SALT LAKE CITY – Noah Simpson netted three goals and set up a fourth while the North Dakota State defense confounded Minn.-Duluth as the Bison registered an 11-8 win in the second Division II semifinal at the 2018 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour.
With the win, No. 2 North Dakota State (11-2) earns a ticket to Saturday morning’s national championship game against top-seeded St. Thomas.
Duluth (12-6) shook off an early 3-1 deficit to tie the game at threes after the first 15 minutes and NDSU held a narrow, 7-6 advantage at the half.
The Bulldogs had several chances to tie the game in the second half, but could never find the leveler.
The Bison 10-man ride took its toll on UMD all afternoon. Despite the Bulldogs finding two empty-net goals, they only managed to clear 17-of-31 (54.8%) of their opportunities.
Avery Normandin played a key role for NDSU, as well, winning 10-of-16 faceoffs, grabbing five ground balls and scoring a goal.
Scott McNamara scored a goal and set up two others for Duluth while Blake Nastrom made 14 saves in the losing effort. Noah Orham stopped eight shots for the Bison.