Sport Minnesota Duluth beats Notre Dame 2-1 for NCAA hockey title

04:57  10 april  2018
04:57  10 april  2018 Source:   Associated Press

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Karson Kuhlman leads Minnesota Duluth past Notre Dame 2 - 1 for NCAA hockey title . Karson Kuhlman had a goal and an assist, and the Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 2 - 1 Saturday night to win the school's second NCAA hockey championship.

Minnesota Duluth celebrates at the end of the NCAA Frozen Four championship college hockey game against Notre Dame , Saturday, April 7, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn.. Minnesota Duluth defeated Notre Dame 2 - 1 . (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King).

Minnesota Duluth players celebrate a goal by center Jared Thomas (22) against Notre Dame in the first period during an NCAA Frozen Four championship college hockey game, Saturday, April 7, 2018,in St. Paul, Minn.. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)© The Associated Press Minnesota Duluth players celebrate a goal by center Jared Thomas (22) against Notre Dame in the first period during an NCAA Frozen Four championship college hockey game, Saturday, April 7, 2018,in St. Paul, Minn.. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Duluth squeaked into the NCAA Tournament -- and celebrated like crazy when it was over.

Karson Kuhlman had a goal and an assist, and the Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 2-1 Saturday night to win the school's second NCAA hockey championship.

Jared Thomas also scored and Hunter Shepard stopped 19 shots for the Bulldogs (25-16-3). UMD also won the 2011 title at the Xcel Energy Center.

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(AP) – Minnesota Duluth squeaked into the NCAA Tournament – and celebrated like crazy when it was over. Karson Kuhlman had a goal and an assist, and the Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 2 - 1 Saturday night to win the school’s second NCAA hockey championship.

Minnesota Duluth celebrates at the end of the NCAA Frozen Four championship college hockey game against Notre Dame , Saturday, April 7, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn.. Minnesota Duluth defeated Notre Dame 2 - 1 .

"We were fortunate enough to make the tournament and we ran with that opportunity," Kuhlman said.

No kidding.

Minnesota Duluth looked like a long shot for the 16-team NCAA field after it dropped its second game in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament on March 17. The Bulldogs needed six conference finals that evening to go their way.

They did, allowing UMD to edge Minnesota by .0001 in the formula used to determine the at-large teams. Notre Dame's overtime win over Ohio State in the Big Ten title game put the Bulldogs in the tournament.

"One day you think you owe them a little bit like a thank you and the next day you're playing them in the national title game," said Kuhlman, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Minnesota Duluth beats Ohio State 2-1 in NCAA semifinals

  Minnesota Duluth beats Ohio State 2-1 in NCAA semifinals Louie Roehl and Jared Thomas scored in the first 3:04 and Minnesota Duluth held off Ohio State 2-1 night to reach the NCAA championship game for the second straight year. Hunter Shepard made 19 saves for the Bulldogs (24-16-3), allowing only Tanner Laczynski's power-play goal in the third period. Sean Romeo stopped 26 shots for the Buckeyes (26-10-5).The Bulldogs will face Michigan or Notre Dame on Saturday night. Duluth lost 3-2 to Denver in the title game last season in Chicago. The Bulldogs were the last at-large entrant to make the 16-team NCAA field.

Minnesota Duluth defeated Notre Dame 2 - 1 . Minnesota Duluth celebrates at the end of the NCAA Frozen Four championship college hockey game against Notre Dame , Saturday, April 7, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn..

— Karson Kuhlman had a goal and an assist, and Minnesota Duluth beat Notre Dame 2 - 1 Saturday night to win the school’s second NCAA hockey championship. Jared Thomas also scored and Hunter Shepard stopped 19 shots for the Bulldogs (25-16-3). UMD also won the 2011 title at the Xcel Energy

Andrew Oglevie scored and Cale Morris made 33 saves for Notre Dame (28-10-2), winless in two national title games. The Irish lost to Boston College in 2008.

"They became that team of destiny that you're always hoping to be at the end of the year," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said.

Minnesota Duluth lost to Denver in last year's championship. The Bulldogs had seven seniors on that team, and then three underclassmen departed early for the NHL, including the starting goaltender.

Five of Minnesota Duluth's top six defensemen are freshmen, and Shepard, a sophomore, recorded a sub-2.00 goals against average with eight shutouts.

"We felt our forward group was pretty good. We were replacing scoring, but we had some good depth," coach Scott Sandelin said. "The job that young group back there did, I think it really moved forward when Shep grabbed the net and played the way he did. It gave our whole team confidence."

Jake Evans' late goal sends Notre Dame to Frozen Four final

  Jake Evans' late goal sends Notre Dame to Frozen Four final Jake Evans scored his second goal of the game with 5.2 seconds left in the third period and Notre Dame beat Michigan 4-3 the Frozen Four semifinals. Andrew Oglevie had a goal and an assist, Cal Burke also scored and Cale Morris stopped 25 shots for the Irish (28-9-2). They will face Minnesota Duluth in the title gameCharging down the slot, Evans redirected a pass from Cam Morrison off the left pad of sliding goalie Hayden Lavigne and into the net to send the Irish to their second championship game in school history.

(AP) — Minnesota Duluth squeaked into the NCAA Tournament — and celebrated like crazy when it was over. Karson Kuhlman had a goal and an assist, and the Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 2 - 1 Saturday night to win the school’s second NCAA hockey championship.

- Minnesota Duluth squeaked into the NCAA Tournament - and celebrated like crazy when it was over. Karson Kuhlman had a goal and an assist, and the Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 2 - 1 Saturday night to win the school's second NCAA hockey championship.

UMD has played 11 consecutive one-goal games in NCAA Tournament play, winning eight of them.

For the second straight game, the Bulldogs scored two first-period goals and held on. They beat Ohio State 2-1 Thursday.

UMD took advantage of two Irish turnovers.

Pressured by Kuhlman, Notre Dame's Jordan Gross lost the puck in the neutral zone. Jade Miller poked the puck ahead to Kuhlman at the Irish blue line, and after a brief hesitation in the right circle, the captain beat Morris with a rising shot.

An aggressive forecheck led to Thomas knocking Andrew Peeke off the puck in the right corner. The puck went to Kuhlman and back to Thomas, who banked a shot from near the goal line off Morris and in with 1:21 left in the period.

Oglevie redirected a pass from Cam Morrison for a power-play goal in the second period to get the Irish on the board.

"There was never a panic, there was never any doubt in that room," Thomas said. "If we needed to win the game 2-1, we were going to win the game 2-1. You saw it on third-period play where we really shut them down."

Struggling to get pucks deep, Notre Dame had just five shots in the final 20 minutes.

Since Feb. 21, 2015, UMD is 56-0-3 when taking a lead into the third period, including 23-0-1 this season.

Notre Dame had won its previous five postseason games by one goal, with the game-winners coming in the final 31 seconds of regulation or overtime.

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