Mar 17, 2014 12:40 AM by Greg Smith
Battling heroically until the very end, Colorado College came up just a hair short on Sunday.
The University of North Dakota took command with three first-period goals and held off the never-say-die Tigers the rest of the way, advancing to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference's inaugural Frozen Faceoff with a 4-3 victory in Game 3 of the teams' best-of-three first-round playoff series at Engelstad Arena.
Timely tallies by senior wingers Alexander Krushelnyski and Michael Morin kept CC in contention heading into the final 20 minutes of play, Krushelnyski tying the game at 1-1 early in the opening frame and Morin cutting UND's lead to 3-2 after Jeff Collett forced a turnover late in the second.
But, once junior forward Brendan O'Donnell struck for his second red lighter of the series at 2:29 of the third stanza, No. 9-ranked North Dakota and sophomore goaltender Zane Gothberg had the cushion they needed to extend their season.
O'Donnell's goal proved to be the game winner after a deflection by freshman right wing Alex Roos pulled Colorado College to within a goal with 1:29 left and netminder Josh Thorimbert on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker. The Tigers continued to apply pressure the rest of the way, but never were able to get another quality attempt on Gothberg.
Both teams finished with 30 shots on goal.
Freshman defenseman Jaccob Slavin collected a pair of assists for CC, which saw its season end with an overall record of 7-24-6.
North Dakota, the only home team to survive the NCHC's opening round, takes a 22-12-3 mark to the Frozen Faceoff.