March 24, 2006
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Senior Tyler McGregor (Ajax, Ontario) scored the game-winning goal 53 seconds into sudden death overtime, to give the Holy Cross men's ice hockey team a 4-3 victory over Minnesota in the NCAA West Regional at Ralph Engelstad Arena. With the win, the Crusaders become the first No. 4 seed to ever defeat a No. 1 seed in NCAA action, since the tournament expanded to 16 teams. This marks Holy Cross' first NCAA postseason victory in the program's history. Holy Cross advances to the West Regional championship game on Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. (EST). The Crusaders will face North Dakota, which defeated Michigan 5-1 in Friday's second game. The Crusaders are now 27-9-2, while the Golden Gophers conclude their season with a 27-9-5 record.
The first period went scoreless as Holy Cross senior goaltender Tony Quesada (South Freeport, Maine) was solid in net as he made 13 saves, while the Crusaders took 10 shots and killed off two penalties for the period. Holy Cross went 0-3 on the power play.
The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead at the 8:49 mark of the second period when sophomore Dale Reinhardt (Livingston, N.J.) scored his 11th goal of the season. Senior Blair Bartlett (Dryden, Ontario) took the puck off a Minnesota turnover at the right face-off circle and dropped it off to Reinhardt who then buried it into the upper right corner of the net past Minnesota's Kellen Briggs. McGregor was credited with an assist on the goal as he caused the turnover.
The Golden Gophers tied the game at 1-1 at 13:15 when Mike Howe scored a shorthanded goal. Howe fired a shot that hit the left post and then he buried in his own rebound. The Crusaders answered right back 31 seconds later when McGregor scored his first goal of the game while on a five-on-three man-advantage power play for his team-leading 25th goal of the season. Junior James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.) sent a crossing pass from the right side to McGregor on the left, who then fired a shot into the inside left corner of the net. An assist was also given to junior Jon Landry (Lexington, Mass.).
Minnesota tied the game at 2-2 two minutes later with a breakaway goal by Phil Kessel. Evan Kaufmann sent a pass to Kessel who had just left the penalty box and then skated all alone netting his 18th goal of the season. The Crusaders had six shots and went 1-3 on the power play, while the Golden Gophers had three shots and went 0-3.
The Golden Gophers took a 3-2 lead at 2:17 into the third period when Alex Gogligoski blasted a shot into top left corner. Holy Cross tied the game at 3-3 when senior Pierre Napert-Frenette (Bathurst, New Brunswick) netted his 16th goal of the year. Landry sent a shot into a group of players in front of the net where junior Sean Nappo (Northville, Mich.) then hit the post with a shot. Napert-Frenette then jumped on the rebound and placed it into the goal.
McGregor's game winner at just 53 seconds into overtime came when he knocked in his own rebound after a Minnesota defender blocked his crossing pass for his 26th goal of the year.
"I was actually looking for a linemate streaking to the net," said McGregor. "I got real fortunate when the pass across hit the inside of the defenseman's foot. It just came right back to my stick."
Quesada was outstanding in net as he made 35 saves, while Briggs stopped 24 shots. Minnesota entered the game with the top rated power play in the nation but the Crusaders killed all seven of Minnesota's power plays. The Crusaders went 1-10 on the man-advantage.