Stephane Pattyn scored a big goal, Brendan O’Donnell set up another and Bryn Chyzyk not only hit everything that moved but also had three shots on goal as the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team beat Ferris State 2-1 in two overtimes to advance to the 2014 Frozen Four, the NCAA men’s championship tournament.
For Pattyn, who hails from Ste. Anne, Man.; O’Donnell, who grew up in Winnipeg; and Chyzyk who came out of Virden, the long UND season is now just beginning. The team hopes it as two games remaining, but has to get past the semifinal first. UND (23-15-3) will open the Frozen Four against their former WCHA rival, the Minnesota Golden Gophers (27-6-6), on Thursday, April 10, at 7:30 CDT at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
In the Midwest Regional Final on Saturday night, junior fourth-liner Connor Gaarder from Edina, Minn., scored the game-winning-goal at 1:28 of the second overtime as fourth-seed North Dakota came back from a 1-0 deficit to win the Regional final 2-1 in the longest NCAA tournament game in team history. However, it was a Manitoban who sent the game to overtime.
Following a scoreless first period, Cory Kane gave Ferris State a 1-0 lead just 7:31 into the second. Ferris’s lead lasted a little more than three minutes as UND junior Stephane Pattyn, the former Portage Terriers star, beat Hobey Baker finalist CJ Motte on the power play with 9:20 remaining in the second for the equalizer. That goal stood up for the next 50 minutes as both goaltenders were almost beyond belief.
UND sophomore goalie Zane Gothberg repeatedly saved North Dakota’s bacon in the third period and the first overtime and was the game’s first star. Thanks to Gothberg’s outstanding play and the efforts of the three Manitobans, it will be North Dakota’s 20th trip to the Frozen Four — the first time since 2011.
However, the seven-time national champions from Grand Forks nearly missed the tournament. North Dakota got an at-large berth and the fourth seed in the Midwest when rival Wisconsin knocked off Ohio State for the Big Ten title. North Dakota beat top-seeded Wisconsin 5-2 in the regional semifinals Friday night. Second-seeded Ferris State came up short in its attempt to reach the Frozen Four for the second time in school history.
“It’s a resilient, hard-working team that is very determined,” head coach Dave Hakstol told reporters after the regional championship game. “The guys were determined in the locker room and you saw that in the first overtime. It’s a bunch of hard-working guys playing together and that’s a good formula for this time of year.
“We were put back on our heels by (FSU). We came into this game with a lot of respect for them and we leave with a lot. We were fortunate enough to make a play and get the goal in overtime. Beyond that, my biggest thought is how proud I am of these guys and, more importantly, how happy I am for them. They get an opportunity to experience a regional championship and move forward in the tournament.
“We’re having a lot of fun and that’s key. Our team is competing every night and in the process, we’re having fun and living a little.”
Meet UND’s Trio of Manitobans:
Bryn Chyzyk: No. 29, Forward, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Virden: Spent the 2011-12 season with the Fargo Force of the USHL … Was a teammate of fellow UND sophomore Zane Gothberg … Spent the 2010-11 season with the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and was named the league’s rookie of the year … Scored 22 goals and 49 assists in 62 games and earned MJHL All-Rookie Team honors … Played in the 2011 MJHL All-Star Game and notched three assists … Added a goal and six assists in 13 playoff games … Played for the Southwest Cougars of the Manitoba Midge Hockey League in 2009-10 … A 2011 graduate of Virden Collegiate Institute … Competed in volleyball, basketball, golf, baseball and soccer in high school … Earned team MVP honors in soccer, golf and basketball. The son of Dave and Michelle Chyzyk …Major: Pre-accountancy … Grandfather attended UND.
Brendan O’Donnell: No. 21, Forward, 6-foot, 190 pounds, Winnipeg: Selected by Tampa Bay in the sixth round (156th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft … Spent the 2010-11 season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees and ranked second on the team in scoring with 72 points (29g, 43a) in 58 games … Also ranked second on the Vees in goals and assists … Led the BCHL with 18 power-play goals … Was a Penticton teammate of current UND junior forward Mark MacMillan … Spent the 2009-10 season with the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League … Was named MJHL Rookie of the Year after collecting 61 points (29g, 32a) in 53 games … An MJHL Rookie All-Star Team selection … A 2010 graduate of Vincent Massey Collegiate. The son of Art and Violet O’Donnell … Major: Communications.
Stephane Pattyn: No. 28, Forward, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Ste. Anne: UND Assistant Captain … A junior, he spent the previous two seasons before attending UND with the MHJL’s Portage Terriers … Racked up 62 points (21g, 41a) in 62 games last season to finish 10th in the MJHL scoring race … Was named Portage’s Most Valuable Player and finished the 2010-11 season as the Terriers’ captain … Added 16 points in the MJHL Playoffs and the ANAVET Cup … Led the Terriers to an ANAVET Cup championship and a berth in the RBC Cup … Played in the 2011 MJHL All-Star Game … Played in 51 games as a rookie in 2009-10 and had 41 points (12g, 29a) … Was named Portage’s Best Defensive Forward … A 2009 graduate of Ecole Pointe-des-Chenes … The son of Mitch and Denise Pattyn … Major: Entrepreneurship.
NOTE: Mat Bodie, 24 a graduate of River East Collegiate, will not only play for Union College in the Frozen Four, he’s the team’s captain. Bodie, the son of Ron and Susan Bodie of East St. Paul, Man., is a 6-foot, 190-pound senior forward. He was the team’s fourth leading scorer with six goals and 29 assists and was a Third Team ECAC All-Star last season …