GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Dell made 26 saves and top-ranked North Dakota routed Denver 6-1 on Sunday in the NCAA Midwest final to advance to the Frozen Four.
North Dakota (32-8-3) will face Michigan on April 7 in the semifinals in St. Paul, Minn. Michigan advanced Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over Colorado College in the West final in St. Louis.
“We said it yesterday, we need to play our best game today against Denver and I’ll be honest with you, I think we did that,” Sioux coach Dave Hakstol said. “I think this was a complete hockey game by our team.”
The teams split a pair of regular-season meetings and the Sioux won 3-2 in double overtime last week in the Western Conference Hockey Association tournament final.
Evan Trupp gave North Dakota, a 6-0 winner over RPI on Saturday, a 2-1 lead at 7:06 of the second period, and Brett Hextall made it 3-1 on a power play with 53 seconds left in the period.
“They’re such a good team, especially offensively. They’re hard to contain. They move around a lot, they do a lot of different things and they’re competitive on pucks,” Hextall said. “They’re difficult to play against and to get those goals to give us some breathing room, that was huge for us. It took some of the tension off and we were able just to stick with our game plan.”
Mario Lamoureux, Brock Nelson, Brad Malone and Jake Marto also scored for North Dakota, seeking its eighth national title and first since 2000.
Jason Zucker scored for Denver (25-12-5). On Saturday night, Zucker scored in the second overtime in the Pioneers’ 3-2 victory over Western Michigan.
That was the only goal Dell allowed in two regional games. He was selected the regional’s Most Outstanding Player, finishing with 46 saves on 47 shots.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)