WORCESTER, MASS. -- Boston College and UMass Lowell will meet in Sunday's Northeast Regional Final with a spot in the 2014 Frozen Four on the line. The two Hockey East foes each advanced in the first round of the NCAA Hockey Tournament on Saturday at the DCU Center.
Boston College easily skated past Denver, 6-2. Hobey Baker Award favorite Johnny Gaudreau had three goals and three assists for the Eagles. Kevin Hayes had two goals and two assists while Bill Arnold had a goal and two assists. The Eagles have won the last three NCAA championships played in even years, capturing the national titles in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
UMass Lowell had a tougher time with Minnesota State, needing an empty net goal that ended up being a crucial insurance tally as Minnesota State scored in the last few seconds. The River Hawks advanced to their third straight regional final with Saturday's 2-1 win.
Boston College won the regular season series, 1-0-1. The Eagles won, 3-0, at Conte Forum on the first night of the weekend home-and-home. BC took a 2-0 lead into the third period the next night at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, but UML charged back for two third period goals to salvage a tie.
Sunday's matchup will pit one of the nation's best defensive teams in UMass Lowell with the country's most explosive offense in Boston College. A terrific battle within the game will be between UMass Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and Gaudreau.
Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.