Quick start sends Minnesota Duluth to Frozen Four final


"But it takes time for those kids to get used to college hockey". "'I'm just going to do everything in my control to stick with it and hopefully get a couple pucks on net.' Obviously it worked out there where our line got rewarded for playing good hockey".

Glory was there for the taking.

A number of fans young and old who attended the 2011 championship game, in which UMD beat MI 3-2 in overtime, are headed back to St. Paul this week to cheer on the Bulldogs.

The Buckeyes were left wondering, "what if?" "We're good on our gaps, our guys are up on their guys and there aren't a lot of lanes for them to shoot". Minnesota would be the last at-large team to make the NCAA tournament.

The 2018 Frozen Four got underway Thursday in St. Paul, Minn., and it featured three Big Ten teams in semifinal action. They gave up the fewest number of goals in the league and opened up 13-0 in league play.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are a No. 3 seed and the tournament's 12th overall seed. He was hired last spring to replace Red Berenson, who retired after 33 seasons, 848 wins, 11 conference championships, 11 Frozen Fours and two national titles.

"I owe Jeff Jackson a lot", UMD coach Scott Sandelin said.

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"Props to the Big Ten".

"Once we got behind, we saw the desperation we needed to play with from the start", said MI coach Mel Pearson. "Because I remember in 2011 when we came out, the building was electric".

"We were very fortunate to get the lead that we had in the regular season with that winning streak that we had, because we found out in the second half how challenging the conference is and how much better it got", said Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson, whose team won 16 consecutive games from October 27 through January 19.

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. But they also reflected on the team's memorable run to the program's 25th Frozen Four and took pride in their accomplishments.

"We lost seven (seniors), and three guys left early to the National Hockey League. I think we really came together a lot this year, Wolfy (Nick Wolf) has been our headmaster and he's done a great job getting us to gel as the year goes on", Perunovich said. "I'll be there on the bench, and I'm able to focus on the play during the game. It's nice to have a chance again this year to play the same team". All signs were pointing to an overtime finish, but Montreal Canadiens seventh-round pick decided that the regular season is where the game would end.

A power-play goal by Tanner Laczynski, Ohio State's top scorer, in the third changed the vibe in the building and forced the Bulldogs to spend the final 10 minutes holding onto the lead. Gone from Duluth are all three of that night's heroes, Raskob, Iafallo and Miska.

Kuhlman, the wing out of Esko, doesn't lead the Bulldogs in many statistical categories, just short-handed goals (2) and hat tricks (1). "They had a couple of point-blank looks that Miska came up with very big saves for us that kept us in the game. For him, I'm really glad he's our captain and really glad he's having the year".