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North Dakota vs.Quinnipiac final score: UND 4 - Bobcats 1

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Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Award finalist Zane McIntyre made 29 saves Friday night. North Dakota will face NCHC foe St. Cloud State for a Frozen Four Berth.

Matt Christians

Tucker Poolman got UND started Friday night and Zane McIntyre did the rest in an opening round NCAA Tournament victory.

North Dakota's goaltender made 29 saves in a 4-1 win over Quinnipiac in the second West Region semifinal. The top seed fought through the wood chipper in Fargo, lighting the lamp with both a power play and shorthanded goal.

It's the 9th time in 11 years North Dakota has won its first round game.

UND, playing 80 miles south of Grand Forks in front a pro-North Dakota crowd, never let the 6,000 fans at Scheels Arena sit on their hands. Both teams had chances early, testing one another in back-and-forth play before Poolman kicked off the scoring with 7:01 remaining in the first period.

With UND on a four-on-three power player, Poolman shot the puck from the blue line through a Stephane Pattyn screen and past Bobcats goaltender Michael Garteig.

Bryn Chyzyk doubled the lead 7:09 into the second period on a sharp angle shot. Junior Drake Caggiula, meanwhile gave UND a 3-0 lead less than three minutes later when he scored the team's 10th shorthanded goal of the season.

That total ties North Dakota with UMass-Lowell for the most shorthanded goals in the country this season.

It was McIntyre, however, who kept UND ahead of the fourth-seed Quinnipiac. The junior goaltender from Thief River Falls, MN didn't give the Bobcats many rebounds. He saw every puck and the Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Award finalist's positioning was on point en route to coming within 1:26 of his second shutout of the season.

Late in the 2nd period, Quinnipiac had a 4 minute power play trailing by three goals. Although Matthew Peca had the best chance, he whiffed on a shot in front of the net and the Bobcats couldn't get anything going when it needed to most.

Quinnipiac spent much of the third period killing a penalty when Brayden Sherbinn received a five minute major for checking from behind. The Bobcats had one of its own when UND's Paul Ladue received an early exit for checking from behind with 4:13 remaining and QU freshman Andrew Tavener broke the shutout with his sixth goal of the season.

McIntyre came close to creating offense, nearly scoring an empty net goal of his own before Luke Johnson finished the deed with 16.3 seconds left.

Garteig made 21 saves in defeat.

North Dakota will face third seed St. Cloud State in the West Region final for a Frozen Four berth Saturday. The Huskies, 3-2 overtime winners over Michigan Tech earlier in the day, went 2-3-0 against UND this season. One of those wins, however, was a 3-1 victory in last week's NCHC conference tournament semifinal.

Now the sixth match up between the two conference foes will have a little more on the line.

Saturday's North Dakota-St. Cloud State game will be played at 8:00 p.m. CT and air on ESPNU.