MANCHESTER, N.H. — Billy Maday scored with 5 seconds left in the second period, Mike Johnson made 37 saves and Notre Dame advanced to the Frozen Four with a 2-1 victory over New Hampshire on Sunday night in the NCAA Northeast final.
Stephen Johns also scored and Riley Sheahan had two assists for Notre Dame (25-13-5). The Irish will face Minnesota-Duluth on April 7 in the semifinals in St. Paul, Minn. Duluth beat Yale 5-3 on Saturday night in the East final in Bridgeport, Conn.
Mike Sislo scored for New Hampshire (22-11-6) and Matt Di Girolamo made 36 saves.
No Hockey East team advanced to the Frozen Four as Colorado College eliminated Boston College 8-4 in a West semifinal and Notre Dame ousted Merrimack 4-3 in a Northeast semifinal.
Notre Dame advanced to the Frozen Four for the second time in school history. In 2008 in Denver, the Irish beat Michigan in overtime before falling to Boston College in the title game.
New Hampshire came out strong, outshooting Notre Dame 8-1, but the Irish broke through first on Johns’ slap shot from the blue line with 12:34 left in the first period. It was only the second shot on goal for the Irish, who spent most of the early part of the period in their own end trying to stop the Wildcats.
Johnson stopped everything that came his way and the Irish got a lift just before the second intermission on Maday’s goal. The Wildcats had just missed a great opportunity when Johnson made a glove save on a wrist shot by John Henrion after a drop pass from Damon Kipp with 21 seconds left.
Notre Dame won the faceoff and quickly got it to the other end, where the puck slid to Maday, who had a goal and an assist against Merrimack, in the slot and he lifted a backhander over Di Girolamo.
Sislo cut it to 2-1 with 6:23 left in the game. Matt Campanale created the play when he skated behind the Notre Dame net and slipped a pass to Sillo in the slot. The goal revived the crowd briefly, but a late penalty by New Hampshire forced the Wildcats to play short-handed as they tried to complete the comeback.