The second quarterfinal of the Thursday session at the Final Five featured Colorado College and North Dakota, who were separated by five victories coming in. Clarke Saunders got the start for North Dakota in the nets while Joe Howe did the same for Colorado College.
North Dakota had a great shift to open the game, and Brendan O’Donnell put the first puck on net at just past forty seconds. The first penalty of the game went against North Dakota at 2:16, as Drake Caiggula would be sent to the box for charging.
Moments later, at 3:06, CC would score on the power play as Rylan Schwartz took to the board. Cody Bradley and William Rapuzzi assisted Schwartz on the effort.
Shots were even at one apiece as 4:24 ticked off the clock, and North Dakota had to chase the lead. The next few minutes, and how North Dakota would react to getting sucker-punched, were key to hone in on.
Early on, CC’s Joe Howe was moving well and making the saves he absolutely needed to make. As a result, through 9:36, shots were 7-3 in favor of UND.
The game really slowed down in the middle stages of the first frame, which is what was expected in terms of how the afternoon quarterfinal played out.
Do remember though that North Dakota is the only team in WCHA history with three consecutive Broadmoor Trophies, so don’t sleep on those from Grand Forks if you had previously planned to.
At the 14:23 mark, North Dakota finally came to life as Drake Caggiula scored on even strength. Rocco Grimaldi and Carter Rowney were credited with assists. On the same sequence, CC’s William Rapuzzi was assessed a penalty for slashing, giving North Dakota its opening power play of the night.
As a result of the goal, North Dakota regained its swagger and confidence, only to have it taken away at 16:06 by a roughing minor assessed to Mark MacMillan. CC would gain a power play of just over one hundred seconds in length. The power play continued at 17:09 as Rocco Grimaldi was called for tripping.
North Dakota would end up killing off the penalties assessed them by the men in stripes, and we would go into the first intermission with a one-goal lead to North Dakota. At 19:51, Danny Kristo netted an even strength shot past Joe Howe with an assist going to Brendan O’Donnell Shots favored UND 11-4, and while UND was 0-1 on power plays, CC was 1-3.
The second period would start with two quick North Dakota shots, and of the shooters, all but three players had one shot on goal. CC's Rylan Schwartz was the only player to have multiple shots on the CC side of the equation.
Shots were 15-5 in favor of UND as twenty-four minutes fell on Thursday night, and oddly enough, Colorado College was hanging in, right with North Dakota, and mainly because of CC goaltender Joe Howe.
At 7:42, Colorado College was assessed a too many men penalty, only to score a shorthanded goal twelve seconds later (at 7:54). Alex Krushelnyski scored the goal with help from Rylan Schwartz. Finally, to end the sequence at 7:54, North Dakota's Dillon Simpson was assessed a slashing minor.
Shots were 16-8 in North Dakota's favor just past the halfway point of the game, and at 12:21, CC's Cody Bradley would be called for slashing. The teams would come to full strength two minutes later with shots at 19-10 in favor of North Dakota.
As the second period came to an end, the two teams were back where they started at even on the scoreboard. At 17:42 of the period, CC's Aaron Harstad would be called for slashing, giving UND a power play, which was their fourth of the night. At the end of the period, Colorado College was 1-4 on power plays and UND was 0-4. Shots were 20-10 to UND.
As the third period started, its first penalty occurred at 1:09 as CC's Eamonn McDermott would go for boarding, giving UND its fifth power play of the night. The power play would come up short, and the game was still tied with seventeen minutes remaining.
At 3:18, CC's Hunter Fejes scored to make the game 3-2 on even strength with an assist going to Andrew Hamburg on the snipe from high in the zone.
At 7:05, CC's Aaron Harstad would receive a holding penalty, giving UND their sixth power play of the night, which they needed to convert on. However, UND had the penalty killed by CC despite North Dakota owning an advantage of +10 in shots on goal.
At 12:45, UND's Drake Caiggula tied the game on even strength which happened to be his second goal of the game. Caiggula was assisted by Colten St. Clair and Andrew MacWilliam on the goal.
With eighty-six seconds to play, shots were 32-20 in favor of North Dakota, and a lot of hockey was left to play. This included an overtime session.
In the sudden death overtime, at 4:52, CC finally broke the deadlock when Peter Stoykevich notched the winner on even strength. Stoykevich was assisted by Jeff Collett and Peter Maric. Shots at the end of the game had UND having a 32-23 edge, and power plays the same (UND at 0-6, CC at 1-4).
Tomorrow’s semifinals begin at 2pm with Wisconsin taking on St. Cloud State and at 7pm, Minnesota takes on Colorado College in the second WCHA semifinal.
Geoff Discher is Examiner.com's National College Hockey Examiner as well as the Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at Disch61@hotmail.com with comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking here and here, joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He's always chock full of fact and opinion.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the rink!