CINCINNATI — North Dakota became the first team to clinch a spot in the Frozen Four in Tampa, as Rhett Gardner broke a tie with 7:57 left in a 5-2 victory over Michigan on Saturday in the NCAA Midwest Region final.
Gardner deflected Paul LaDue's shot off goalie Steve Racine's glove.
The Fighting Hawks (32-6-4) play April 5 in a national semifinal at Amalie Arena, home of the NHL's Lightning.
North Dakota reached the Frozen Four for the third straight year and 22nd time overall and seek its first title since 2000.
Cam Johnson made 23 saves for the Fighting Hawks.
JT Compher scored twice for Michigan (25-8-5).
Quinnipiac 4, RIT 0: Michael Garteig had 27 saves and Soren Jonzzon scored twice in top-ranked Quinnipiac's victory in the East Region semifinals in Albany, N.Y. The Bobcats (30-3-7), who tied the school record for victories set in the 2012-13 season, face Massachusetts Lowell tonight (7:30, ESPNU) for a spot in the Frozen Four. Garteig has seven shutouts this season. Mike Rotolo had 26 saves for Rochester Institute of Technology (18-15-6).
Ferris St. 5, St. Cloud St. 4, OT: Jared VanWormer scored 18 seconds into overtime to spur Ferris State into the West Region final in St. Paul, Minn. The Bulldogs (20-14-6) face Denver today (5 p.m., ESPNU) in the region final. No. 2 seed St. Cloud State (31-9-1) scored twice in the third period to force overtime. VanWormer also scored in the first period and Darren Smith made 29 saves.
Denver 7, Boston 2: Will Butcher had two power-play goals while Danton Heinen and Quentin Shore had three asists each for the Pioneers (24-9-6), who rolled into the West Region final over the Terriers (21-13-5).
Mass. Lowell 3, Yale 2, OT: Joe Gambardella scored twice, including the winner 1:37 into overtime, to send the River Hawks (25-9-5) to the East Region final with a comeback victory. Yale (19-9-4) led 2-1 until Gambardella's first goal tied it 6:12 into the third period.