BOSTON (AP) — Reggie Lutz scored to break a second-period tie and Minnesota State scored three times in the third in the Frozen Four semifinal on Thursday night to beat big-city rival Minnesota 5-1 and advance to the national championship game.
Minnesota State will play for its first NCAA hockey title Saturday night against Denver, which beat Michigan 3-2 in overtime in the the early semifinal.READ MORE: Next Weather Alert: T-Storm Warning In Twin Cities Area, Tornado Watch In SE MN
Benton Maass, Ondrej Pavel, David Silye and Brendan Furry also scored for Minnesota State, and Hobey Baker Award finalist Dryden McKay stopped 16 shots. Justen Close made 27 saves before he was pulled for an extra skater with 3:51 left, but the Gophers could not convert and Furry delivered an empty-netter.
In a Frozen Four of bluebloods that have combined to win 22 NCAA titles, Minnesota State is the only school that has never taken home the trophy. But the Mankato-based Mavericks were the winningest team in the country this year — they claimed victory No. 38 on Thursday — and the only one of the four to have reached the national semifinals last year as well.READ MORE: Not Much Drama Expected For Minnesota Democratic Convention
Minnesota took the lead with 11 minutes left in the first period when MSU turned it over in the neutral zone to set up a two-on-none against the goalie. Matthew Knies and Bryce Brodzinski passed it between themselves three times before Knies slammed it past McKay on the Gophers’ first shot of the game.
Maass tied it on wraparound about seven minutes into the second period, and about six minutes later Lutz found himself with the puck on the side of the net. He swiped at it twice, unable to get it past Close, then went behind the net and wrapped it around to make it 2-1.
The Mavericks made it 3-1 with two minutes gone in the third when Jack McNeely’s shot from the point was deflected in front by Pavel.MORE NEWS: Wabasha County Deputies Confiscate 5 Pounds Of Meth From Man's Impounded Car
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