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The Minnesota Gophers win thrilling final of first ever North Star College Cup

Gophers' senior captain Nate Condon brings the puck into the St. Cloud Huskies zone.
Gophers' senior captain Nate Condon brings the puck into the St. Cloud Huskies zone.
Matt Blewett/The Minnesota Sports Report

Day two of the 2014 North Star College Cup showcasing Minnesota hockey did not disappoint. The first game of the day, the consolation game, between the St. Cloud State Huskies and the Mankato State Mavericks and game two, the championship game, had the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers taking on the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.

To view a massive interactive crowd photo click here.

St. Cloud State defeated the Mavericks 6-4 in regulation time to take home third place at the North Star College Cup. The Huskies forgot to show up in the first period, allowing the Mavericks to jump to a 1-0 lead before tying the game with four minutes left in the first period.

The Huskies won the game in the 12th through 16th minute of the second period, scoring three goals in that short time including the David Morley game winner.

See photos from the Mavericks and Huskies game here. You can also explore a giant HD photo of the St. Cloud/Gopher game from Friday the 24th here.

Up for grabs in the last game was a spot in history, the first team to win the North Star College Cup as the top hockey team in Minnesota. The Minnesota Gophers would face the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.

It took the two teams 10:47 to score in the first half. The Gophers’ Rau singlehandedly beat a defender and a goalie to score the first goal of the game. The Bulldogs responded 18 seconds later when Caleb Herbert beat Gophers’ goalie Adam Wilcox low and to the left. 21 seconds later, Herbert, on a fast break down the ice, left the puck for Austin Farley, who buried the puck in the back of the net putting the Bulldogs up 2-1 with nine and a half minutes left in the period. Gophers’ six foot senior Nate Condon would tie the game on a power-play goal with 4:09 left in the first.

There was no scoring in the second period.

The third period saw the the Gophers score twice with the Bulldogs responding each time, sending the game into overtime. At the 18:33 point of the third period the Gophers took a penalty that was called on Ambrosz for boarding, although the arena disagreed vociferously and the video board seemed to back up the crowd sentiment, giving the Bulldogs a power-play for the final minute and a half of regulation and, if needed, the first half-minute of the overtime period. The Gophers would shut down the Bulldog powerplay, even picking up a short-handed offensive rush.

The game went to a five minute overtime period that saw both teams skate to a draw. As the teams lined up for overtime the Bulldogs’ had the first shot and the first team lined up for the best of three shootout. Alex Iafallo was stonewalled by the Gophers’ outstanding goaltender, Adam Wilcox. The Gophers’ Rau shot next, beating Crandell to put the Gophers up 1-0 in the shootout. Herbert could not find the back of the net as Wilcox made a brilliant glove save, setting up Seth Ambrosz with a golden goal opportunity. Ambrosz would not let Gopher fans down and beat Crandell to win the game for Minnesota.

The first team to be engraved on the North Star College Cup will be the Gophers’ 2013-14 team who won in dramatic fashion to be crowned the best team in Minnesota in 2014.

Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for more photo-based coverage of Minnesota sporting events. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

This article initially appeared on The Minnesota Sports Report here.

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