Live Blog: West Regional – #1 Minnesota vs. #2 North Dakota

Posted by: Theresa

Theresa again live from Pepsi Center for the NCAA West Regionals. Tonight’s game features a rematch of the 2007 WCHA Final Five title game, pitting the University of Minnesota and the University of North Dakota against each other.

7:07pm MST – … and again, as I type that, Chris Porter becomes the hero and skates it around the net and shoves it short-side past Frazee to send the Sioux to the Frozen Four once again. Porter, from Watkins and Jones, at 9:43. 

7:04pm MST – Both teams have had chances, but nothing has broken through yet.

Side note: I’m all for fans supporting their teams, but the guys directly below me doing the non-stop “Let’s Go Gophers” chant are starting to grate on my nerves … 

6:58pm MST – Overtime has been much like the rest of this game – very back and forth action. These two teams are incredibly evenly matched. 

6:53pm MST – Random facts from the first three periods: Sioux outshot the Gophers 29-26; Penalty breakdown: one in the first, 7 in the second and 5 in the third. 

6:49pm MST – Free hockey time is under way … and Frazee makes the first big save, hitting the puck away with his stick as if he were swatting a tennis ball with a tennis racquet. 

6:32pm MST – … yep. Overtime hockey. 

6:31pm MST – 30.3 seconds left in the third, still 2-2. Will we get our first overtime of the Regional? 

6:19pm MST – Robbie Bina goes off for tripping at 12:26 – if the Gophers are going to score, they better do it now … and they do. Barriball from the left face-off dot fires one past Lamoureux. Tie game, 2-2 at 13:11 of the third.

6:11pm MST – HUGE kill by North Dakota on that one. Then, they turn it around and draw a Gopher penalty to go on the power play themselves – Gordon for holding at 9:40 of the third. Still 2-1 Sioux.

6:07pm MST – North Dakota doing a good job of killing this one off so far – two minutes remain out of the initial five. 

6:03pm MST – Radke gets 5 and a 10 for checking from behind – that hurts the Sioux. Penalty served by Zajac, by the way.

5:58pm MST – Reminiscent of yesterday: UND power play, fairly quick goal – Toews from the side of the net passes it to Robbie Bina crashing the net through the slot – 2-1 Sioux at 2:08.

5:57pm MST – A friend in the stands informed me that a BC jersey has been spotted as well.

Wheeler also just went in the penalty box for holding at 1:46 of the third. 

5:39pm MST – Still tied at one at the end of two – Sioux lead in shots 20-18. 

5:36pm MST – Sioux get a power play to end the period – Carman, contact to the head-high-sticking at 19:03. 

5:31pm MST – Gophers have been applying some pressure, but this period is still moving quickly. Case in point: People up here are more captivated by the UNC/Georgetown basketball game in OT than this one. 

5:26pm MST – Kozek roughing and Flynn hitting after the whistle at 15:59. 

5:25pm MST – The Sioux have definitely had more chances in the latter half of this period. 

5:21pm MST – Never thought I’d say this about a Gophers-Sioux game, but this one’s actually kind of boring.

Although, it could only seem that way because yesterday’s games were so crazy …

5:15pm MST – I had to run away for a second so missed Finley for charging, Stoa for interference and a possible Gophers goal that’s under review, but will not stand since the whistle had blown first. The official reason was player in the crease, but still, no goal is no goal – Still tied at one with 10:28 to go in the second frame. 

5:06pm MST – Finley, interference at 4:41. Gophers PP. 

5:00pm MST – Ryan Flynn, MN, two for hooking at 1:57. UND power play.

The official of this game is once again a familiar face for me – Hockey East’s Tim Benedetto. 

4:59pm MST – Second period is underway.

While wandering around during the intermission, I think I’ve realized one of the little-known laws of college hockey tournaments: No matter who is playing in what tournament, there must be at least one fan in an LSSU sweater and one in an RPI sweater (preferably the Puckman one). There was some guy in an LSSU sweater at the Final Five, there’s always at least one at the Frozen Four … coincidence? I think not. 

4:41pm MST – End of one, tied 1-1. Shots 11-6 in favor of the Gophers. 

4:40pm MST – Duncan two for obstruction hooking at 18:40 for the first penalty of the game – PP Gophers. 

4:36pm MST – Frazee just stopped a shot with his face. 

4:29pm MST – Sign spotted at Pepsi Center: “Sioux is a Girl’s Name.” 

4:22pm MST – Carman and Flynn almost combined for a Gopher goal. 

4:18pm MST – Sioux tie it up – Brian Lee fires a shot from the top of the circles that bounced out to the right of Jeff Frazee right to Ryan Duncan who buried at 6:49.

4:11pm MST -  Mike Carman puts the Gophers up 1-0 with a shot that beat Lammy under his right arm. Assist to Mike Vannelli who sent him the pass across the zone at 2:22.

4:08pm MST – And we’re underway here in Denver – Gophers win the first face-off. Predictably, play is even to start off. 

4:05pm MST – More signs you know we’re in Colorado – No matter what sporting event you go to, you are guaranteed to see at least one Denver Broncos jersey. 

4:02pm MST – Starting line-ups, yay!

For North Dakota:
Duncan-Toews-Oshie
Watkins-VandeVelde-Porter
Fabian-Kaip-Kozek
Radke-Zajac-Miller
Chorney-Lee
Finley-Bina
Lamoureux

For Minnesota:
Stoa-Okposo-Kaufmann
Gordon-Wheeler-Barriball
Lucia-Carman-Flynn
Anderson-O’Brien-Bostrom
Goligoski-Vannelli
Peltier-Johnson
Schack-Fischer
Frazee 

3:57pm MST – Signs we’re in Colorado – some guy in a Detroit Red Wings jersey is seen on the JumboTron and half the arena boos. 

3:54pm MST – Still waiting to hear the starting line-ups, but the Gopher pep band already scored points with me by playing The Who’s “Pinball Wizard.”

I do wonder, however, why the Sioux didn’t bring out their band and cheerleaders – MN brought out both, Michigan brought their band … even Air Force brought  both band and cheerleaders though, admittedly, that was the third or fourth time I’d seen their band this season and the first time I’ve seen cheerleaders at one of the hockey games. Still, for a big game, you bring out the big guns (so to speak).

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