On a weekend of unexpected sweeps, none were bigger than the Minnesota Golden Gophers, who rolled to three-goal victories on back-to-back nights over No. 8 Ohio State, and Maine, still battling for a playoff position in Hockey East, sweeping No. 4 Boston College with consecutive overtime victories.
On Saturday, the line of Ben Meyers (goal, two assists), Sampo Ranta (goal, assist) and Brandon McManus (goal, two assists) provided all the offense that Minnesota needed as the Gophers skated past the Buckeyes on a night honoring legendary Minnesota coach Doug Woog.
In Hockey East, for the second straight night Boston College rallied to force overtime. But like Friday, Maine scored, this time Patrick Shea finishing a feed from Friday’s hero Tim Doherty.
— Black Bear Hockey (@MaineIceHockey) January 26, 2020
The Black Bears jump into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot in Hockey East with Connecticut, though UConn won the first meeting and the two teams will still play twice more this season. Minnesota’s sweep pulls the Gophers within two games of Michigan State and Penn State, each tied for first place in the Big Ten, while Minnesota still holds two games in hand.
No. 2 North Dakota 3, No. 11 Minnesota Duluth
Second-ranked North Dakota salvaged its weekend series against Minnesota Duluth, scoring twice in the final 9:36 of regulation to overcome a one-goal deficit and win, 3-2.
— UND Insider (@UNDinsider) January 26, 2020
The Fighting Hawks carried a 1-0 lead to the third on Westin Michaud’s 12th goal of the season. But the defending national champs rallied on goals by Luke Loheit at 3:42 and Scott Perunovich exactly four minutes later.
But North Dakota wasn’t dead and scored the equalizer and go-ahead goals in a span of 1:34 on tallies from Matt Kiersted and Jonny Tychonick.
No. 13 Arizona State 3, No. 8 Clarkson 2 (OT)
For the second straight night, Arizona State and Clarkson needed bonus hockey. But unlike Friday, when Clarkson pulled out the win, this time the Sun Devils provided the heroics as Tyler Busch struck at 1:25 of overtime to give Arizona State the 3-2 victory.
Clarkson jumped to a 2-0 lead on early goals by Dustyn McFaul and Haralds Egle. But for the the 53-plus minutes of regulation and overtime, Evan Debrouwer shut the door for the visiting Sun Devils. He finished with 27 saves, as PJ Marrocco and Brett Gruber evened the game by 5:20 of the second.
Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac to meet in finals of Connecticut Ice
In the inaugural Connecticut Ice tournament, a Beanpot-like tourney featuring the Nutmeg State’s four Division I programs, Quinnipiac skated to a 3-2 win over Connecticut, while Sacred Heart steamrolled Yale, 6-2. Those two schools will meet in Sunday’s championship game.
Nick Jermain’s goal with 12:03 remaining in regulation broke a 2-2 tie giving Quinnipiac the victory. Six different players scored goals and Josh Benton made 21 saves for Sacred Heart as they jumped to a 4-0 first period lead and never looked back in their victory over Yale.
A total of 5,724 fans attended the semifinal games played in Bridgeport, Conn., at the home arena of Sacred Heart and the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.