ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mario Lamoureux scored twice during a five-goal third period for North Dakota, and the Fighting Sioux snapped back to stun Minnesota 6-3 Friday in the WCHA semifinals.
Michael Parks and Brock Nelson scored 30 seconds apart to tie the game, and Corban Knight also got a goal to give North Dakota (24-12-3) all it needed for a spot in Saturday’s championship game against Denver. UND has won the last two Broadmoor Trophies.
Defenseman Derek Forbort put the Fighting Sioux on the board after Minnesota (26-13-1) took a 3-0 lead on goals by Kyle Rau, Erik Haula and Zach Budish. But after Forbort’s slap shot went in with 5:09 left in the second period, the Gophers were outshot 20-3 the rest of the game.
Minnesota, the WCHA regular season champion, fell to 18-2 when taking a lead into the final frame.
Perhaps the WCHA’s premier rivalry — and there are many in this 12-team, 60-year-old league — the Gophers and the Sioux won’t be in the same conference in two seasons when Minnesota bolts for the Big Ten and North Dakota joins the National College Hockey Conference. Both leagues begin play in the 2013-14 season.
The energetic crowd, split almost evenly between the two fan bases, traded “Let’s go Gophers!” and “Let’s go Sioux!” chants throughout the night. If this was the last big game between these teams as WCHA members, it was quite the show.
Lamoureux took a holding penalty in the first period, and Rau knocked in a pass from Haula in front of the net as he tripped and fell forward just 17 seconds into that power play. The Gophers needed only 5 seconds of a power play in the second period after Ben Blood was called for charging, when Haula scored to make it 2-0. Budish’s redirection at the midpoint of the second period stretched the lead to three.
It looked like a rout. But seconds after UND coach Dave Hakstol called timeout, Forbort scored. In the third period, his wraparound shot with 14:29 left glanced off the skate of Parks to cut the lead to one. Nelson corralled an airborne puck, controlled it with the shaft of his stick like he was playing hacky sack and set it on the ice for a backhander that zipped past Gophers goalie Kent Patterson to tie the game.
This was a season high for Patterson in goals allowed.
After Lamoureux’s second score, the Gophers fans quickly headed up the stairs for the exits.
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