ST. PAUL, Minn. — Notre Dame outplayed St. Cloud State for the better part of regulation.
But then overtime happened and the Huskies looked like a new team.
2014 NCAA West Regional
“It wasn’t a pretty three periods,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. “We just could not get going.”
The Huskies got 16 shots on goal in overtime, which lasted 17:21 before Dowd ended the game.
That was four more shots on goal than the team attempted in all of regulation.
“It’s not like coach came in and said anything different in between periods,” Dowd said. “Nothing really changed. … I just think we played with a little bit of urgency in that overtime.”
Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said his team did a “better job valuing the puck,” during regulation than in overtime.
“I thought we were playing high-risk [in overtime]. We were trying to do too much; guys were trying to be the hero and it kept on coming back at us,” Jackson said.
The Irish had a golden opportunity to end the game when freshman Vince Hinostroza had a breakaway attempt in overtime, but Huskies goaltender Ryan Faragher made a game-saving stop.
“That breakaway save in overtime — it doesn’t get any better than that,” Dowd said. “It gives us new life and a couple minutes later, we’re able to tuck one in.”
The teams traded goals throughout the game, and though the Huskies were outplayed for most of it, Faragher never let his team get behind.
Freshman forward Ryan Papa gave St. Cloud State an early lead with a goal 6:54 into the first period.
Sophomore Kalle Kossila fed Papa a pass across the crease and Papa, waiting at the doorstep, converted.
But the Irish responded quickly with a goal from senior forward Bryan Rust.
St. Cloud State’s second and third goals came within the last minute of the first and second periods.
“We were in front of the game,” Motzko said. “We never fell behind in the game and that is so critical in one-and-done tournaments to not play from behind.”
After tying the game 2-2 in the second, Notre Dame knotted things again 3-3 at the 9:35 mark in the third period with a goal from Thomas DiPauli, setting the stage for St. Cloud State to storm back in overtime.
Motzko said his team didn’t get frustrated on the bench, which could have contributed to its success in overtime.
The Huskies had been off for the past two weeks after getting swept by Miami in the first round of the NCHC playoffs.
Now, after a long game Saturday, they have a quick turnaround before taking on Minnesota on Sunday.
The Huskies lost to Minnesota 4-1 in late January in the North Star College Cup in the only matchup of the season between the teams.
The winner of Sunday’s matchup will head to the Frozen Four.
“We’ve been off for two weeks so we should be fresh,” Motzko said. “It was a tough game tonight, but we didn’t really play real hard for three periods so we might have something left in our tank.”