Championship Game Notebook
CHN Staff Report
ST. PAUL, Minn. Minnesota-Duluth's NCAA Championship win was its seventh overtime victory of the season. The Bulldogs finished the season 7-2-6 in the extra frame and after the starting the season with four of its first seven games going into sudden death, the ending on Saturday only seemed fitting.
“It is not always something you want to play, but we found a little knack for getting it done in overtime,” Minnesota-Duluth forward J.T. Brown said. “That’s one of the things we did pride ourselves on going into the overtime period — that we’ve played the overtime more times than they have and most of the nation.”
It was the 14th overtime game in championship history and four of five national title games in St. Paul have gone to overtime.
And UMD coach Scott Sandelin had a overtime speech ready for his players on Saturday.
“He had one of his best performances in between periods there,” Schmidt said. “He got us going in there. We were able to feed off that.”
The speech was a bit reminiscent of another Minnesota legend.
“I think [Sandelin] said 'It's our time' about five or six times,'” forward Max Tardy said.
It's a good thing Justin Fontaine played a little baseball — as much as someone can growing up in Bennyville, Alberta.
In a championship game of inches, the Minnesota-Duluth senior prevented a second-period Michigan goal by swatting a puck out of the air, hitting it away with the shaft of his stick.
"I saw it go up and behind (Reiter), and I just swung my stick," Fontaine said. "A couple of us were swinging at it."
At another point, Fontaine had a swinging shot of his own that just missed going on.
Minnesota-Duluth was denied another goal when Michigan defenseman Greg Pateryn swatted a rolling puck away from the goal line at the last second.
"There were so many close chances," Fontaine said. His team finally won it in overtime.
* Minnesota-Duluth becomes the first team to win a football and hockey national championship in one season since Michigan in 1997-98. Duluth won the D-II championship last December with a dramatic last-season field goal.
* UMD, the 9th ranked team in the Pairwise, defeated No. 8 Union, top seed Yale, and No. 11 Notre Dame, as well as No. 5-seeded Michigan on the way to the title.
* It is the first championship ever for UMD, which had previously only made it to the championship game once — a 4 OT loss to Bowling Green in 1984. Back then, overtimes were only 10 minutes.
* This is the first time since 1993 that a school has won the Division I championship for the first time ever. Maine was the last one.
* It is also the first time since 2000 that a Division II or III school has won the title. UMD is Division II in all sports except men's and women's hockey. North Dakota was the last.
* It is the eighth time in the last 25 years that a non-Division I school has won the championship. The other seven winners in the last quarter century: North Dakota (1987, 1997, 2000), Lake Superior (1988, 1992, 1994) and Northern Michigan (1991).
* With five of those titles coming between 1987 and 1994, UMD's win is just the third title for a Division II or III school in the 17 championship games since 1994. North Dakota won the other two.
* UMD is the first non-Division I school other than North Dakota to even appear in the championship game since Colorado College lost to Michigan, 3-2 in overtime, in 1996.
With reporting from Mike Machnik, Matt Conyers and Adam Wodon