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OT winner allows CC to advance in WCHA playoffs

Coming into Thursday night's WCHA quarterfinal game in St. Paul, MN, Colorado College had not had any success against North Dakota in recent memory. UND had won the past four meetings in the conference Final Five. But that all ended when a Peter Stoykewych shot from the top of the right circle hit a North Dakota defender and slid past goalie Clarke Saunders, giving the Tigers a 4-3 overtime win, and extending their season for at least one more night. The Tigers have now won three straight elimination games in this postseason. For North Dakota, the loss ended their attempt at winning the conference playoff championship for the fourth straight year.

The Stoykewych goal came at 4:52 of the extra session, and propelled the Tigers to Friday night's semifinal matchup against top-ranked Minnesota. The Tigers are now 17-18-5 on the season, and will need to win two more games to win the conference tournament, which they have never done.

A huge point in the game came about shy of eight minutes into the second period. With UND holding a 2-1 lead, CC senior Alexander Krushelnyski, who has scored many big goals in his Tiger career, got loose for a short-handed goal, beating Saunders with a backhand. It was the Tigers' eighth shorty of the year, much different from their production the past two seasons.

In the third, freshman Hunter Fejes put CC for the second time with a hard wrister that surprised Saunders. Drake Caggiula then tied the game with a goal off his own rebound, his second tally of the night, with 7:15 remaining. Joe Howe made a couple big saves down the stretch, setting the scene for the OT heroics. Howe was very good all night again, as he was last weekend against Denver.

The matchup with Minnesota will take place at 6pm MT time Saturday, and can be seen on ROOT Sports.

The other game Thursday saw Wisconsin dismantle Minnesota State 7-2. The Badgers will take on conference co-champ St. Cloud State on Friday afternoon

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