9:20pm CST --- That game is set for Sunday at 7:04 p.m. CST and will be aired on ESPNU. I will be back here for another round of live blogging, and I hope you will join me as we cheer the Bulldogs on to Tampa! Good night everyone!
9:10pm CST --- And Hendrickson gets the empty netter! 5-2 UMD and the Bulldogs will meet Boston College for the Northeast regional championship!
9:08pm CST --- Hendrickson just missed the goal on a clearing attempt. Less than a minute left now.
9:07pm CST --- This is a 6-on-4 situation now for Maine with Grun still in the box.
9:06pm CST --- Sullivan is out now with 2:23 left on the clock.
9:06pm CST --- I'm going out on a limb with a guess of Brady Lamb.
9:06pm CST --- Guesses as to who, if anyone, will get the empty netter for UMD once Sullivan is out?
9:05pm CST --- Timeout Maine. The only question now really is when will the Black Bears pull their goaltender?
9:05pm CST --- Some good pressure thus far for Maine, but UMD is doing a good job of keeping their box tight and making the Black Bears shoot from the outside.
9:04pm CST --- The reason of course being that Maine needs two goals to tie UMD and send this game to overtime.
9:03pm CST --- Not only does Maine have to score on this power play to have a chance, I think they have to score early in the two minutes.
9:01pm CST --- There it is. Penalty against UMD as David Grun will go off for UMD. This is the last chance for Maine to get back in this hockey game.
9:00pm CST --- We are also guaranteed at least one WCHA team in the Frozen Four, with North Dakota and Minnesota meeting tomorrow in the West regional championship.
9:00pm CST --- If UMD meets Boston College in the regional final, it would be a matchup of the last two NCAA national champions.
8:59pm CST --- No more TV timeouts now. Just over four minutes left in the third period.
8:56pm CST --- Maine needs something good to happen soon. Their team and their fans have zero energy right now. They're down two against the defending national champs. Bad news.
8:55pm CST --- Doesn't look like the prediction will come true, but a good power play for UMD. Didn't score, but took two more minutes off the clock. Less than five to play in a 4-2 game.
8:54pm CST --- I'm calling a Travis Oleksuk goal on this power play.
8:54pm CST --- I was right, but the penalty goes against Maine. Blatant interference in front of the Maine bench, and UMD has the chance to put the final dagger in this Black Bears team.
8:53pm CST --- A good remedy to that is to score again. 5-2 and the game's over.
8:52pm CST --- I half expect another penalty against UMD in this third period. Referees tend to officiate the situation a bit, and giving Maine another power play might be in the cards.
8:51pm CST --- What's great about it is that the guys didn't panic going down 2-0 and got right back to work, even after that weird second goal. I like that in this hockey team.
8:50pm CST --- I didn't think UMD was playing poorly in the first period and a half. They were playing well and got scored on twice. One was a great shot by the top scoring player in the country, and the other was kind of a fluke.
8:49pm CST --- Second TV timeout, and it's 4-2 UMD. Less than 10 minutes from a date with #1-seed Boston College!
8:48pm CST --- Having Kenny Reiter playing his best hockey of the season doesn't hurt, either.
8:47pm CST --- This Bulldogs' team reminds me of last year's team in the way they are playing this regional semifinal, in terms of scoring in bunches and playing very strong, physical defense.
8:45pm CST --- That seems to me to be a backbreaking goal for Maine, but they do have some very talented players, so UMD can't back off.
8:44pm CST --- Travis Oleksuk made that play happen with his hard work, and it was just a simple little backhander from Brown.
8:43pm CST --- GOAL! J.T. Brown scores and the Bulldogs take a 4-2 lead over Maine midway through the third period!
8:41pm CST --- They're controlling the physical game, staying in the passing lanes, and chipping pucks out of their defensive zone at nearly every opportunity. Those are all things they were doing during their 17-game unbeaten streak in the middle of this season.
8:40pm CST --- I am really pleased with the way UMD has responded from the Denver game. Aside from taking four penalties, they have been very disciplined and are playing the type of hockey it takes to win a national title.
8:39pm CST --- TV just showed a replay of last year's NCAA national championship game in St. Paul. Ahhhh, memories.
8:35pm CST --- That's obviously not all of them, but my point is that the Bulldogs have a good balance of skilled players and old-time grinders that know their role and play it well.
8:35pm CST --- There's not enough time to speak of all the role players UMD couldn't have done without this season, but names like David Grun, Joe Basaraba, and Jake Hendrickson come to mind.
8:34pm CST --- All season when I've spoken with him, Reiter has displayed that sort of quiet confidence you like your goaltender to have. Not much rattles him mentally, and that's obviously a good thing.
8:34pm CST --- The Black Bears have the first scoring chance of the third period, but Kenny Reiter continues to play strong.
8:33pm CST --- UMD is the home team as the higher seed, so they have been able to get the matchups they want more often than not.
8:31pm CST --- The most important line in this period for UMD is their third line, which has been matching up against the top line of Maine. If they continue to play well, it will go a long way to winning this hockey game.
8:30pm CST --- Union is the first 2012 Frozen Four team with a win over UMass-Lowell in the East regional final. Union lost to UMD in the first round one year ago.
8:29pm CST --- Back to live action now, with the Bulldogs up 3-2 over Maine in the Northeast regional semifinal.
8:12pm CST --- Time to step away again, back in 15 minutes for the final 20 minutes of regulation between UMD and Maine!
8:12pm CST --- UMD has not lost in regulation after leading going into the third period this season, and they lead Maine 3-2 tonight after two periods.
8:11pm CST --- The next goal either puts UMD in total control or ties us up. Obviously, that's an important goal.
8:10pm CST --- One of the keys to this three goal flurry by UMD is that they have not taken a penalty. Stay out of the box and make Maine beat you 5-on-5.
8:09pm CST --- I am interested to see how UMD plays now with a lead. Do they continue with what they're doing or start playing more pucks deep into the offensive zone?
8:09pm CST --- Remember when I said I'd be happy if UMD went to the third period down 2-1. Up 3-2 is better!
8:08pm CST --- It's a good goal, and UMD leads this one 3-2!
8:08pm CST --- This is a long review, but it was called a goal on the ice, so they need some incontrvertible evidence to overturn.
8:07pm CST --- Go down a bit and see what I said about UMD scoring in bunches. If this team gets one, they can get three or four in a hurry.
8:06pm CST --- The officials will review this one, looking to see if it went in off Hendrickson's skate. I think it's a good goal.
8:05pm CST --- A bad decision by Maine goaltender Dan Sullivan led to that goal, just a blue-collar score around the net for the Bulldogs.
8:05pm CST --- GOAL! Jake Hendrickson scores and it's 3-2 UMD!
8:04pm CST --- Freshman Caleb Herbert will get credit for that one, unassissted.
8:04pm CST --- Both teams now have a power play goal from a Hobey Baker finalist and a goal based on just freaky circumstances. Fair is fair.
8:03pm CST --- Caleb Herbert came in on a breakway, missed, and the puck hit the boards and rebounded off of goaltender Dan Sullivan into the net. What a fortunate bounce for UMD.
8:02pm CST --- GOAL! UMD ties the game with another strange goal in this game! It's tied 2-2!
7:59pm CST --- This has been a very entertaining game to watch thus far, and I think much closer than the stats indicate. That said, UMD has relied on a great effort from Reiter to stay at 2-1.
7:56pm CST --- UMD is running a very strange trap at neutral ice. I haven't seen this particular look from them much this season, but it might be an effort to combat the speed of Maine's talented forwards.
7:55pm CST --- If you're a UMD fan, you have to feel pretty comfortable if this period ends 2-1. I like the way the Bulldogs have finished games recently, and their bunch has more NCAA experience than Maine.
7:54pm CST --- TV is showing the replays of Maine's second goal, and that net ended up in the corner. It's understandable why players stopped skating hard, but it's why this game is 2-1 and not tied.
7:53pm CST --- At the second TV timeout of the second period, it's 2-1 Maine. Each team's Hobey Baker finalist has a goal. These guys (Jack Connolly and Spencer Abbott) will probably be 1-2 in the voting...what a treat to see them on the same sheet of ice.
7:52pm CST --- Jack has taken it upon himself to provide more goals this season after losing Mike Connolly and Justin Fontaine from the team last season, and this is just another example.
7:52pm CST --- What a big goal for the scoring leader among active players in the NCAA, making this a 2-1 game after Maine had taken a two-goal lead.
7:51pm CST --- GOAL! Jack Connolly makes it a 2-1 game with a power play goal for the Bulldogs!
7:50pm CST --- This is a big two minutes for UMD. A goal makes this an entirely new scenario midway through the second period.
7:49pm CST --- There's the penalty we were looking for. J.T. Brown was dumped in the offensive zone and the Bulldogs will get a power play.
7:48pm CST --- You would think the Bulldogs have a power play or two coming their way after all Maine has gotten so far. You would think.
7:47pm CST --- Jack Connolly was dumped as he entered the zone. Looked like a penalty to me, but no call from the referees.
7:46pm CST --- Back to work now, boys. Get the first one, then get after some more.
7:45pm CST --- The goal stands, and it's 2-0 Maine. That's the oddest play I've personally seen in NCAA play.
7:44pm CST --- You cannot stop skating before the whistle blows, and all five UMD players stopped.
7:43pm CST --- At this point I believe the refs are looking for a way out, but I don't think there is any mechanism for this to be overturned. There was no whistle on the play, even if there should have been.
7:42pm CST --- There was no whistle that I heard, and now the referees will review the play.
7:41pm CST --- Caleb Herbert knocked the Maine net off its pegs, and every UMD player stopped dead in his tracks. Maine kept skating and Mangene was in all alone on Reiter.
7:40pm CST --- GOAL! Maine makes it 2-0 with a breakaway goal by Matt Mangene.
7:39pm CST --- I said when UMD was down 3-0 to Denver that if they got one, they would get three. And they were down 3-0! Right now, they're only down 1-0, so I have complete confidence the guys will figure out a way to score some goals.
7:38pm CST --- Much like the Denver game last week, UMD seems one lucky break away from taking charge and scoring in bunches. It'd be nice if that break came sooner rather than later.
7:37pm CST --- Aside from the penalties and one bad decision that led to the goal, UMD has been playing a very solid game. They seem more in control than the stat line would indicate.
7:36pm CST --- Great kill from UMD. Maine now 1-for-4 with the extra man. Enough of that, now, let's play 5-on-5 for a while.
7:36pm CST --- It's not like Maine's power play has been unbelievably good tonight, but they do have that potential, and my guess is UMD would rather not find out how good they really are.
7:34pm CST --- The Bulldogs told me before they left that they couldn't take penalties against Maine. Mission unaccomplished so far.
7:33pm CST --- UMD takes another penalty. Mike Seidel off for slashing. The Bulldogs are playing with fire right now.
7:31pm CST --- The Black Bears are dominating in scoring chances thus far in the game, but Reiter has been equal to the task. This most recent rush he benefited from an early whistle, but he's been impressive.
7:30pm CST --- It did not. We stay at the 1-0 score in favor of Maine.
7:29pm CST --- The referees are reviewing a play right now for Maine. Kenny Reiter seems adamant the puck did not go in.
7:28pm CST --- I checked on that Frozen Four stat, by the way, and I was right. UMD advanced to consecutive Frozen Fours once before, in 1984 and 1985.
7:27pm CST --- FSN just flashed a graphic saying Maine is (13-1-3) this season when leading after one period. Interesting.
7:26pm CST --- Three penalties in the first period is simply too many. It all starts by killing this one off, and then not taking any more this frame.
7:25pm CST --- Welcome back. Our two teams are taking the ice for the second period. UMD will start out on the penalty kill as Connolly continues to serve his boarding penalty.
7:12pm CST --- Time to step away for a bit here, stretch the legs. Back in 15 minutes for our second period of play!
7:11pm CST --- 1-0 Maine with the lead after one period on a Spencer Abbott power play goal. He is the nation's leading scorer and has his team up headed to the second period.
7:10pm CST --- Reiter makes another great save with less than 10 seconds to play! Even down 1-0, UMD has to feel good about the play of their senior goaltender.
7:10pm CST --- This power play will carry over to the second period if Maine doesn't score here.
7:09pm CST --- Jack Connolly takes a penalty, and Maine will go on their third power play in the first period. Terrible, terrible discipline from the Bulldogs right now.
7:08pm CST --- Great save from Reiter keeps us 1-0. I still believe Reiter was the best player in last year's NCAA tournament, and he will need a similar performance if the Bulldogs are to repeat as champs.
7:07pm CST --- It goes without saying, but you simply cannot take penalties while playing the second-best power play in the nation.
7:05pm CST --- That's a really disappointing goal allowed for UMD, with less than three minutes left in this period. These next couple shifts before the intermission are very, very important to get back on tempo.
7:04pm CST --- Reiter never saw that one as Abbott shot from the point. I saw at least four jerseys in between the shooter and Reiter.
7:04pm CST --- GOAL! Spencer Abbott scores on the power play for Maine, and the Black Bears go up 1-0 in the first period.
7:02pm CST --- Maine's power play was over 26 percent this season, good enough for second in the NCAA.
7:00pm CST --- Wade Bergman goes off for holding, Maine will have its second power play chance. Watch for Abbott here, his skill in small areas is very impressive.
6:57pm CST --- How have I not mentioned this? Maine's star and Hobey Baker finalist Spencer Abbott is active and playing tonight after being a question mark all week with a concussion.
6:56pm CST --- The flow of this game doesn't surprise me. Both teams are playing strong defense and have limited scoring chances. The best was Lamb's out of the penalty box thus far.
6:54pm CST --- I plan on looking into that stat during the intermission, but I believe it is correct.
6:53pm CST --- This is the Bulldogs' eighth overall appearance in the NCAA tournament. If they advance to Tampa, I believe it would be the second time the team has played in consecutive Frozen Fours - the first coming in 1984 and 1985.
6:51pm CST --- That said, I'd like to see them score the first goal and play with a lead. Skilled or not, playing from behind in the NCAA tournament is never fun.
6:51pm CST --- I like the pace from the Bulldogs as we hit the second TV timeout. They are playing with a purpose and don't seem to be making the mental errors that cost them dearly against Denver.
6:50pm CST --- For those of you looking for the game on television, it is being aired on FSN+ and espn3.com.
6:49pm CST --- Wow! Brady Lamb out of the penalty box had a great chance thanks to a pass from goaltender Kenny Reiter! That was a great chance, but no goal for the Bulldogs.
6:49pm CST --- Big penalty kill here for UMD with Brady Lamb off. Maine has got really skilled players, much like the Bulldogs, and should not be given the man advantage often tonight.
6:47pm CST --- Boston College awaits the winner of Maine-UMD, and we will crown our Midwest and East regional champs later tonight.
6:45pm CST --- A note from the West Regional, North Dakota will take on Minnesota in the championship game tomorrow night. NoDak beat Western Michigan 3-1 and Minnesota beat Boston 7-3.
6:44pm CST --- UMD players and coaches stressed this week getting off to a better start than they did against Denver in the WCHA Final Five. That doesn't necessarily mean leading 3-0 after one period, but it certainly means not trailing 3-0 after one.
6:43pm CST --- No good for the UMD power play, and now the Bulldogs have taken a penalty of their own.
6:41pm CST --- The Bulldogs' power play is clicking at 21 percent this season. They have a lot of playmakers on the ice. Scary for any team, I'm sure.
6:40pm CST --- Duluth native Keegan Flaherty works hard and draws the first penalty of the hockey game. UMD to go on the power play.
6:39pm CST --- Senior goaltender Kenny Reiter has been asked to make a couple saves early in this one. I don't mind that. Best to get him involved early to get his feet under him.
6:36pm CST --- The Black Bears are in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007. The Bulldogs, of course, are defending their first-ever national title from a season ago.
6:35pm CST --- Both these teams have a top 10 Hobey Baker finalist. The Bulldogs have senior Jack Connolly while the Black Bears have senior Spencer Abbott.
6:33pm CST --- We are now just minutes away from faceoff in Worcester, MA. UMD and Maine are playing for the right to see Boston College in the NCAA Northeast Regional final.