April 24, 2018

Minnesota Duluth beats Ohio State in semifinals

07 April 2018, 09:53 | Rufus Hill

2018 Frozen Four schedule, start times and live streams

Assistant coach Brian Wiseman is on the far left and assistant coach Bill Muckalt is on the far right. Hunter Dyke | The Ann Arb

"My mom has been reminding me since past year", he said, smiling.

On Thursday, however, Minnesota Duluth was first - and second.

Minnesota Duluth goaltender Hunter Shepard fights to see the puck through a screen set by Ohio State's Dakota Joshua during the Bulldogs' 2-1 Frozen Four semifinal win over the Buckeyes on Thursday, April 5 at Xcel Energy Center.

"You gotta tip your cap to Duluth, but our guys felt we were on our heels right away", Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik said. "I couldn't have predicted that". "You're not laboring as much on a back-to-back as you would if you got 35-40 shots".

Key stats for the Bulldogs: UMD has played 10 consecutive one-goal games in the NCAA tournament, winning seven of them.

The Bulldogs, who feature 10 freshmen, weathered a turbulent regular season, which is why they were the last team picked in the 16-team field. "We might have only done that one other time, in the Big Ten championship game against Notre Dame".

Evans scored with 5.2 seconds remaining Thursday night to give the No. 2-ranked Fighting Irish a 4-3 win over No. 10 MI in the semifinals of the NCAA hockey championship in St. Paul, Minn. The Bulldogs will play Notre Dame on Saturday for the men's hockey national championship (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

UMD is looking for its second national title (first since 2011) while Notre Dame, one of the nation's premiere programs since Jackson was hired in 2005, is looking to capture its first championship. "You know what, you just don't know. It's a really special opportunity to come together with the Irish, and hopefully we can really do something sweet tomorrow night".

"I have a lot of respect for Jeff and their staff". And it's something we talked about.

MI first-year head hockey coach Mel Pearson thought his team was headed to overtime against Notre Dame in the Frozen Four.

"So this year, for our younger players, it was a learning experience every weekend". But we had a good. our forward group, we had a lot of depth coming back. "I just feel bad for our team". "I think the fact that we had to crawl and scratch our way from the bottom from the start of the season to where we are now, it's been a heck of a run".

"I'm not the biggest goal-scorer (You're a goal-scorer! yelled a teammate from across the locker room), but it was fun to get a good one for the team".

Minnesota Duluth edged Minnesota, the host of the tournament, by a few tenths of a point in the RPI to secure the final spot in the NCAA tournament. Just playing in the X (Xcel Energy Center) alone, in the Frozen Four, is very cool as it is.

A snarky question about that game and the Buckeyes' misfortune that night prompted the "We'll take our chances" response. "Staying in a routine is probably the biggest thing for me and just be ready to go Saturday". "Obviously, it's great when you win them". We have a lot of kids from Minnesota. We're not a super, high-powered offensive team. Evans finished the game with two goals and Burke tallied one.

Defense mattered for the young Bulldogs when a 17-4 shot advantage in their favor in the first period flipped when a more aggressive Ohio State squad outshot them, 16-11, in the final two periods on Thursday night. It was his team-leading 25th goal.

University of MI freshman Dakota Raabe and the Wolverines hockey team advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four after defeating Boston University in the Northeast Regional Final, 6-3, on March 25.

Then, a team without any guarantees waited to see if it would get another chance to show the world that it belonged in the NCAA tournament.

During Thursday night's Frozen Four semifinal against MI, the bench boss did just that. Raabe played in 32 games and earned a +5 rating.

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