Sunday, March 29, 2009

3/28 Recap: MacKenzie, Cats skate into Frozen Four

In the East Region Final, Drew MacKenzie was +1 as Vermont earned a ticket to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time since 1996 after a 3-2 double overtime win over Air Force. The freshman rearguard made a key defensive play in the first OT to keep the Cats in it when he slid across the slot to knock the puck from an otherwise unabated attacker. The winning goal came after a 12-minute review that determined that a Dan Lawson shot a few minutes before the stoppage in play entered and exited the Falcons cage. The Cats will play the winner of Sunday's battle between Boston University and New Hampshire. In a Northeast Region semi-final, Brad Eidsness made 28 saves as North Dakota gave up a two-goal lead in their stunning 6-5 OT loss to New Hampshire. UNH's Thomas Fortney shoved a puck past Eidsness with just .01 left in regulation, before Peter LeBlanc completed the thriller just :45 into to overtime to end the Sioux's season. Eidsness ends his freshman year with a 24-12-4 mark, a regular season title, and two games of valuable NCAA tourney experience. In St. Catharines, Drew Schiestel was -1 as Niagara defeated Ottawa 4-3 in a pivotal game five. With a 3-2 series edge, the Dogs will look to cancel out the 67's Monday night in Ottawa. In the QMJHL, defenseman Jordon Southorn had three shots and five hits as PEI's season came to end with a 4-3 loss to Moncton. The Rocket had trouble getting past a firm Wildcats defense to drop the first round series 4-1. Southorn was -2 with two assists in the five postseason games.