They meet again
The Gophers and North Dakota have met 290 times — Minnesota leads 145-130-15 — but Thursday’s Frozen Four semifinal will be only the fifth time they have faced off in the NCAA tournament, with each winning twice. A look at those matchups:
1979 NCAA final
Gophers 4, North Dakota 3
The Gophers win their third national title of the 1970s, with Neal Broten’s providing the highlight at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium. Broten, a freshman from Roseau, Minn., who was recruited by North Dakota, scored the winner early in the third period when, sliding on his stomach, he chipped the puck over the Fighting Sioux goalie for a 4-2 lead.
2005 NCAA semifinals
North Dakota 4, Gophers 2
In an All-WCHA Frozen Four in Columbus, Ohio, the Sioux storm to a 4-0 lead as Erik Fabian and Travis Zajac each score twice. North Dakota would fall 4-1 to Denver in the championship game.
2007 West Regional final
North Dakota 3, Gophers 2 (OT)
Eight days after the Gophers’ Blake Wheeler scored a Broten-esque, from-the-stomach goal to beat North Dakota in overtime for the WCHA Final Five title, the Sioux win in Denver on Chris Porter’s wraparound goal at 9:43 of overtime.
2012 West Regional final
Gophers 5, North Dakota 2
The Gophers get revenge for a WCHA semifinal loss to UND with a decisive victory in St. Paul. Five players scored for Minnesota, and goalie Kent Patterson made 24 saves. Incidentally, the regional marked the first time North Dakota’s men’s team was not allowed, per NCAA rules, to wear its Fighting Sioux name or logo. The school later dropped the name.