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The NCAA men's ice hockey tournament opened on Thursday afternoon as Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota-Duluth advanced to their regional finals.

The No. 1 Minnesota State Mavericks escaped the first round with a 4-3 win over Harvard on Thursday afternoon. 

MSU held a 3-0 lead early in the second period before Harvard battled back with a pair of goals 48 seconds apart to cut the deficit to one entering the third period. But the Mavericks pushed the lead to 4-2 on a goal by Ondrej Pavel with 14:41 to go in the game. 

Harvard's power-play goal again made it a one-goal game with 3:31 to play, but Minnesota State held on for the victory. 

The Mavericks had 40 shots on goal compared to 22 for the Crimson. 

Minnesota State will play in the regional final on Saturday against the winner of Thursday's game between North Dakota and Notre Dame, who meet at 5 p.m. 

UMD had an easier time on Thursday, earning a 3-0 shutout victory over Michigan Tech.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the first period when Kobe Roth scored at the 14:54 mark of the first period. After skating through a scoreless second period, UMD expanded their lead at 6:09 of the third period with an even-strength goal from Kyler Kleven.

That would be all the support that Ryan Fanti would need in net as he stopped all 28 shots on the afternoon. With Roth's empty-net goal late in the game, the Bulldogs punched their ticket to the Loveland Regional final on Saturday night.

UMD will face the winner of No. 1 Denver and No. 4 UMass Lowell, who will play at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.

There are still two more Minnesota teams to take the ice in the NCAA tournament. The Gophers play Friday at 5 p.m. against Massachusetts and St. Cloud State takes on Quinnipiac at 7 p.m. Friday. 

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