One point is better than none.
In what has to be seen as a disappointment, Minnesota was unable to hold a third period lead after defenseman Brad Hunt scored a powerplay goal with 19.9 seconds left. The powerplay, which happened due to a questionable hooking call on Nick Bjugstad, was Bemidji’s first goal with the man advantage after going 0-3 throughout the night. It also gave the Beavers an opportunity to win after giving up a goal to Patrick White three minutes earlier.
As far the final frame goes, Minnesota was easily the better team. They had a couple great odd-man opportunities early between Jacob Cepis and Erik Haula but were unable to convert. Despite playing without Taylor Matson and Aaron Ness (the extent of their injuries are unknown right now), Minnesota rallied around them and kept creating opportunities. That paid off as White finally scored on a mirror image of the first goal; this time he was the recipient of a Nate Condon pass from the half-wall.
The good news about tonight is that with one point the Gophers clinched home ice and can finish no lower than sixth. However that still doesn’t take away the disappointment of giving up a late goal and scraping away one point. Plus with Bemidji winning all but one game this season on Saturday and CC one point behind Minnesota, tomorrow’s game is much more important. For a team which probably needs to reach the semifinals of the Final Five to have a NCAA Tournament chance (and possibly win that), 5th place is a much easier path than 6th place.
Tomorrow night’s game is at 7 PM and is on FSN..