ST. PAUL, Minn. — It was Notre Dame’s most dramatic goal yet in a postseason of cardiac-inducing finishes.
Jake Evans’ goal with 5.2 seconds left broke a 3-3 tie and lifted the Fighting Irish to a 4-3 win over Michigan and a spot in Saturday’s national championship game.
Evans converted on a give-and go with linemate Cam Morrison, poking a shot between the pads of Michigan goaltender Hayden Lavigne.
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The play started with Jack Jenkins winning a battle along the far boards in the Notre Dame zone.
The puck came to Evans, who passed it to Morrison at neutral ice. Morrison went wide and threw a centering pass to Evans, who looked like he was tied up by Michigan defender Quinn Hughes.
“We weren’t that concerned,” said Michigan coach Mel Pearson. “It was a 2-on-2. I give them credit. They took it wide and then threw it across the crease and were able to get a stick on it. Tough way to lose.”
“Jenkins was in a battle with another forward and he did a really good job of winning that battle,” said Evans. “It squirted out to me and I just saw Cam flying down the wing and he’s got great speed, and he’s a strong guy and I thought he had a good chance of getting a shot or going hard to the net.”
Instead, the puck found Evans’ stick, and the Irish are one win away from a national championship.
“I knew there was a little bit of time left and thought I’d give it one last rush,” said Evans. “And Cam did a really good job of putting it out there for me.”