Dominant Denver beats Notre Dame 6-1 in Frozen Four semis

Dominant Denver beats Notre Dame 6-1 in Frozen Four semis

Minnesota-Duluth is a familiar opponent for the University of Denver.

Then, there was that other game. The top-seeded Pioneers, who went 1-1 against the Bulldogs in a two-game series in December, will be the favorite - not because of seeding but due to their swagger.

Eddie Lack stopped 20 shots for the Hurricanes, who lost their fourth straight overall, a slide that coincides with their mathematical elimination from the playoff race for the eighth straight year - the longest active postseason drought in the National Hockey League. So basically there's a lot of respect.

Minnesota Duluth advance by edging Harvard 2-1 in the earlier semifinal. It was just a one-goal game before an empty-netter for Joey Anderson sealed the win with a minute left. Denver managed the start and the game came down to the final minute.

"We've needed all these games and we've been rolling so I think we're confident right now, we really just have to play our game", said Tori Dello.

Of course, that's before you factor in that the structure of the NHL Draft makes the college game a sort of extra minor league.

In the late game, underdog Notre Dame faces off against the nation's top team entering the tournament, the University of Denver Pioneers. Playing in the Cincinnati region, Denver won its first round game against Michigan Tech 5-2 behind four goals in the opening period. He did not record a point in three postseason games for the Fighting Irish. The Pioneers have won seven national titles, which ranks third all time behind MI (nine) and North Dakota (eight). "And it was definitely a wake-up call".

So we ended up with the matchup most people foresaw the last time these two clubs played. They were last champions in 1989.

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Seeded first and second to start the NCAA tournament, the teams once again looked certain to meet.

The emotions were still raw in the early moments after Harvard's stellar season had come crashing to an end with Minnesota-Duluth's dramatic game-winning goal with 26.6 seconds to play in last night's 2-1 defeat at the United Center. Harvard's Luke Esposito hit the crossbar with four seconds remaining. This year, Bjork has enjoyed a breakout season, becoming only the second player to be named a finalist for both the Hobey Baker Award and the Hockey Humanitarian Award in the same season.

"I think our forecheck really dominated them tonight", he said. Coach Scott Sandelin has often compared the personality of this squad to the team that won the program's only national championship in 2011 in St. Paul.

It remains to be seen what if anything is still applicable from the teams' previous series.

From the onset of the game, Notre Dame provided no real match for the Pioneers, as Denver controlled every aspect of the game.

Much has changed since December. "He's a good coach". Just because they have a little more length versus the shorter guys, but they're hard to defend. "You give them their due; they're a great team". And we know that. (You've) got to go into it and try to do the best job you can and try and limit those opportunities.

NOTES: College hockey's major individual awards will be handed out on Friday at Navy Pier in Chicago.