Hockey East semifinal pairings set: UMass Lowell vs. Notre Dame and Providence vs. UNH

Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays and his team will face UMass Lowell in the first Hockey East semifinal. - Matt Dewkett (mrd-photos.com)

Notre Dame advanced to the Hockey East semifinals in its first season in the league.

BOSTON--- The field is set for the 2014 Hockey East Tournament at the TD Garden, and for the first time in the history of the league there will be no teams from Boston.

Providence College was the first team to punch its ticket to the semifinals with a series sweep of the University of Maine. The Friars won 3-1 and 4-2, sending the team to the Hockey East semifinals for the third straight season, a program first.

In its first season in the league Notre Dame advanced to the semifinals by upsetting Boston College in three games. The Fighting Irish were the only lower seed to advance to the TD Garden. ND senior Bryan Rust scored twice, including the game winner with four seconds to play in the second period. Stephen Johns had the first goal for the Fighting Irish, and Jeff Costello added an insurance tally with 1:52 to play.

UMass-Lowell escaped an upset bid by Vermont with a 2-1 victory on Sunday to take the series in three games. Christian Folin and A.J. White scored markers, and Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for the River Hawks.

On the back of a Kevin Goumas hat trick, New Hampshire edged Northeastern, 5-4, on Sunday afternoon to take the series in three games. Nick Sorkin and Brett Pesce also scored for the Wildcats on Sunday.

The Hockey East semifinals will be held at the TD Garden on Friday, March 21. Both semifinal games and the championship game on Saturday, March 22 will be broadcast by New England Sports Network (NESN) in the region and by NBC Sports Network nationwide.

Notre Dame will take on UMass Lowell at 5 p.m. in the first semifinal to be followed by Providence and New Hampshire in the second semifinal. The championship game is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.

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