BUFFALO, N.Y. — Momentum swings, scoring chances and great goaltending. That’s what college hockey is all about and all of those qualities were on display Saturday night in the Xerox Punch Imlach College Hockey Showcase championship game between No. 13 North Dakota and No. 3 Michigan.
The Fighting Sioux scored twice late in the third period to force overtime and then won 5-4 on David Lundbohm’s goal with 1:33 left.
Things looked bleak for North Dakota (2-0) when freshman Jeff Tambellini scored with 4:58 left in regulation to give the Wolverines a 4-2 lead.
But freshman Zach Parise’s second goal of the game with 3:14 left and sophomore Brandon Bochenski’s goal 43 seconds later gave the crowd of 2,740 at HSBC Arena some extra action to watch. The arena’s next taste of college hockey will come in April in the Frozen Four.
“We just knew we were going to get some breaks if we kept working. I felt we were wearing them down all night,” Lundbohm said. “Even in the third …we kept the puck in their end the whole time. … Nobody quit on our bench and we went back and got the two goals we needed to win.”
Sophomore Nick Fuher also scored for North Dakota (2-0), while Parise added two assists. Sophomore Josh Siemida made 15 saves.
Sophomore Eric Nystrom had a goal and two assists for the Wolverines, while sophomore David Moss and senior Mark Mink also scored. Freshman goalie Al Montoya finished with 25 saves. Michigan fell to 1-1.
“When you have a lead like that, that late in the third period, you have to hold that lead. We’ve got to learn to maintain that lead when we have it,” Wolverines associate coach Mel Pearson said. “I thought we just got sloppy there at the end. Actually, they came after us pretty hard in the third period.”
The winning goal came off a 3-on-2 rush. Lundbohm and sophomore Andy Schneider criss-crossed in the Michigan zone with Schneider passing to Lundbohm. Lundbohm fished the puck out of his skates while driving to the net and slipped a backhand through Montoya’s legs before skating past the net.
The win provides a lot of positives for the Fighting Sioux, who did not make the NCAA Tournament last year after championship game appearances the previous two seasons.
“It’s huge,” Lundbohm said. “We play the No. 3 ranked team in country like that and they’re rated at the top of their league (CCHA) and we’re in the middle of ours (WCHA).”