SAINT PAUL, Minn. – North Dakota’s run of three consecutive Broadmoor Trophies and eight straight WCHA Final Five victories came to a sudden halt tonight.
Four years to the day since North Dakota’s last Final Five defeat, Colorado College defenseman Peter Stoykewych banked a point shot in off UND defenseman Nick Mattson (So., Chanhassen, Minn.) at 4:52 of overtime, giving the Tigers a 4-3 quarterfinal win over the three-time defending champion.
Stoykewych’s goal sent the Tigers to Friday’s semifinal against Minnesota, while UND will return home to Grand Forks and await its fate for the national tournament.
“Obviously we wanted to four-peat,” said UND senior forward and Hobey Baker Award finalist Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.). “I think we took about 20 minutes off (during the second and third periods) and got lulled to sleep. We didn’t play to our potential and at this time of the year, we have to play up to our potential. We can’t leave the game up to the bounce of a puck like it was tonight.”
CC senior forward Rylan Schwartz opened the scoring with a power-play goal just 3:06 into the game, but UND actually carried the majority of the play and built an 11-4 shots on goal edge in the opening 20 minutes.
Third-seeded UND tied the game with 5:37 left in the period when freshman Drake Caggiula (Pickering, Ontario) scored his first of two goals on the night. After a CC turnover in its own zone, Rocco Grimaldi (Fr., Rossmoor, Calif.) found Caggiula streaking to the net and Caggiula beat Joe Howe upstairs to tie the game.
Kristo gave UND its only lead with just 10 seconds left in the period, wheeling out from behind the net and beating Howe to the short side from a sharp angle. It was Kristo’s WCHA-leading 25th goal of the season.
CC tied the game 7:54 into the second period while killing a penalty. A pair of UND players got crossed up at the Tigers’ blue line, resulting in a breakaway for Alexander Krushelnyski, who beat forward beat Clarke Saunders (Jr., Brockville, Ontario) for his 15th of the year.
Hunter Feges put the Tigers back on top when he beat Saunders with a wrist shot from the high slot 3:42 into the third period.
Caggiula replied nine minutes later with his second goal, banging home a Colten St. Clair (Fr., Gilbert, Ariz.) rebound to send the game into overtime. Caggiula’s two goals were his first in his last 12 games.
“It’s always nice to score a couple goals in a game, especially after having a bit of a drought there, but it doesn’t mean too much coming up short,” Caggiula.
UND was unable to strike on the power play, going 0-for-6 with four shots with the man advantage. Howe finished the night with 29 saves, compared to 19 by Saunders.
“We played a pretty good hockey game, but pretty good doesn’t get it done this time of year against the quality teams that are here,” said Hakstol. “It was a tough ending for us tonight, but that’s our fate. We’ll regroup, get back to Grand Forks, and get started on our next project and move forward next week.”
The NCAA selection show will air at 8 p.m. Central Sunday night on ESPNU.
Notes: Kristo and linemate Corban Knight (Sr., High River, Alberta) were among the top ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award prior to the game ... The announced attendance of 17,038 was the second-largest Thursday night crowd in the history of the WCHA Final Five … Stoykewych, Caggiula and Howe were named the game’s three stars … UND had not lost at the Final Five since a 4-1 setback to Wisconsin in the 2009 third-place game … It marked just the 10th loss in 42 WCHA playoff games for ninth-year head coach Dave Hakstol.