|Air Force’s Adam McKenzie reacts after Chad Ziegler (background) scored in OT. (Fred Beckham/Associated Press)|
Chad Ziegler scored 3:16 into overtime to lift top-seeded Yale over No. 4 Air Force, 2-1, last night in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament’s East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn.
The Bulldogs (28-6-1) advance to play No. 3 University of Minnesota Duluth tonight in the final at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.
After a pair of saves by Air Force goalie Jason Torf, Ziegler dived and knocked in the loose puck to give the host team the win. Nick Jaskowiak assisted on the game winner.
Yale took a 1-0 lead at 7:28 of the second period on a goal from Brian O’Neill, who deflected in a shot from Jaskowiak.
The Falcons (20-12-6) tied it at 18:34 of the period, with Sean Bertsch scoring unassisted on a wraparound goal.
Minnesota-Duluth 2, Union 0 — Kenny Reiter made 32 saves and the Bulldogs beat the Dutchmen at their own game — power play goals.
Kyle Schmidt and Justin Fontaine scored man-advantage goals for the Bulldogs (23-10-6).
Union (26-9-4) has the top-ranked power play in the nation, converting 31.1 percent of its opportunities. But it went 0 for 9 in its first Division 1 appearance in the tournament, including 0 for 4 in the first period.
“Coming into it when we knew [the power play] was their forte, and shutting them down early definitely gave us confidence going into the second and third period,’’ said Reiter.
Div. 3 championship St. Norbert 3, Norwich 2 — The Cadets’ quest for a repeat of their national title ended with a loss to the Green Knights in Minneapolis.
St. Norbert avenged last year’s double overtime loss when Scott Pulak scored the winning goal after Norwich’s Pier-Olivier Cotnoir tied the game, 2-2, at 11:14 of the third period.
All the scoring came in the last period with St. Norbert goalie B.J. O’Brien turning back 26 shots in the first two. Green Knights’ Cody Keefer opened the scoring 1:30 into the third period with an unassisted goal and Seth Soley made it 2-0 when he beat Norwich’s Parker Carroll over the glove. Travis Janke put the Cadets on the board 2:19 later with his 12th goal of the season off assists from Cotnoir and Shawn Baker.
St. Norbert ended its season 24-4-1 and Norwich, which had its 14-game unbeated streak snapped, ended at 22-6-3.