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UND loses another overtime heartbreaker in the NCAA tournament

The Fighting Irish scored on the power play just 1 minute, 38 seconds into the extra session to end the Fighting Hawks' season.

2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship - East Regional
UND goaltender Zach Driscoll makes a save on Notre Dame's Jake Boltmann during the 2022 NCAA regionals in Albany, N.Y.
Rich Gagnon / UND athletics

ALBANY, N.Y. — In 2017, UND thought it won an NCAA tournament game in overtime, when Dixon Bowen knocked a puck past Boston University goalie Jake Oettinger in the extra session.

That goal was wiped out after a lengthy video review, and it's been continuous overtime misery for the Fighting Hawks in the NCAA tournament since then.

They lost that game in 2017 in double overtime.

They lost in 2021 in five overtimes, the longest game in tournament history.

And they lost in overtime once again Thursday night in Albany, N.Y.


Notre Dame forward Graham Slaggert scored on the power play just 1 minute, 38 seconds into the extra session to lift the Fighting Irish to a 2-1 win over the Fighting Hawks in MVP Arena.

The Fighting Irish move on to play Minnesota State-Mankato in the regional final Saturday night with a trip to the NCAA Frozen Four in Boston on the line.

UND's season, which started with its largest class of new players in 48 years, ended with a 24-13-1 record, a Penrose Cup as National Collegiate Hockey Conference champions but no NCAA national championship.

"I've been coaching for a long time and this is probably one of the tightest, closest teams I've ever been associated with," UND coach Brad Berry said. "These guys came into work every single day. When you bring in 14 new players — nine freshmen and five transfers — you never know how it's going to go, how tight this team is going to be, how they're going to mesh and how they're going to work together. That was never a problem. There was not a selfish player on the team. There was not a guy that played for himself.

"At the end of the day, we all chase that green banner that we want to hang at the end of the year. That's one of our goals. We didn't get to check that box and hang that banner. But I tell you what, I am so proud of everyone in that locker room for playing the North Dakota way and representing our program at the highest level. So, yes, we fell short of one of the last goals. But at the end of day, these guys fulfilled everything and more for what we expect out of them. I'm proud of that and I love every one of them."

In many ways, it was an unexpected season for UND.

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Despite turning over more than half of its roster from last season, the Fighting Hawks sprinted to first place in the NCHC by Christmas break. They had a lull in January, then a furious push in February to win the league title, despite playing without many of its key players, including superstar blue liner Jake Sanderson.

The February charge brought hope that this squad could take a run at an NCAA-record ninth national championship.


But that hope ended against the Big Ten's stingiest defensive team.

UND managed just one goal on Notre Dame and former Hobey Baker Award finalist Matthew Galajda — a first-period point shot by freshman blue liner Brent Johnson.

That goal gave UND a 1-0 lead late in the first. Notre Dame evened it just 63 seconds into the second period on a breakaway by Landon Slaggert.

Then a stalemate ensued.

"We knew how they played," UND defenseman Ethan Frisch said. "The toughest thing for us was their neutral zone, going three across (the zone), getting zone entries. Once we figured it out, though, I thought we had our chances."

UND's best chance for a go-ahead goal came with 9:30 left in the third period when leading scorer Riese Gaber was awarded a penalty shot. Gaber came in from the right side and snapped a wrist shot wide, though.

Gaber also hit the post late in the third period on a Grade-A look.

"They play a game similar to ours — a really hard, defensive-zone style," UND forward Connor Ford said. "They make you earn it. Ultimately, I think we did have chances. We did earn chances. It wasn't easy. There were a couple Grade-As that we created. We can't sit here and say we didn't have an opportunity to win that game."


UND got a power play with just 1:34 to go in the third period with a chance to win it, too.

Notre Dame appeared to score a shorthanded goal right at the buzzer — shades of UND's loss to Minnesota in the 2014 NCAA tournament in the final second of regulation — but after a 10-minute video review, it was determined the period ended before the puck crossed the goal line.

On the first shift of overtime, UND's Chris Jandric was forced to take a penalty to prevent a shorthanded breakaway and the Fighting Irish scored on the ensuing power play. Slaggert picked the corner of the net on UND goalie Zach Driscoll, who was outstanding in making 23 saves.

"I kind of knew where he was going to let me shoot," Slaggert said, "and there was a big enough gap there."

After the goal, UND's players shook hands with the Fighting Irish and slowly made their way back to the dressing room in MVP Arena.

"I'm tremendously proud of all the guys in the locker room," UND captain Mark Senden said. "We had a lot of new guys come in here and everyone bought in to our culture and what we have to do on a day-to-day basis. I'm just super proud of every single guy in that locker room for what we accomplished. We got a share of the Penrose and every guy came into the rink every single day ready to work, ready to learn.

"I'm tremendously proud of them. I love every single one of them. They're tremendous guys. One night doesn't define our season."

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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