Niagara Gazette — “If we score a power play goal, we’re playing tomorrow,” Burkholder said. “We didn’t get it .”
Chubak is one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which recognizes the top player in U.S. college hockey each year. His 41-save performance was the kind of outing that can impress those who will cast votes for the award.
Unfortunately, it was another Hobey hopeful who stole the game back for North Dakota. Kristo, who along with teammate Corban Knight are also in consideration, moved the puck behind the Niagara net and beat Chubak to the other side, scoring his game-winner on a wraparound.
Less than a minute before, MacWilliams tied the game with his shot from the point.
“I had a really good angle from the bench and just as the guy released it, two players skated right through the crease,” Burkholder said when asked about the first goal. “I think he might have lost it but certainly it’s not Carsen’s fault at all.”
Goaltender Zane Gothberg turned aside 29 shots for North Dakota, who advances to face Yale today in Grand Rapids at 4 p.m. Canisius College, meanwhile, faces Quinnipiac in the NCAA East Regional semifinal this evening, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Providence, R.I.
Niagara finishes its season with a record of 23-10-5. For their efforts, the team was showered with honors including national rankings in two college hockey polls, an Atlantic Hockey Association Coach of the Year honor for Burkholder, an AHA Player of the Year honor for Chubak and the AHA Defenseman of the Year for Paul Zanette.
Burkholder can look ahead to next season, with several talents including his starting goalie returning.
“My heart aches for the seniors that have given their hearts and souls to the team,” he said. “But we’re built to last. I think we’re going to be good for a lot of years. I can’t say enough about the character and quality of kids that we get to deal with every day.”You can follow Niagara Gazette Sports Editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter @MrozGazette