Frozen Four title game bound once again

 Joey Anderson battles in front of the net. Photo courtesy of Krista Mathes

Joey Anderson battles in front of the net. Photo courtesy of Krista Mathes

For the second consecutive year, the University of Minnesota Duluth is heading back to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Frozen Four championship game after 2-1 victory over Ohio State in the semifinal round.

The Bulldogs wasted no time getting started tonight. Freshman defender Louie Roehl buried a loose puck outside of the Buckeye net just 1:53 into the first period. Just 1:11 later, senior forward Jared Thomas went in all alone on a breakaway and scored 5-hole to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead 3:04 into regulation.

The score would remain the same until the 9:27 mark of the third period when Tanner Laczynski scored for the Buckeyes on the power play. The Bulldogs hunkered down after the Buckeye strike and played solid defensively and even mixed in a few solid scoring chances.

"Again, it was what we expected. It was going to be a battle. We obviously had a great start to the game, getting a lead, but thought our first two periods were strong, and a little slow in the third," said UMD head coach Scott Sandelin who is now 16-6 in NCAA tournament play. "They got the power play, but our guys held strong and kind of seems to be the MO with our team right now."

UMD poured on 28 shots in the contest to Ohio State’s 20. The Bulldogs had 17 first period shots and held their opponent to a mere four. The Bulldogs made it near impossible for Ohio State to enter the defensive zone for the first 40 minutes, credit UMD’s exceptional neutral zone play to that.

This is the Bulldogs 10th consecutive NCAA tournament victory that has been decided by just one goal.

UMD will play the winner of the Notre Dame Michigan game Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. in hopes of redeeming last years NCAA title loss to Denver.

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