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MacWilliams, Kristo score in 3rd, North Dakota rallies to beat Niagara 2-1 in NCAA tournament

Friday, 03.29.2013 / 9:34 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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MacWilliams, Kristo score in 3rd, North Dakota rallies to beat Niagara 2-1 in NCAA tournament

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Andrew MacWilliam of Calgary and Danny Kristo scored in a 57-second span early in the third period in North Dakota's 2-1 comeback victory over Niagara on Friday night in the NCAA West Regional semifinals.

Second-seeded North Dakota (22-12-7) will play Yale on Saturday in the regional final for a spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh. Fourth-seeded Yale beat top-seeded Minnesota 3-2 in overtime in the opener.

"The reward for our team was our resiliency," North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said. "You have to give Niagara a lot of credit We knew they were a hard hockey team to play. They played that way for 60 minutes."

MacWilliam tied it with an unassisted goal, his second goal of the season, at 1:56 of the third, and Kristo put North Dakota in front at 2:53 with his 26th goal.

"The puck game to me and I showed some patience, which is not like me," MacWilliam said. "Fortunately, it went in."

Third-seeded Niagara finished the season 23-10-5.

"It was a heck of a season for our team and our program" Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said. "I'm pleased with how hard we played. People have to be impressed with how hard we played. It was an unbelievable ride."

Jason Beattie scored for the Purple Eagles in the second period.

"We turned the game around a little bit at the end of the second period," Hakstol said. "We survived Niagara's push and things turned our way."

Zane Gothberg made 28 saves for North Dakota, and Carsen Chubak of Prince Albert, Sask., stopped 41 shots for Niagara.

"He's a heck of a goalie," MacMilliam said about Chubak. "He dragged his team a long way this season."

Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com