GOTW: Late goals by Roth, Cates rally Minnesota Duluth to overtime tie; Denver’s Stapley earns extra NCHC point

Noah Cates (University of Minnesota Duluth -21 ) Griffin Mendel (Denver-4) 2019 March 22 Denver and University of Minnesota Duluth meet in the semi finals of the NCHC  Frozen Face Off at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN (Bradley K. Olson)
Noah Cates extra-attacker goal with 31 seconds remaining helped Minnesota Duluth rally for a 3-3 tie with No. 1 Denver. Pioneers Brett Stapley scored in a shootout to earn the extra NCHC point. (File photo: Bradley K. Olson)

No doubt Denver’s Brett Stapley was happy to send his Pioneers home with two-out-of-three points in the NCHC standings against No. 8 Minnesota Duluth, but the fact that threes points – and an official NCAA win – wasn’t the outcome may frustrate the nation’s top-ranked team.

Denver seemed to be in control of this game late in the third, leading 3-1, but Kobe Roth gave the AMSOIL Energy Center crowd something to cheer about with 8:25 left when he cut the gap to one.

Then, with 31 seconds remaining, Noah Cates forced overtime with his extra attacker goal. After neither team scored in either 5-on-5 or 3-on-3 overtime, Stapley’s shootout goal was the difference maker for NCHC purposes. The game will officially go in the books as a 3-3 tie, but Denver gets an extra point in the league standings.

The Pioneers were in control much of the night, holding a 2-0 lead on goals by Liam Finley and Brett Edwards in the first. After Duluth answered in the opening frame, Finlay’s second of the night extended the lead back to two heading to the third.

Though shots were eight a piece in the third, the Bulldogs found the path to a tie, moving their record to 3-3-1. The tie is the first blemish from perfection for Denver, as its record now stands at 8-0-1.

Michigan State 2, No. 6 Penn State 0

The Michigan State Spartans found a way to slow down the high-flying Penn State offense and his name is John Lethemon.

The senior Lethemon stopped all 48 shots he faced to earn the shutout, the fifth of his career, but first since his sophomore season.

Patrick Khodorenko put the only puck past a goaltender, beating Penn State’s Peyton Jones at 13:39 of the second. Logan Lambdin added an empty net goal with 2:02 remaining.

Michigan State’s penalty kill was sharp, killing of four minors, including a five-on-three Penn State power play for a full two minutes when the game was scoreless early in the second.

The Spartans never got a chance on the power play as Penn State avoided the penalty box the entire night.

No. 5 Notre Dame 3, No. 9 Ohio State 2 (OT)

Pierce Crawford’s first goal of the season with 1:01 remaining in overtime lifted host No. 5 Notre Dame to a come-from-behind victory over No. 9 Ohio State, 3-2.

Crawford’s goal came after Trevor Janicke sent the game to overtime scoring with just 1:57 remaining in regulation. Carson Meyer had given visiting Ohio State a 2-1 lead with just 3:17 left in the third.

The game’s biggest moment came early. After Tanner Laczynski opened the scoring at 19:33 of the first, Notre Dame’s Jesse Lansdell was whistled for a major penalty and game misconduct just eight seconds later.

The Buckeyes couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to extend the lead. And at 8:12 of the second, Solag Bakich evened the game at 1.

No. 12 Wisconsin 5, No. 20 Omaha 2

After being swept by Penn State a week ago, 12th-ranked Wisconsin returned to winning ways on Friday, scoring two late second period goals to break a 1-1 tie and skate to a 5-2 victory over No. 20 Omaha.

Alex Turcotte’s fourth goal of the season and Roman Ahcan’s first of two goals in the game in less than four minute late in the middle frame sent the Badgers to the third with a 3-1 advantage.

After Nolan Sullivan pulled Omaha back within a goal with 3:55 left, Ahcan’s second of the night and Sean Dhooghe’s second of the season – both into an empty net – sealed the victory.