Holy Cross pulls off stunning OT victory
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- It was history for Holy Cross. Tyler McGregor scored 53 seconds into overtime to give the unheralded Crusaders a shocking 4-3 victory Friday over Minnesota in the NCAA Division I West Region semifinals - and their first ...
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- It was history for Holy Cross.
Tyler McGregor scored 53 seconds into overtime to give the unheralded Crusaders a shocking 4-3 victory Friday over Minnesota in the NCAA Division I West Region semifinals - and their first playoff victory in 36 years of hockey.
"We were pretty aware that in the media we weren't supposed to win this game," McGregor said. "But in our locker room there was a very different attitude."
It was the second goal of the game and 26th of the year for McGregor, who scored after his passing attempt was blocked by a Minnesota defenseman and the puck bounced back to him. Gophers goalie Kellen Briggs had no chance on the play.
"Briggs was playing the pass like you would expect him to, but the puck came back to me and he didn't have time to recover," McGregor said. "It was a pretty open net."
The Crusaders were seeded No. 4 in the region and had played just one team in the regular season that made the postseason. It was their first game ever against Minnesota, one of the most powerful programs in the country.
"I'm in shock and have no emotion," said Gophers captain Chris Harrington. "I can't believe it happened."
Standout goalie Tony Quesada kept Holy Cross in the game during regulation, making 35 saves. His play helped keep the Gophers scoreless on seven power-play opportunities.
Quesada was the goalie when the Crusaders made their first NCAA appearance in 2004, a 3-0 loss to North Dakota.
"The first time we were in it felt like the Super Bowl," Quesada said. "This time it felt more like a hockey game."
The No. 1-seeded Gophers appeared to have worn down the Crusaders by the third period, taking a 3-2 lead on Alex Goligoski's goal at 2:17. Minnesota then killed off a 5-on-3 Holy Cross power play.
Crusaders forward Pierre Napert-Frenet tied it at 3-all at 7:53 of the third period, poking in a rebound after the puck came to rest in the crease. Briggs lost sight of the puck after making the first save.
Dale Reinhardt scored the other goal for the Crusaders (27-9-2), giving them a 1-0 lead at 8:49 of the first period.
Mike Howe and Phil Kessel also tallied for the Gophers (27-9-5).
"We didn't play poorly," Gophers head coach Don Lucia said. "In fact, we competed real hard but Holy Cross was pretty good. They have a good goalie, good special teams and their top two lines are very skilled."
Minnesota rolled to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association title, but slipped in the league's postseason tournament, losing 8-7 to St. Cloud State and 4-0 to Wisconsin. That gave them three straight losses after a 21-1-1 stretch.
"Somewhere along the line we lost a step from our long winning streak and never got it back," said Gophers senior Gino Guyer. "We never regained the same level where we were at and I don't know why."