck put on a magnificent performance, Yale's offensive firepower was just too much.
Updates will come on the Quinnipiac versus St. Cloud State game as it finishes.
Quinnipiac defeats St. Cloud State 4-1
In our second Frozen Four game of the day, the No. 1 Quinnipiac Bobcats took on the St. Cloud State Huskies. Judging by their most recent games, we expected this to be a high-scoring affair.
Few expected Quinnipiac to run away so hastily.
The Bobcats struck early, with sophomore Jordan Samuels-Thomas scoring his 17th goal of the season. Samuels-Thomas scored off of an assist from Russell Goodman at the 1:49 of the first period.
Just over three minutes later, senior Ben Arnt scored his eighth goal of the season off of an assist from Samuels-Thomas. This goal came at the 5:07 mark and created a 2-0 lead.
The first quarter onslaught continued.
At the 11:19 mark of the opening period, senior Jeremy Langlois netted his 13th goal of the year and first since Mar. 2. Zach Davies assisted the goal and helped create a 3-0 lead.
Quinnipiac carried that lead into second period.
6:25 into the second period, Joseph Benik tallied his eighth goal of the season and his fifth in the past three games. Kevin Gravel and Cory Thorson assisted the goal and helped make it 3-1.
That two-goal deficit was extended just moments later when junior Kellen Jones made it 4-1 off of assists from Zach Tolkinen and Zach Davies. That lead would stick throughout the remainder of the game.
The Bobcats took it 4-1 and Quinnipiac will now advance to play Yale in the championship game.