Itâ€™s Gophers andâ€¦Colorado College!
A stunning overtime goal Thursday night propelled underdog Colorado College into the semifinal round of the WCHA Final Five. The #6 seed Tigers will play the Gophers in the day’s second semi, beginning at 7:00 on Fox Sports North.
While popular sentiment had already written North Dakota into the Friday night bracket the upstart Tigers, who last week forced and then won a third game against arch-rival Denver in the on-campus first round, scored first and last to post a genuine upset victory.
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The game-winner was tipped in off the stick of defenseman Peter Stoykewich (Soph., Winnipeg), a Winnipeg Jets draft pick. Stoykewich’s goal at 4:52 of overtime sealed an improbable win for a team that came in two games below .500 and with no visible shot at an NCAA berth. It’s still a longshot. The Tigers would likely have to win the tournament in order to grab a berth.
North Dakota’s loss stymies the effort of The Team Formerly Known As the Fighting Sioux to capture a third straight Broadmoor Trophy—the last that will be awarded in the WCHA as we know it. NoDak’s shot at NCAA selection are still expected to be good, however, and there is an outside chance that they could still clash with Minnesota late in the national playoffs.
For now, about nine thousand stunned North Dakota fans are dealing with the sudden loss while a boisterous, if small, contingent of Tiger backers from Colorado Springs sees its team live to fight another night.
The first semifinal game Friday pits top-seed St. Cloud State against Wisconsin, which ousted Minnesota State-Mankato in the early play-in game Thursday.
Join us Friday for Fox Sports North’s continuing exclusive television coverage of the WCHA Final Five. I’ll call the evening tilt between the Gophers and Colorado College at 7:07 PM.