Ohio State was fortunate to be down just two after the first period, considering Minnesota Duluth dictated pace on the way to a 17-4 shots advantage in the opening 20 minutes.
"Karson has literally taken the team and changed a game and injected some life into our team just with the way he's played and the effort he's put forth with some of the goals he's scored". But they also reflected on the team's memorable run to the program's 25th Frozen Four and took pride in their accomplishments. Ohio State's Tanner Laczynski scored a goal in the third period to make it a one-goal game.
"It would have been nice to maybe get that third [goal]".
The result is a return to the championship game for the second year in a row (UMD lost to Denver 3-2 in 2017), where the Bulldogs will meet another Big Ten team - Notre Dame.
They all knew the scenario. "That's a strong suit for us". He said it shows how strong the conference is getting. He continued to skate driving around the defending player and threw the puck in front of the net for Evans to send to the back of the net with seconds remaining in the game. "Every one of our last four, five, six games have been one-goal games". "We know with our style of play, building from the back end out with our goaltending and defense, we're not going to allow very many goals". "We've worked hard as a collective group, and it's turned out well".
College hockey fans filled a parking lot across the street from the Xcel Energy Center, tailgating before the national semifinal games Thursday.
"It's like a hometown feel in there", Anderson said.
The Bulldogs, who feature 10 freshmen, weathered a turbulent regular season, which is why they were the last team picked in the 16-team field.
Three weeks ago at Xcel during the NCHC Frozen Faceoff, there was no home-ice advantage for the Bulldogs. That's fine, but the next and final destination for Evans and Notre Dame is just that, the finals.
The Bulldogs encountered a similar crowd in 2011 when UMD won its only national title in St. Paul. "We have the Minnesota state high school tournament here". "But UMD is a great team and (Scott) Sandelin is a great coach and he seems to get the best out of the team, so I'd still be hopeful". "We had high expectations going into the season". The championship game is set for Saturday, April 7.
"It's been a lot of fun. You're not laboring as much on a back-to-back as you would if you got 35-40 shots". Sophomore forward Cam Morrison scored the game-winning goal in overtime. "To go into overtime and win a national championship, nothing could be more exciting than that".
Saturday night's matchup figures to be particularly personal for the five Minnesota products on the Irish roster who know numerous Duluth players dating back to high school battles on the ice.
It wasn't broken, just aggravated.
"Jenkins was in a battle with another forward and he did a really good job of winning that battle", said Evans.