CHICAGO (AP) — Alex Iafallo tipped in Willie Raskob’s shot with 26.6 seconds remaining to lift Minnesota Duluth to a 2-1 victory over Harvard in the Frozen Four semifinals Thursday night.
A rather slow game ended in spectacular fashion when Raskob took a pass from Joey Anderson and fired the puck toward the slot. Iafallo directed it between Merrick Madsen’s pads to break the tie.
Minnesota Duluth (28-6-7) hung on when Harvard’s Luke Esposito hit the crossbar with four seconds remaining after a scramble in front of the net.
That sent the Bulldogs to their third championship game and their first since the 2011 team brought home the program’s lone title. They’ll face the Denver-Notre Dame winner Saturday.
Anderson scored in the first period. Hunter Miska stopped 39 shots, and Minnesota Duluth improved to 16-1-3 in its last 20 games.
The Bulldogs also stopped Harvard’s 16-game win streak and 18-game unbeaten run.
Tyler Moy scored his 22nd goal for the Crimson (28-6-2). Madsen made 36 stops, but Harvard came up short in its 13th Frozen Four — and first since 1994.
Tops in the nation in scoring, Harvard grabbed a 1-0 lead at 15:00 in the first period. Moy, deep in the left circle, took a cross ice pass from Alexander Kerfoot and fired the puck into the left side of the net on a power play.
Minnesota Duluth tied it at 18:24 when Anderson sent a 50-foot screened shot past Madsen after Dominic Toninato won the faceoff.
But the game slowed to a crawl after that, with neither team generating many scoring opportunities.
Harvard had one at 5:41 of the third when Sean Malone knocked in a rebound. But the whistle had already blown.
About 2 1/2 minutes later, Minnesota Duluth’s Adam Johnson stormed in and fired a shot from the right crease that Madsen blocked with his left pad but could not cover.