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Wayne Staats | | March 30, 2019

AIC men's hockey stuns No. 1 St. Cloud State in NCAA tournament debut

American International beats Saint Cloud State

Posting its first winning record as a DI program wasn't enough. Making its first DI NCAA tournament wasn't enough either.

American International wanted a win, too.

In its NCAA DI men's ice hockey tournament debut, AIC shocked No. 1 St. Cloud State, 2-1, Friday night. It's the program's first win against the No. 1 team.

Joel Kocur and Brennan Kapcheck scored for the Yellow Jackets (23-16-1), who were outshot 34-13. Goalie Zackarias Skog starred, making 33 saves and allowing only a third-period goal.

The Yellow Jackets will now play Denver at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU in the West Regional Final in Fargo, North Dakota. The winner advances to the Frozen Four in Buffalo.

NCAA hockey tournament: Bracket, schedule

It's the second consecutive season St. Cloud State (30-6-3) lost as the No. 1 seed in the first round to a team from the American Hockey Association. A year ago, the Huskies lost 4-1 to Air Force.

AIC clinched the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament by defeating Niagara, 3-2, in overtime to win the AHA tournament title.

Also on Friday in the NCAA tournament, No. 4 UMass beat Harvard, 4-0, Denver shut out Ohio State, 2-0 and Notre Dame beat Clarkson in OT, 3-2.

2019 NCAA Division I men's ice hockey selections announced

Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of the six conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at large. St. Cloud State was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, include Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State Mankato and Massachusetts.

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