Sunday, April 07, 2002

Gophers win Frozen Four title

Enquirer staff and news services

Minnesota's John Pohl (9) and Maine's Francis Nault, lower left, watch as the game-winning goal by Minnesota's Grant Potulny (not shown) slides by Maine goalie Matt Yeats in overtime.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        ST. PAUL, Minn. — Grant Potulny scored on a power play 16:58 into overtime as Minnesota beat Maine 4-3 on Saturday night for its first NCAA hockey title since 1979.

        Minnesota's Matt Koalska tied it with 52.4 seconds left in regulation after the Black Bears took a 3-2 lead with 4:33 remaining on Robert Liscak's goal.

        John Pohl had a goal and two assists for the Golden Gophers, 4-8 in NCAA title games. Minnesota (32-8-4) also played in the 1989 championship in St. Paul, losing to Harvard in overtime.

        The game marked the fourth time in the last five seasons that the title game has gone to overtime and the fifth in seven seasons. It was was a bitter end to an emotional season for Maine.

        Maine (26-11-7) wore green shamrock-shaped patches on their jerseys in honor of Shawn Walsh, the coach who died of cancer before the season began. Walsh led the Black Bears to titles in 1993 and '99. Michael Schutte, who scored two goals, was called for tripping Koalska with 4:02 left in overtime, giving the Gophers their power play.

        Pohl, who finished as the nation's scoring leader with 78 points, assisted on the goal, dropping to puck to Potulny, who put the puck through Maine goalie Matt Yeats' legs.

        Potulny, who scored twice in Minnesota's semifinal win over Michigan, is the only non-Minnesotan on the roster.


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