ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- John Mitchell scored two goals and Wisconsin advanced to the Frozen Four for the 12th time, beating St. Cloud State, 5-3, on Saturday night in the NCAA West Regional final. The Huskies had beaten the Badgers in the WCHA tournament's Final Five.
Mitchell, Blake Geoffrion and Jake Gardiner had first-period goals for the Badgers (27-10-4), who will face East Regional champion Rochester Institute of Technology in the national semifinals April 8 at Ford Field in Detroit.
"It was highly intensive out there," Badgers coach Mike Eaves said. "I thought the first period, we weren't as good as we had hoped -- a lot of that had to do with the Vermont team.
"I thought in the second period, we got our feet moving better, did better things in terms of supporting the puck, winning to races and winning battles and overall picking it up after that point."
Aaron Bendickson also scored, and Scott Gudmandson made 26 saves for Wisconsin, which will make its first Frozen Four appearance since winning the 2006 title in Milwaukee.
Jared Festler scored twice, and Tony Mosey added a goal for St. Cloud State (24-14-5), which cut the Badgers' lead to a goal three times, but couldn't pull even.
"We just took what was given and that was good for us," said UW defenseman Brendan Smith. "I felt that sometimes they were running around and they didn't know who to cover."