Yale took down the top seed Minnesota Golden Gophers 3-2 in the West Regional game of the NCAA tournament this afternoon when forward Jesse Root ’14 slammed home a one-timer on a wrap around pass from leading-scorer Kenny Agostino ’14 just nine seconds into overtime.
After a quiet first period and a lot of back and forth action with nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs jumped out to an explosive lead in the second and held it over the Gophers for the majority of the game. As the Gophers went into the locker room down 2–0 after two periods of action, however, they came out with revamped energy and put in one and then another to tie the game up and send it to overtime.
Agostino hammered the first goal over freshman goaltender Adam Wilcox’s shoulder for the Elis on the power play with assists coming from captain Andrew Miller ’13 and defenseman Rob O’Gara ’16. Yale added another even strength goal when defenseman Gus Young ’14 knocked home his second goal of the season on a pass from Clinton Bourbonais ’14.
The Gophers were not far behind and, after five-straight power play opportunities, were able to get on the scoreboard when Gopher forward Nate Schmidt tapped in a one-timer over goaltender Jeff Malcolm’s ’13 shoulder. Five minutes later, the Gophers tied it up when Zach Buddish knocked one past Malcolm to tie the game.
But the Elis would not settle for just making it to the first round game against the No. 1 seed. They wanted to win it. Almost immediately after the puck dropped in overtime, the Bulldogs sent the puck in deep in Minnesota’s end and Agostino raced up the ice to pick up the loose puck. He walked around the back of the net and slid it over to Root who hammered it home and was tackled by teammates in the corner before the Gophers knew what hit them.
The Bulldogs have now advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament and are just one win away from heading to Pittsburgh for the Frozen Four. Yale will play the winner of the North Dakota-Niagara game that takes place in Van Andel rink at 5:30 p.m. tonight.