Jesse Root lifts Yale past Minnesota in OT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Jesse Root scored 9 seconds into overtime to give fourth-seeded Yale a 3-2 victory over top-seeded Minnesota in the NCAA West Regional semifinals Friday.
Kenny Agostino intercepted Minnesota defenseman Ben Marshall’s pass behind the net and feed Root for his 10th goal of the season.
“It was a good forecheck by Kenny,” Root said. “He stole the puck from the guy and passed it to me.”
Marshall tried to swing the puck along the boards.
“Kenny put a lot of pressure on the guy and took the puck,” Yale coach Keith Allain said. “He got him on a good angle and I knew (Marshall) was in trouble.”
Yale (19-12-3) will play North Dakota in the regional final Saturday for a spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh. North Dakota rallied to beat Niagara 2-1 in the second semifinal.
Minnesota, the No. 2 overall seed in the 16-team tournament, finished the season 26-9-5.
“I feel bad for our guys,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said. “It’s a one-shot deal, I didn’t see what happened. It happened so quick. I guess that’s why they call it sudden death.”
Minnesota overcame a 2-0 deficit in the third period, cutting it to one on Nate Schmidt’s power-play goal and tying it on Zach Budish’s goal with 6:20 left.
Agostino opened the scoring in the second period with his 16th goal of the season, and defenseman Gus Young made it 2-0 with a power-play goal in the period.
“It was a tremendous team win,” Allain said. “Our guys played as well as they could. ... You have to get your nose bloodied sometimes to see how you respond. I think you saw how we responded.”
Jeff Malcolm made 27 saves for Yale, and Adam Wilcox stopped 23 shots for Minnesota.