Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Quick start sends Minnesota Duluth to Frozen Four final

"We weren't that concerned", said MI coach Mel Pearson. With AP Photos.Louie Roehl and Jared Thomas scored in the first 3:04 and Minnesota Duluth held off Ohio State 2-1 night to reach the NCAA championship game for the second straight year. Minnesota-Duluth will be meeting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday for the final championship game.

The u-m-d pep band and cheerleaders brought the party to frozen fest as bulldogs fans played games and danced their worries away before their team faced off against Ohio State.

Sophomore wing Joey Anderson said the Bulldogs' bench feeds off the energy of the crowd and their support makes them feel like they're not alone on the ice. "That's our hope at MI, that every sport can compete for Big Ten championships and when you compete for a Big Ten championship you can compete for a national championship".

After some unsafe looks at sophomore goaltender Hayden Lavigne that yielded no fruit, it was evident that the Fighting Irish's plethora of two-way players - exemplified by Evans, who had 11 goals and a team-high 31 assists prior to the semifinal - were giving the Wolverine skaters considerable trouble.

"That seems to be the M.O. with our team right now, " Sandelin said.

"Honestly, it's just kind of a blank to me", Lavigne said after the game. "As a defenseman, when a guy is flying at you like that, it's hard to make a good play with the puck". "And you just get on a run and keep it going, and figure out how to play tough, close games like that". To hear comments from them, click on the video box above.

Raabe scored 58 points (22 goals, 36 assists) in 58 games in the 2016-17 season with Wenatchee before enrolling at MI.

The game-winner was Evans' second of the night and 13th of the season.

Puck drop on Saturday night is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. It wasn't the most talented team I've had here in four years but it was the best team and we just loved being around each other. That lead quickly increased by another goal in the opening minutes of the second, and it was starting to look like the Fighting Irish were getting on their heels a bit. All six did, and the Bulldogs edged in-state rival Minnesota by one-ten thousandth of a percentage point in the RPI ratings to earn the final at-large spot in the 16-team NCAA tournament.

On a penalty kill as a result of a Riley Tufte elbowing penalty, Shepard moved left across the crease to rob OSU captain Mason Jobst with the left pad and stick on a one-timer from the left circle. I didn't think (Morrison) was going to pass.

MI arguably had better quality scoring chances late in the third period, but that didn't matter when all was said and done. "But I'm just again expecting it to be a real tight, lower-scoring game".

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