Michigan survived against a pesky Alaska team 3-1 to advance to the CCHA Tournament Championship tomorrow against Notre Dame.
There wasn't a whole lot of pace in this game. The turning point in the game came in the first period when Alaska took a five-minute checking from behind penalty. Michigan capitalized with a goal from Chad Langlais.
Alaska answered back to tie the game, but Michigan responded with another pretty goal. Alaska pulled their goalie with two minutes left in the game and Michigan scored an empty-netter to seal the win. Chad Johnson was great as always in net for Alaska, but the Nanooks just didn't have the firepower to compete with Michigan.
Duluth pulled off their second upset in as many nights with a 3-0 win over North Dakota.
If I had to pick which goalie in this game would make a stupid error outside his own net to give the opposition a cheap goal, I wouldn't have picked Brad Eidsness, but he gave Duluth a freebie in the first period. Duluth scored again shortly after to take a 2-0 lead.
It was pretty much the perfect start for UMD. You had to think tonight was their best shot to win another game this weekend was tonight, since they'll probably be gassed tomorrow. It was also important that they jumped out to a lead tonight, because you had to think UND would get stronger as the game went on, while UMD would start to tire and fade a little. I also don't know that UMD had the firepower to mount a comeback. But they jumped out to that lead and were able to sit on it.
Mike Connolly added an empty-netter and UMD won 3-0. They'll meet Denver in the final tomorrow. No team has ever won three games at the Final Five, but you've got to give UMD at least a puncher's chance with the way Alex Stalock looks locked in right now. Once again, I think scoring early and being able to sit on a lead will be the key.