North Dakota, Minnesota tie 4-4 in WCHA finale
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Top-ranked Minnesota erased a two-goal deficit in the last 10 minutes to earn a 4-4 tie with North Dakota on Saturday in the last Western Collegiate Hockey Association game between the long-time rivals.
Trailing 4-2, the Golden Gophers (17-3-4, 9-3-4) got a goal from Nick Bjugstad at 11:10 of the third period and the tying goal by Nate Condon at 17:02. Condon also had an assist.
The game was the final WCHA regular-season meeting between the teams. Minnesota, which leads the all-time series 145-130-15, will go to the Big Ten next season and North Dakota will join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The teams aren’t scheduled to meet again during the regular season.
“It was a better game than last night,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said of Friday’s 5-1 Minnesota win. “It was more like a playoff game. For the last game in the WCHA it was fitting to go into overtime.”
Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox made 22 saves, but none in overtime. North Dakota’s Rocco Grimaldi beat Wilcox but his shot clanged off the pipe.
“I though (UND goalie Zane) Gothberg was the star of the game for our team,” North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol. “Our guy made the key saves at the right time. Their guy had the good fortune of the post late in overtime.”
Gothberg made one save in overtime and 31 overall. He had 12 stops in the first period and 11 in the third. But the Gophers found just enough offense to mount a comeback.
“It feels better when you come from two goals back to get the tie,” Lucia said. “North Dakota is a good team. You have to take the punches and you have to punch back.”
Minnesota extended its unbeaten streak to 10 games but had its six-game winning streak stopped.
North Dakota (13-7-4, 8-4-4) went up 4-2 on Drake Caggiula’s goal at 7:20 of the third period.
Grimaldi had a goal and an assist. His goal at 12:28 of the second period gave UND a 3-1 lead.
Corban Knight scored for sixth-ranked North Dakota to extend his point-scoring streak to 19 games.
Danny Kristo had his 14th goal of the season for UND and Jake Parenteau had his first in the first period.