Garrett Waits short-handed overtime goal propelled UMass to a 3-2 victory over two-time defending champion Minnesota Duluth and helped the Minutemen advance to the Frozen Four Final.
The Minutemen managed to advance despite the absence of four players due to COVID-19 contract-tracing protocols, including leading goal scorer Carson Gicewicz and starting goaltender Filip Lindberg. That helped Minnesota Duluth outshoot UMass, 26-11, through two periods and 36-15, at the end of regulation, before the Minutemen held a 13-2 edge in overtime, including Wait's game-winner.
"We just ate some food in the locker room between periods, got our legs back and just focused on our game," Wait said via ESPN.
UMass forward Anthony Del Gaizo tied the game at 2-2 with 11:35 remaining. Wait scored on a wraparound pass from Bobby Trivigno at 14:30 in overtime to provide the winning goal.
Backup goaltender, who only made one less start than Lindberg during the season, recorded 36 saves during the victory.
Thursday's loss ended Minnesota Duluth's nine-game winning streak in NCAA hockey tournament overtime games.
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