GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Ryan Thang scored two goals, including the winner in the second overtime, to lift Notre Dame past Alabama-Huntsville, 3-2, last night in the semifinals of the NCAA Midwest Regional.
The Irish will play the winner of the Boston University-Michigan State semifinal in tonight's regional championship at Van Andel Arena.
No. 1 seed Notre Dame (32-6-3), the regular-season and playoff champions of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, entered the game with the best record in the NCAA 16-team field. Alabama-Huntsville, which won College Hockey America's automatic NCAA berth, was the only team in the national tournament with a losing record.
The Chargers (13-20-3) had a 12-8 shots advantage in the first 20-minute overtime. In the second overtime, a stick-holding penalty on Huntsville's Scott Kalinchuk put Notre Dame on the power play and set up Thang's goal on a shot down the slot at 15:18.
Notre Dame had a 36-15 lead in shots after three periods but Marc Narduzzi, who replaced starter Blake MacNicol early in the first period, shut down the heavily favored Irish.
Notre Dame scored two early goals for a 2-0 lead. Josh Sciba scored his eighth of the season 3:18 into the game. A minute later, Thang put in his 19th . Huntsville coach Doug Ross then pulled MacNicol, who stopped only one of the first three shots he faced. Narduzzi played the rest of the way and had 49 saves.
The Chargers' defense killed four Notre Dame power plays in the first period and one in the second, then got back into the game midway through the second period on Dominik Rozman's sixth goal of the season. Less than six minutes later, Cale Tanaka put in his second goal of the season for the 2-2 tie.