Scoggins: A game — and a goal — unrivaled

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 11, 2014 - 2:33 PM

– Wait! Hold everything!

The puck’s in the net, the horn is going off, the scoreboard clock says 00:00, what in the heck just happened?

Even the hero couldn’t believe the magic he created in a blink of the eye.

“I was like, ‘Did that really happen?’ ” Justin Holl said.

Amazingly, it did, and now the Gophers get to play for the national championship Saturday night.

Did that really happen? A shorthanded goal that just barely beat the buzzer before overtime?

“Oh my gosh,” senior Nate Condon said.

Exactly. Those three words provide the perfect description of the final moment of the 291st meeting between the Gophers and their bitter rival North Dakota in the national semifinals at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night.

A tight, tense game fittingly came down to a blocked shot, a perfect bounce and a dagger by Holl with less than a second remaining. Holl’s hurried shot sailed past North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg officially with sixth-tenths of a second left to give the Gophers a 2-1 victory and leave this wonderful rivalry with another indelible memory.

“To have a game like that on this stage is unbelievable,” Condon said.

So, too, is the fact that Holl had not scored a goal all season. Not one, until he scored a goal that will etch his name in Gophers hockey lore.

“I was saving it,” he said, deadpan. “All year.”

The Gophers talked in the locker room before the game about the need for their seniors to rise to the occasion, to lead the way. A few players mentioned that Holl was due to score his first goal.

“It’s funny how it works like that,” Condon said.

Everything had to align for it to happen. The Gophers gained control of the puck on the penalty kill with about nine seconds left. Tick, tick, tick.

Skating down the left wing, Kyle Rau fired a shot, but the puck hit North Dakota’s Jordan Schmaltz’s skate almost immediately. Tick, tick, tick.

The puck ricocheted right to Holl. Tick, tick, tick.

“I figured that I didn’t have much time left so I might as well throw it on goal,” he said.

Shoots, scores, bedlam.

“Kind of surreal,” Holl said.

Whether it was fate, destiny or a gift from the hockey gods, the NCAA’s Frozen Four delivered a dream scenario — long-standing rivals back nose-to-nose after a forced separation by the greed of conference realignment. What we witnessed in the atmosphere and action represented the best of what college sports offer.

This one was as close as close can get. Scoreless after one period. Scoreless after two periods. Neither team was able to crack a pair of brick-wall goalies, Gothberg and the Gophers’ Adam Wilcox.

The two teams battled for every inch of ice, every loose puck. Players fought and scrapped and traded extra shoves after the whistle. They dived to block shots. Neither was willing to back down. It was passionate, gut-check hockey.

North Dakota did everything right. The Gophers were just a split-second better.

Both teams generated scoring chances, but the goalies engaged in a wonderful duel to stymie the offenses. Wilcox’s finest moment came in the final minute of the first period when he made a sprawling kick save to rob Colten St. Clair.

Gothberg responded in kind with several bang-bang saves in the second period, even losing his mask during one flurry.

“It was a roller-coaster,” Wilcox said.

These two teams just seem to bring out the best in each other. It’s been that way for decades. The fact that so much was at stake this time only increased the drama and made their emotions particularly raw afterward.

“I can’t say that I don’t like ending North Dakota’s season,” Condon said. “It makes it a little extra special because they are that close and they are our rivals.”

They’ve had some real doozies over the years, but No. 291 will stand the test of time because of its finish. Down to his last second, Justin Holl chose the only option available. He fired the puck toward the net and hoped for the best.

And something crazy happened.

 

Chip Scoggins ascoggins@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Dallas 12/4/14 7:25 PM
Chicago
Chicago 109 FINAL
Boston 102
Golden State 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Dallas 6:30 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
Detroit
New Orleans 6:30 PM
Atlanta
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
Houston
New York 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Orlando 7:00 PM
Indiana
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Denver
Memphis 9:00 PM
Portland
Minnesota 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Chicago 2 2nd Prd 14:21
Anaheim 1
NY Islanders 0 1st Prd 20:00
Washington 0
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Boston
Montreal 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Detroit 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Carolina 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Vancouver 6:00 PM
Columbus
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Florida
Edmonton 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tennessee 67 FINAL
Kansas 82
Eastern Ill 40 FINAL
NC Central 65
New Orleans 65 FINAL
Texas A&M 87
Radford 65 FINAL
NC A&T 57
Butler 64 FINAL
Georgetown 58
Prairie View 71 FINAL
Brown 81
Southern U 63 FINAL
Northern Ariz 70
Santa Clara 44 FINAL
Rhode Island 66
IUPU-Ft Wayne 67 FINAL
Dartmouth 68
FIU 46 2nd Half 6:49
Wright State 44
Texas-El Paso 60 2nd Half 6:55
Xavier 54
Penn State 43 2nd Half 17:04
Bucknell 39
James Madison 29 2nd Half 17:42
Ohio State 42
Yale 27 2nd Half
Providence 34
Lamar 27 2nd Half
Texas Southern 33
Miss Valley St 32 2nd Half 17:48
TX A&M-CC 40
Missouri State 26 2nd Half 17:11
Alaska-Anchorage 31
Minnesota 28 1st Half 4:28
Georgia 18
Oklahoma 14 1st Half 7:33
Wisconsin 12
Stephen F Austin 10 1st Half 16:18
Austin Peay 6
Norfolk State 0 1st Half 17:46
St Francis-NY 8
USC Upstate 5:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Middle Tennessee 5:00 PM
Cincinnati
Char Southern 5:00 PM
Florida State
Princeton 5:00 PM
San Diego
Drake 5:00 PM
Valparaiso
Rice 5:15 PM
Washington St
Rider 5:30 PM
Georgia Tech
High Point 6:00 PM
Clemson
Emerson 6:00 PM
Hartford
Savannah State 6:00 PM
Jacksonville St
Monmouth 6:00 PM
Maryland
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Boise State 6:00 PM
NC State
Vanderbilt 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Gonzaga 6:00 PM
St Johns
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Syracuse
Bradley 6:00 PM
TCU
Alabama State 6:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Tennessee St 6:30 PM
Saint Peters
North Carolina 7:00 PM
Florida
Memphis 7:00 PM
Indiana State
Hofstra 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Samford 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Cleveland State 7:00 PM
Marshall
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Nebraska
SE Louisiana 7:00 PM
Tulane
Creighton 7:30 PM
Ole Miss
Murray State 7:30 PM
Portland
North Texas 8:00 PM
Arkansas
UNC Greensboro 8:00 PM
Indiana
Michigan State 8:00 PM
Marquette
Western Mich 8:00 PM
San Jose St
Stetson 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Texas-Arlington 8:05 PM
Montana State
Pacific 8:30 PM
Colorado State
Miss State 8:30 PM
Saint Louis
La Salle 8:30 PM
Virginia
North Dakota 9:00 PM
Utah
UCLA 9:30 PM
UAB
Baylor 9:30 PM
Illinois
Long Beach State 10:30 PM
Washington
Mercer 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 31 FINAL
Western Mich 21
Nebraska 37 FINAL
Iowa 34
Western Ky 67 FINAL
(19) Marshall 66
UCF 16 FINAL
So Florida 0
Houston 35 FINAL
SMU 9
Akron 24 FINAL
Kent State 27
Ball State 41 FINAL
Bowling Green 24
Buffalo 41 FINAL
Massachusetts 21
Toledo 52 FINAL
Eastern Mich 16
Arkansas 14 3rd Qtr 5:30
(17) Missouri 6
Navy 28 3rd Qtr 7:20
South Alabama 17
(13) Arizona State 21 3rd Qtr
(12) Arizona 21
Stanford 21 3rd Qtr
(9) UCLA 10
(21) Colorado State 10 2nd Qtr 1:06
Air Force 17
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
TBA 12/5/14 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
TBA 12/5/14 8:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Marshall 12/6/14 2:00 AM
TBA
(11) Kansas State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(5) Baylor
Iowa State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(6) TCU
Oklahoma State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(20) Oklahoma
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Michigan 76 FINAL
Washington St 64
Green Bay 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 50
Eastern Kentucky 71 FINAL
Western Carolina 62
NJIT 65 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 57
Fordham 74 FINAL
Incarnate Word 42
Furman 63 FINAL
Florida State 94
Illinois State 44 FINAL
Miami-Florida 95
Eastern Michigan 74 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 78
George Washington 74 FINAL
NC State 66
Ohio State 55 FINAL
Wichita State 70
Western Ky 69 FINAL
Tulane 64
La Salle 71 FINAL
Long Island 66
Binghamton 51 FINAL
St Johns 67
UNC-Asheville 52 FINAL
NC Central 55
North Florida 55 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 41
Akron 73 FINAL
Belmont 58
Miss Valley St 46 FINAL
UMKC 62
Liberty 80 FINAL
Penn State 68
Colgate 44 FINAL
(21) Rutgers 60
Mercer 80 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Northeastern 72 FINAL
No Dakota State 79
(10) Maryland 80 FINAL
James Madison 64
Villanova 46 FINAL
Arizona State 51
Wyoming 63 FINAL
Iowa State 84
Tulsa 79 2nd Half 2:36
Buffalo 67
Boston College 86 1st OT 0:19
Brown 77
Weber State 46 2nd Half 11:58
New Mexico St 54
Texas Tech 50 2nd Half 2:30
Purdue 67
Washington 71 2nd Half 1:09
Hartford 66
Fla Gulf Coast 75 2nd Half 6:33
Clemson 52
Drake 58 2nd Half 3:34
TX-San Antonio 52
UNC Greensboro 56 2nd Half 3:11
Navy 59
(15) Nebraska 26 2nd Half
UCLA 33
Northern Iowa 10 1st Half 4:23
Hofstra 19
Austin Peay 28 2nd Half
Southern Miss 47
(17) Iowa 33 2nd Half 15:32
Arkansas 38
Cal-Irvine 24 2nd Half
Bowling Green 31
Samford 26 1st Half 3:54
Georgia State 19
Siena 30 1st Half 4:22
Denver 20
Abilene Christian 37 1st Half 2:20
George Mason 33
Towson 10 1st Half 7:42
Rhode Island 19
Howard 4:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Houston 4:00 PM
Idaho State
IUPUI 4:30 PM
Texas Southern
East Carolina 4:45 PM
Wisconsin
USC 5:00 PM
Sam Houston St
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kent State 5:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Montana 5:00 PM
Princeton
(9) Kentucky 5:00 PM
Oklahoma
Arizona 5:00 PM
FIU
Northern Ky 5:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Stetson 5:00 PM
Marist
American Univ 5:30 PM
Gonzaga
UAB 5:30 PM
Loyola Marymount
Oral Roberts 5:30 PM
NC A&T
Stony Brook 5:30 PM
(8) Duke
TCU 6:00 PM
Colorado State
(5) Stanford 6:00 PM
(11) North Carolina
Monmouth 6:00 PM
Wagner
Portland 6:00 PM
Nevada
Stephen F Austin 6:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Alcorn State 6:00 PM
Rice
Lafayette 6:00 PM
(12) Louisville
Florida 6:00 PM
Georgetown
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Oakland
SE Missouri St 6:05 PM
Southern Ill
Florida A&M 7:00 PM
SMU
Northern Colorado 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Montana State 7:00 PM
CS-Northridge
(22) Syracuse 7:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Dartmouth 7:00 PM
Cal Poly
Utah State 7:00 PM
(13) Baylor
Toledo 7:00 PM
Virginia
Christian Brothers 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
South Florida 7:15 PM
Illinois
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
(3) Connecticut
Wake Forest 7:30 PM
Charlotte
San Jose St 7:30 PM
(14) California
Central Michigan 8:00 PM
Oregon
Fresno State 8:00 PM
San Diego
Boston U 8:00 PM
New Mexico
Missouri State 8:30 PM
Colorado
Ole Miss 8:30 PM
Utah
Prairie View 8:30 PM
Hawaii
Army 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Cincinnati 9:30 PM
Creighton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pm

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers and Vikings do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close