St. Cloud advances to Final Five with game three victory

St. Cloud St. 6, Michigan Tech 2
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) —Mike Maristuen scored two goals to lead St. Cloud State to a 6-2 victory Sunday night over Michigan Tech to win its best-of-three WCHA playoff series.
The Huskies (21-14-2) scored three quick goals within almost two minutes in the first period, with Maristuen beginning scoring at 6:50 by knocking in a rebound. At 8:29, Mike Rucinski scored and Matt Bailey got the go-ahead goal at 8:53.
Andy Sutton scored a power-play goal for Michigan Tech (17-20-3) at 13:03 of the second period before St. Cloud State scored three more to put the game away.
Those goals came from Matt Noga at 19:17 of the second and Geno Parrish and Maristuen, who each scored a power-play goal 40 seconds apart in the third for St. Cloud.
The winning goalie, Brian Leitza, had 17 saves. Michigan Tech’s David Weninger had 35 saves, including 21 in the first period as St. Cloud State had a season-high 24 shots.
Forty penalties were called for 107 penalty minutes.
St. Cloud State will play Minnesota-Duluth on Thursday when the WCHA Final Five tournament begins in Milwaukee.
UND 5, Mankato St. 4
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) —Brothers Jeff and Jay Panzer each had a goal and two assists in leading North Dakota past Mankato State 5-4 Saturday night and into the WCHA Final Five tournament.
North Dakota, the defending national champion, won the WCHA regular season title and is seeking its second WCHA playoff title in two years.
The Fighting Sioux (29-6-1) will play their remaining games on the road. Their 2-0 series playoff victory over Mankato gave them a 17-3 home record this season.
After winning 5-2 Friday, North Dakota opened a 3-0 lead Saturday on first-period goals by Matt Henderson, David Hoogsteen and Adam Calder.
The second period ended with North Dakota ahead 5-2 after Tyler Baines and Jesse Rooney notched scores for Mankato, and both Panzers netted goals for North Dakota.
Mankato added goals from Ryan Rintoul and Jason Krug in the third.
Aaron Schweitzer turned away 21 shots for North Dakota, while Des Christopher recorded 35 saves for Mankato, which ends its season with a 15-17-6 record.
Wisconsin 6, Alaska-Anchorage 2
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Joe Bianchi had two goals Saturday, including a short-handed effort, to lead Wisconsin to a 6-2 victory over Alaska Anchorage and a berth in the WCHA Final Five.
Mark Smith, Steve Reinprecht, Kevin Granato and Brad Englehart also scored for the Badgers (24-13-1), who swept their best-of-three first-round playoff series with the Seawolves.
Gord McCann and Eric Tuott tallied for Alaska Anchorage (6-25-5). The Seawolves haven’t won a game in Madison in 10 tries and are 0-12 all-time in the WCHA playoffs.
As in Friday’s 6-1 Wisconsin win, the Seawolves opened the scoring. McCann poked in a rebound off Jeff Edwards’ shot just 4:14 into the game for a 1-0 lead.
But Wisconsin scored five unanswered goals within 20 minutes to take control.
Bianchi tied the game at 1-1 just 38 seconds after McCann’s goal. The senior came on the ice as an extra attacker on a delayed penalty against Anchorage and one-timed a rebound past Seawolves goalie Doug Teskey.
Mark Smith gave Wisconsin the lead for good at the 7:30 mark. Linemate Dan Bjornlie juked one defender at the left circle and spotted Smith alone to Teskey’s right for an easy score and a 2-1 advantage.
With the Badgers holding a 3-1 lead but skating a man down early in the second period, Bianchi struck again. He streaked in on Teskey and beat him stick-side at 1:03 for his eighth career shorthanded goal, which tied him with Brian Mullen and Steve Tuttle for second place on the school’s all-time list.
Granato’s blast from between the circles at 4:08 of the second beat Teskey for a 5-1 Badgers lead.
Sophomore Mike Valley made 29 saves in his first playoff start for Wisconsin, which missed the Final Five last season for the first time since the event was initiated in 1987-88.
Teskey had 23 saves for Anchorage.
The Badgers are 30-4 in WCHA first-round playoff games in 16 years under coach Jeff Sauer.
Colorado Col. 6, Denver 4
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Brian Swanson scored two goals and set up two others as Colorado College overcame four goals by Anders Bjork to beat Denver 6-4 Saturday and sweep their best-of-three WCHA playoff series.
Colorado College (24-11-3) will take a nine-game winning streak to the WCHA semifinals in Milwaukee, where it will meet Wisconsin on Friday. Wisconsin (24-13-1) swept Alaska-Anchorage to gain that semifinal berth.
Denver finished 11-25-2. Colorado College posted a 3-2 overtime win over the Pioneers in Friday’s game.
Swanson, the WCHA’s overall scoring champion with 49 regular-season points on 15 goals and 34 assists, scored goals in each of the first two periods as Colorado College skated to leads of 2-1 after one period and 4-2 after two.
Cam Kryway scored two goals, Darren Clark and Jason Gudmundson each scored a goal and an assist and Scott Swanson added two assists for Colorado College.
That was enough to offset the four-goal effort by Denver’s Bjork, a senior from Sweden who finished his season with 17 goals and 18 assists. Paul Comrie, Denver’s leading scorer with 40 points on 17 goals and 23 assists, set up two of Bjork’s goals.
Colorado College goaltender Jason Cugnet stopped 25 shots to improve his record to 11-3-1. Denver’s Stephen Wagner (9-17-1) registered 23 saves.