TAMPA, Fla. – No. 1 Minnesota and No. 2 Quinnipiac will meet in the 2023 DI men's hockey national championship after wins in the Men's Frozen Four semifinals at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Thursday.
The Golden Gophers took down Boston University, 6-2, in the first semifinal. Luke Mittelstadt had two goals and an assist for Minnesota (29-9-1), and Mike Koster had a goal and an assist. Justen Close made 29 saves.
Sam Stevens and Jay O'Brien scored for the Terriers (29-11-0), and Dom Fensore had two assists. Drew Commesso made 28 saves.
BU survived a big push from Minnesota early before Sam Stevens opened the scoring for the Terriers on a rebound in front. The Gophers responded with two power-play goals, highlighted by Aaron Huglen’s no-look through-the-legs pass to Rhett Pitlick for the 2-1 lead just 50 seconds after Koster tied it.
BU got back even in the second with a power-play goal of their own, thanks to O'Brien's tip on Fensore's shot with 11:54 to go in the frame.
Minnesota cashed in with a third power-play goal when Mittelstadt’s shot found a way through just 1:40 into the third. He added another less than two minutes later to make it 4-2. Logan Cooley added two empty netters to seal the win.
The nightcap followed a similar script, and Quinnipiac won, 5-2, over Michigan.
Jacob Quillan had two goals and an assist, and Sam Lipkin (1g, 1a) and Collin Graf (2a) each had two points for the Bobcats (33-4-3). Yaniv Perets made 29 saves.
Quillan got the scoring started in the first when he banked it in off Portillo's backside just over five minutes in. Seamus Casey answered with a beauty for Michigan to tie it at one apiece, dancing through the defense 1:31 later. Quillan’s second of the game on a breakaway made it 2-1.
Adam Fantilli tied it on the power play in the second with a one-time blast from the right circle.
In the third, the Bobcats pulled away. Lipkin took them back to the bank when he put it in off Portillo’s skate, and Zac Meta’s shot from range caught Portillo by surprise. Ethan De Jong sealed it with an empty netter.
Minnesota is vying for a fifth title and first since 2003, and Quinnipiac is in search of its first championship. Puck-drop on Saturday is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.