Late goal sends Notre Dame to Frozen Four final over MI

Assistant coach Brian Wiseman is on the far left and assistant coach Bill Muckalt is on the far right. Hunter Dyke | The Ann Arb

The only other junior league in North America with more alumni playing in the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament than the NAHL is the USHL.

If the Wolverines beat the Fighting Irish, they will advance to the championship game on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. However, just 17 seconds into the second period, Dancs made it 2-0 MI after his shot bounced in off a Notre Dame defenseman. "Their system, the youth level, in high school, they do a tremendous job in their development and skill". Louie Roehl and Jared Thomas had the goals for UMD.

"We always will be, too", said Wolff, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound sophomore from Eagan. It's the best you'll find in the country.

Michigan's hockey season ended in gut-wrenching fashion, as Jake Evans scored his second goal of the game at 19:54 of the third period to break a 3-all tie. You could nearly feel the goal coming, and a insane scrum in front of Cale Morris led to the tying goal. The seniors have been outstanding for us this year. "So I put on a UMD hat, and a Bulldog hockey fan I became".

"They improved from the time we played them in early January to the time we saw them in February, and they've improved since then as well", Jackson said.

A week of clutch performances by Notre Dame student-athletes continued Thursday. "I think the big change for our team, we've played much better defense in the last month and a half, two months".

"I don't think there was one day all year when I had to get on them, " Rohlik said. MI is next with 37 players and 617 points.




Notre Dame, which fell to Boston College for the 2008 title, will face Minnesota Duluth Saturday for the title.

Even as new recruiting grounds have opened in states such as California and Florida, Minnesota remains the gold standard. All six did, and the Bulldogs edged in-state rival Minnesota by one-ten thousandth of a percentage point in the RPI ratings to earn the final at-large spot in the 16-team NCAA tournament.

The press conference moderator in the bowels of the Xcel Energy Center, who has a folksy, conversational way of performing his duties, asked the Irish players with the clock ticking after midnight Thursday if they had considered what the last few weeks had done to their coach's heart and if they had considered apologizing. UMD won their only men's hockey national title at the Xcel Energy Center in 2011.

"In the semifinals, we played against Duluth East, and it kind of reminds me about that", Brauer said.

"It was insane. I remember that we were sitting close to the UMD section, the players came over to the section and somebody even had a print of the Duluth News Tribune in advance with UMD wins the championship on it".

Whether it's the Irish or the Bulldogs, Minnesotans will be hoisting a trophy.

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