Apr 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm
PHILADELPHIA -- Justin Holl scored a short-handed goal with 0.6 seconds left to give Minnesota a 2-1 victory over North Dakota on Thursday night in the NCAA hockey semifinals.
Minnesota (28-6-6) will face Union College in the title game Saturday night. Union beat Boston College 5-4 in the first semifinal at Wells Fargo Center.
Holl scored his first goal of the season, beating Zane Gothberg to the glove side with a shot just inside the post.
Sam Warning opened the scoring for Minnesota with 9:09 left, and Connor Gaarder tied it for North Dakota 32 seconds later. Adam Wilcox made 36 saves for Minnesota, and Gothberg stopped 26 shots.
Minnesota advanced to its 11th championship game and first since 2003, the year it won the last of its five titles.
North Dakota (25-14-3) entered the tournament as an at-large No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region and beat top-seeded Wisconsin and second-seeded Ferris State in double overtime.
After playing through two scoreless periods, Warning finally broke through on a second-chance backhand shot in the slot. But Gaarder countered, putting the puck between Wilcox and the post on his own rebound.
North Dakota nearly found the back of the net twice in the closing minutes of the second period. First, Drake Caggiula had an open net, but whiffed on an attempted shot. About a minute later, Gaarder had a one-time chance in the same spot and similarly couldn't get his stick on the puck.
The two programs last met in the NCAA tournament in 2012, when Minnesota won 5-2 in the regional finals. Minnesota is 3-2 vs. North Dakota in tournament games. ... The two former WCHA rivals didn't meet in the regular season for the first time since 1946-47 after Minnesota moved to the newly formed Big Ten hockey conference this year. ... Minnesota has 146-130-15 lead in the series that dates to 1930.
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