NCAA hockey: Much has changed in college game, but not Minnesota's influence

Notre Dame's Jake Evans jumps into the arms of his teammates after scoring against MI.

Jake Evans scored his second goal of the game with 5.2 seconds left and Notre Dame beat MI 4-3 on Thursday in the Frozen Four semifinals. The game is scheduled to begin around 9:30 p.m. and will follow the other semifinal game between Ohio State and Minnesota-Duluth.

Michigan's hockey season ended in gut-wrenching fashion, as Jake Evans scored his second goal of the game at 19:54 of the third period to break a 3-all tie. The Fighting Irish won both the Big Ten regular season and the conference tournament, entering the NCAA tournament as the second overall seed.

"The biggest thing for him is he was a quiet guy but he was very determined at just improving his game", Notre Dame captain Jake Evans said. He said he told the players there was nothing he could say to change how they felt, so he didn't try. After a solid offensive possession, junior forward Andrew Oglevie put Notre Dame on the board with a wrist-shot through traffic.

Jackson said he knows the challenge MI will present to his team Thursday.

Minnesota Duluth goaltender Hunter Shepard is framed by Denver players during pregame introductions on December 1 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. "I think everybody anticipated that it would be even better than it was past year".

"We always will be, too", said Wolff, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound sophomore from Eagan. "... He definitely took me under his wing". "As a defenseman, when a guy is flying at you like that, it's hard to make a good play with the puck".

NAHL and Bismarck Bobcats goaltender Hunter Shepard is one of 20 alumni taking part in the NCAA Frozen Four.

Michigan, which used a strong second half of the season to finish third in the Big Ten and earn an NCAA at-large berth, drew motivation from the school's men's basketball team, the NCAA tournament runner-up to Villanova.

"I don't know", Sandelin said in response to a question about this journey after the win.

The Frozen Four homecoming meant high ticket demand for the locals. "I graduated there last year and I didn't get to go down because the tournament was farther away, so I couldn't miss the chance to come down here and cheer them on this year". A MI forward did a great job screening Morris on the shot, making it hard for him to locate the puck.

Thursday's win avenged the loss that the Irish suffered to Denver in last year's Frozen Four.

It appeared the game would head to overtime, but that hope was dashed by Evans' goal essentially at the buzzer.

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