COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The inaugural Big Ten Conference regular-season title will come down to the final weekend of play after top-ranked Minnesota tied Ohio State 2-2 in overtime and then fell in the subsequent shootout.
The Gophers (24-4-6 overall, 13-2-3-0 Big Ten) will travel to Michigan next weekend with a five-point cushion in the conference standings.
In a game that saw momentum swing back and forth throughout the night, Adam Wilcox proved to be Minnesota’s one constant. The Hobey Baker Award and Mike Richter Award nominee set a new career high with 41 saves on Saturday night including a sprawling breakaway save in overtime. Wilcox moved to 22-4-6 on the season while Christian Frey made 30 saves to move to 6-2-3 this year for Ohio State.
Much like Friday’s series opener, the Gophers opened the night with an early goal when Kyle Rau scored his 10th of the season during a Minnesota power play at 2:32 of the first period. He knocked home a rebound after being set up by Mike Reilly and Travis Boyd.
No. 4 St. Cloud State 4, Colorado College 1
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- St. Cloud State (21-8-5, 15-6-3-0 NCHC) gained a spot in the history books by winning the first National Collegiate Hockey Conference's regular-season championship thanks to a 4-1 victory at Colorado College on Saturday.
The Huskies' victory coupled with a 2-1 loss by North Dakota against Western Michigan provides SCSU with the top seed in the upcoming NCHC playoffs.
St. Cloud State dominated the game early and jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period, and then added two more goals in the second period to bring home the win.
Kalle Kossila opened the scoring for the Huskies at 3:53 of the first period with his 13th goal of the season. The goal was unassisted.
Jimmy Murray pushed the Huskies' lead to 2-0 with his 12th marker of the season as Jarrod Rabey posted the lone assist on the play in the first period. The goal proved to be the game winner for the Huskies.
In the second period, captain Nic Dowd added his 19th goal of the year with an even-strength goal at 7:25 of the period with a lone assist from Tim Daly.
The Huskies' completed their scoring at 9:41 of the second period with a goal by Jonny Brodzinski. Ryan Papa posted the single assist on the play. The goal was Brodzinski's 20th of the season and it marks the second consecutive season that he has charted 20 goals.
No. 5 Wisconsin 3, Penn State 2 (OT)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As overtime wound down, it felt like déjà vu for Wisconsin. Playing Penn State, the team that dashed the Badgers' postseason at-large hopes with a late-season upset last year, the Nittany Lions looked poised to derail the Badgers’ Big Ten title hopes.
Thanks to Mark Zengerle, the familiar script had a surprise ending, as he took a long pass from Joe Faust, fed a streaking Nic Kerdiles and then finished the return pass with 20.3 seconds left in overtime to preserve UW’s conference championship hopes with a 3-2 win.
Wisconsin led 2-1 as the clock wound down in the third period, but Kenny Brooks’ innocent-looking centering pass from behind the goal ticked off the skate of Jake McCabe, past UW goalie Joel Rumpel and into the Wisconsin net to tie the score at 2-2 with 2:46 left in regulation.
No. 7 Ferris State 2, Lake Superior State 1
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. -- For the second time in three years, Ferris State has claimed a conference regular-season championship.
The Bulldogs posted a 2-1 triumph against Lake Superior State in the regular-season finale on Saturday to claim the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular-season crown.
Senior Garrett Thompson struck early in the opening stanza for the Bulldogs with his 15th goal of the year only 1:03 into the game off a feed from fellow senior captain Scott Czarnowczan. That helped set the tone for the night as the Bulldogs took the early 1-0 lead.
Czarnowczan then found the back of the net himself for the Bulldogs' second goal less than a minute later at 1:54 of the opening frame off an assist from senior forward Justin DeMartino. The goal was Czarnowczan's fifth of the year and proved to be the eventual game winner.
Lake Superior State trimmed the margin to 2-1 only 29 seconds in the second stanza on Colin Campbell's 14th goal this season in unassisted fashion, but the Lakers could get no closer as the Bulldogs shut the door.
Western Michigan 2, No. 9 North Dakota 0
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Colton Hargrove’s two goals and 28 saves by Lukas Hafner helped lead Western Michigan to the program’s first win against North Dakota 2-0 on Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
During a five-minute North Dakota power play, Mike Cichy found Hargrove, a Boston Bruins draft pick, at center ice and he powered his way on net to beat Zane Gothberg for his second goal of the night, giving WMU a 2-1 lead with 12:38 left in the third period.
The Broncos stifled the UND attack, holding it to just five shots on goal in the final 20 minutes to earn the win.
Western Michigan jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 7:22 in the first period. Justin Kovacs found Hargrove at center ice and he skated to the top of the right circle and unleashed a wrister that beat Gothberg for his ninth goal of the season. The assist was Kovacs’ 19th and Sam Mellor also tallied his seventh helper of the season.
North Dakota responded with a power-play goal of its own at 8:55 in the second period. Stephane Pattyn batted in a rebound on a shot by Rocco Grimaldi for his second goal of the weekend.