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Notre Dame Falls To Denver In Frozen Four

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

What started as an opportunity to play for a national championship quickly devolved into a blowout defeat for the Notre Dame hockey team in its latest Frozen Four appearance.

"I think their staff knows us inside out". Led by Jim Montgomery, who was honored with the Spencer Penrose Award as college hockey's national coach of the year, Denver was crowned NCHC regular season champs for the first time since 2010.

My prediction for both semi-final games: Denver University will beat Notre Dame 5-2, Harvard will have a hard-fought 4-3 overtime win over Minnesota Duluth. He has to be the guy to step up for this team because with Notre Dame next on the docket, the Pioneers will have its work cut out for them.

UND blitzed Northeastern, Michigan and Quinnipiac in the first period of each game, heavily outshooting them and kicking off what would eventually become a three- or four-goal victory. But you just got to be aware and you got to take as much time and space away, just like any good player.

Dylan Gambrell carries the loss with him every time he hits the ice.

If any team has a chance of derailing the Pioneers, it's the Fighting Irish. Defenseman Will Butcher credited that to his team's offensive dominance inside the Notre Dame zone.

"I think the biggest factor, honestly, has been Jaro - Jaro's been a rock back there for us", Ladd said. "When we are moving and floor checking really well we are getting on top of pucks, we are getting the puck more and that is always good for us". Shots on goal, puck possession, and defensive presence were all to the Pioneers' advantage.

"When our forwards are playing well, it makes our job as defensemen even easier".

Of Petersen, Jackson said, "He's our leader back there". A player is drafted between 18-20, and their teams retain the player's rights if they choose to go to college.

While the Denver hockey team is trying to make history Thursday night, one of the Pioneers already has a little bit of history with his opponent in the Frozen Four. The Denver penalty, though, provided one of the few positives for the Fighting Irish, as Cam Morrison scored (11:25 mark) after Jordan Gross' shot deflected off his stick.

Their national tournament started with a 3-0 win over Providence College - in Providence at the East Regional, nonetheless - and they advanced to the Frozen Four with a tough 3-2 win over Air Force.

For Gilbert and Notre Dame, the Irish, along with the Chicago Sports Commission, are the Frozen Four hosts. We're a good skating team.

Minnesota Duluth and Denver will square off in Saturday's championship game after advancing on Thursday.

The opening game pits Sabres prospect and West Seneca native Sean Malone of Harvard against Eden's Alex Iafallo. "It's gonna be a barnburner". But the Irish killed it off, and six minutes later finally got off the board after Denver freshman defenseman Michael Davies was penalized for interference. Henrik Borgstrom, DU's leading scorer, centers the all-frosh line with wingers Tyson McLellan and Liam Finlay, who each were healthy scratches early this season. Janssen faked a pass, deked around the lone defender and came back with a pass to the goalmouth, where Hammond tapped it home at 14:07.