NCAA Semifinal: Notre Dame 5, Michigan 4 Final OTPosted by: Mike Machnik
10:23 p.m. MDT — Irish win it on Calle Ridderwall’s goal from high in the slot, 5-4, at 5:44 of overtime. The Cinderella run continues! And for Ridderwall, who entered the game with three goals this year, it’s his second of the evening. You never know who the star will be. Good night from Denver.
10:21 p.m. MDT — Five minutes into OT and nothing decided yet. Both teams have played to win here early on — and Notre Dame has had the better of the play. Nothing to lose.
9:57 p.m. MDT — And we’re headed to overtime. It’s after midnight on the East Coast, but we’ve got all kinds of time here. Can’t really say how this one will go. It seemed as if the Wolverines had all the momentum and it was just a matter of time, but then the Irish got a big one from Deeth to regain the lead, and it had the feeling of them holding on for the win. But then Michigan ties it on a fluke goal and we go to OT. Shots in the third, 9-6 Michigan and 29-21 for the game. On another note, the maintenance guys here come out at every TV timeout and sweep up the snow — turns out it’s something they do at every Avs game and indeed according to the guys, it’s happening at every NHL rink as well. We just haven’t seen it in the college game — at the least, I haven’t seen it in college games played in NHL arenas before now.
9:45 p.m. MDT — Hold the phone! Michigan ties it on one Pearce would certainly like back. Carl Hagelin just throws it towards the net from below the goal line, and it hits the skate of Pearce and goes in with 5:21 left. That makes it 4-4, and it’s been a heck of a game.
9:38 p.m. MDT — Just as we were wondering if Hogan could possibly get the start Saturday if Michigan completes the comeback win, he gives one up as the Irish regain the lead. Nifty move by Kevin Deeth to cut in front on a rush and beat Hogan high stick side. That makes it 4-3 UND with 8:30 to play, and boy did the Irish need that goal. It certainly didn’t look good for them the way Michigan has carried play the last two periods. But Notre Dame just might pull this one out after all.
9:21 p.m. MDT — Wolverines tie it up, 3-3, as Kolarik knocks his own rebound out of the air for a power play marker at 2:16. Looks like Cinderella’s luck has run out.
9:03 p.m. MDT — Looks like we’re ready for a good third period. Michigan certainly did get a lift in that period, and it’s now a one goal game after two (3-2 Irish). Hogan hasn’t really been tested, but he’s done what he has had to do as his team forges the comeback.
8:39 p.m. MDT — All similarities to Game #1 are over. Michigan strikes for two goals in :13 to cut the lead from 3-0 to 3-2. Chad Kolarik took a feed from Kevin Porter and scored his 29th from the high slot at 8:48. Then off the ensuing draw and a rush up ice, Matt Rust knocked in his own rebound. I’m a little surprised Jeff Jackson didn’t use his time out here, but he probably figures that with the change in tone this game has taken, he’ll need it later.
8:24 p.m. MDT — Sauer is replaced in net by freshman Bryan Hogan (5 GP, 3-1-1, 2.54, .904) for the start of the second. Red’s obviously looking for some sort of a spark and I have a feeling he’ll need to get it in a hurry. They need to turn this around quick.
8:07 p.m. MDT — Are we watching a replay of the first game? It’s 3-0 Notre Dame after one, as Ryan Thang just scored another short side goal on Sauer. That came with just :34 remaining in the first on the shorthand. In both semifinals, the underdogs have taken a huge lead after one, and in both games, the favorite’s goaltender has not had his best period. If this one holds up too, who does God cheer for in the final? Shots in the first: 11-9 Michigan.
7:49 p.m. MDT — Two goals in :42 have given the underdog Irish a big 2-0 lead over top ranked Michigan. Mark Van Guilder just made it 2-0 at 5:42 when he scored short side on Sauer from the bottom of the left circle. That followed a shot from the slot on a rush by Calle Ridderwall at 5:00 that went over the shoulder of the Wolverine netminder.
7:34 p.m. MDT — Semifinal 2 is just about underway, with CCHA foes Notre Dame and Michigan facing off. Michigan owns a 2-0 record against UND this year. Jordan Pearce in net for the Irish and Billy Sauer for the Wolverines in a battle of the schools with two of the best fight songs in college sports.