Minnesota came from behind to beat Bemidji State, 4-3.
The Gophers won game two of the WCHA playoff series against Bemidji State by a score of 4-3 to win the series. It was very entertaining game. Bemidji State played much better tonight than last night, generated twice the number of shots in regulation. The Gophers came back from a 3-1 deficit to earn victory. Ben Marshall scored the winning goal with 52 seconds left in regulation on a great individual effort. He navigated past the Bemidji State defense and beat Bemidji State goaltender Andrew Walsh. Minnesota advances to the WCHA Final Five next Friday in St. Paul.
Gophers Fight Back
Minnesota trailed by two goals on two separate occasions tonight, forcing the Gophers to play from behind all night. Nick Bjugstad scored another power play goal for Minnesota 15:33 into the second period to cut Bemidji State's first two-goal lead to one. The Beavers wasted no time restoring the two-goal margin. Jeff Jubinville scored just 16 seconds after Bjugstad's tally. Minnesota continued to push back. Nate Schmidt's shot hit Nate Condon in front of the net and squeaked through the pads of Walsh and over the line right before the second intermission. The Gophers tied the game in the third period courtesy of A.J. Michaelson, and Ben Marshall did the honors of finishing off the Beavers and completing the comeback with 52 seconds left in regulation.
The Walsh Story
For much of the weekend, Bemidji State goaltender Andrew Walsh was the story. He made 49 saves last night. Tonight, he held the off the Gophers for nearly two periods. The Gophers did not solve Walsh until 15:33 into the second period. A goal by Nate Condon late in the second period that squeaked through Walsh seemed to break his momentum. The Gophers scored two more goals in the third period to win the game. In total Walsh made 86 saves this weekend. He was clearly the brightest Beaver of the series. In the end, the Gophers simply had too much firepower.
Final Five is Next
Minnesota moves on to next week's WCHA Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Gophers will play Friday night in the semifinals against an opponent to be determined. The Gophers will be making their second-straight appearance in the WCHA Final Five after missing the event the previous two seasons. Minnesota will need to win two games next week in order to capture their first Broadmoor Trophy since 2007.
Story by Minnesota Communications Student Intern Josh Brennock