FARGO, N.D. - Drake Caggiula and Luke Johnson scored short-handed goals and North Dakota enjoyed a home-state crowd in a 4-1 victory over Quinnipiac on Friday night in the West Regional semifinals of the NCAA hockey tournament.
North Dakota (28-9-3) advances to play St. Cloud State for a berth in the Frozen Four, one week after the Huskies beat UND in the semifinals of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament. UND also lost the third-place game in the league tourney.
"Everybody is making an awful lot of it," North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said about the back-to-back losses. "Teams have ups and downs. There are reasons you have ups and downs. We turned the page about a week ago."
North Dakota scored two goals within 3 minutes in the second period to take control, the second one when Hakstol's team was killing a goaltender interference penalty to Connor Gaarder. Caggiula buried Troy Stecher's pass on a 2-on-1 break to make it 3-0.
Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold pointed to the first goal in that span, when Bryn Chyzyk scored from the left corner near the end boards on a shot that bounced off goalie Michael Garteig and into the net. It was a fluke goal "that just killed us," Pecknold said.
"It wasn't our best game but I thought we competed and battled," Pecknold said. "I was happy how we played."
Quinnipiac senior captain Matthew Peca said UND fed off the crowd of 5,283 at Scheels Arena in Fargo, which is 70 miles south of UND's campus in Grand Forks.
"Like Rand said, they were committed tonight and they blocked a lot of shots," said Peca, referring to the 28 shots that were knocked down by UND's defenders before reaching the goal.
Peca also said the Bobcats needed to pester goalie Zane McIntyre more often.
"I think we just didn't have enough traffic tonight," Peca said. "He saw a lot of pucks."
Caggiula said UND was intense from the first faceoff.
"All week we talked about having a quick start," he said. "I thought our first shift we kind of set the tone for the rest of the first period."
Tucker Poolman scored a power-play goal on a shot from just inside the blue line to give UND a 1-0 lead at 12:59 of the opening period.
McIntyre stopped 29 of Quinnipiac's 30 shots. Andrew Taverner spoiled McIntyre's shutout at 18:34 of the third period when the Bobcats (23-12-4) had a 6-on-4 advantage after pulling goalie Michael Garteig on the power play.
Johnson finished off the win with an empty-net goal and the 11th short-handed goal of the year for UND, tops in the nation.
Garteig made 21 saves for the Bobcats.