Duluth beats Notre Dame in Frozen Four semifinal

Minnesota-Duluth is on the way to the NCAA championship game for just the second time in school history.

Jack Connolly's power-play goal early in the second period proved to be the winner as the Bulldogs held off Notre Dame 4-3 on Thursday in the first Frozen Four semifinal game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

J.T. Brown, Mike Connolly and Kyle Schmidt also scored for the Bulldogs (25-10-6), who will face the winner of the second game between Michigan and North Dakota in Saturday's title game. Justin Fontaine and defenseman Justin Faulk each had three assists, and Kenny Reiter made 34 saves for the win. Reiter has made 30 or more saves in each of UMD's three tournament wins.

Minnesota-Duluth made the championship game for the first time since losing the 1984 title to Bowling Green in four overtimes.

UMD, which had five power-play goals while winning the East Regional to make the national semifinals, scored three more against Notre Dame while killing off all five Irish power plays.

T.J. Tynan, Jeff Costello and Calle Ridderwall scored for Notre Dame (25-14-5). Mike Johnson allowed four goals on just 21 shots.

Connolly one-timed a pass from Cody Danberg to give Minnesota-Duluth a 4-2 advantage at 5:51 of the second period. Ridderwall brought Notre Dame within one by scoring a shorthanded goal 2:05 into the third period, but the Irish got no closer despite outshooting UMD 15-2 in the third period.

Costello opened the scoring just 49 seconds into the contest, but Brown countered at 3:04 with the first of UMD's power-play goals. Tynan fired home a rebound at 9:46 put Notre Dame on top again, but Schmidt scored just over a minute later and Mike Connolly's power-play goal at 13:31 made it 3-2 after one period.