North Dakota Advances to 20th Frozen Four
CHN Staff Report
CINCINNATI Connor Gaarder scored 1:28 into the second overtime to lift North Dakota to a 2-1 win over Ferris State and a trip to the Frozen Four.
It's the 20th all-time Frozen Four appearance for North Dakota, which was the last at-large team to make the NCAA field. It's trying to duplicate Yale's accomplishment from a year ago, when it also was the last at-large team, also needed another team to win a conference tournament to get in, and then also won the Midwest Regional en route to a national championship.
North Dakota waited out Wisconsin's Big Ten tournament championship win over Ohio State last week in order to qualify for the NCAAs. Then it defeated Wisconsin on Friday, before knocking off Ferris State.
Ferris State seemed to get the better of play in the third period and the first overtime, outshooting North Dakota, 28-6, in that span. But the Bulldogs, who feature a Hobey Baker Award finalist goaltender in C.J. Motte, were continually stymied by North Dakota's Zane Gothberg.
Cory Kane got FSU on the board at 7:31 of the second period, taking a long wrister that got through Gothberg's legs. It was Gothberg's only mistake of the night. The shot was one of a game-high 11 by Kane.
But North Dakota got a power play shortly thereafter, and Stephane Pattyn got his stick on a Paul LaDue slapper, tipping it past Motte for the tying score.
Gaarder's goal in OT was his eighth of the season.
North Dakota will face the winner of the West Regional in the Frozen Four semifinal in Philadelphia on April 10.