Top Two Seeds Survive OT; WCHA Final Five is Set

Ferris State Athletics

The field for the WCHA's Final Five was completed on Saturday night.

Sunday will see a lot of Game 3s as conferences around the country try to sort out the opening rounds of their playoffs to set up next weekend's conference championships, but the WCHA got their business done early, with all four quarterfinal series completing on Saturday night.

It didn't look that way for much of the evening though. One night after pummeling Bemidji State 8-0, Ferris State was pushed to the brink by the Beavers. Ferris State needed an extra-attacker goal from Matt Robertson to tie their game at two and send the game to overtime. After a scoreless first overtime, Scott Czarnowczan snuck a shot from the point through traffic and in for the game-winning goal while shorthanded to send Ferris State to Grand Rapids and end Bemidji State's season.

Second seed Minnesota State faced a similar test from Northern Michigan. The Wildcats took four separate one-goal leads on the Mavericks, including a 4-3 lead with just 7;39 remaining, but each time, Minnesota State found a way to answer back and send the game into overtime. In overtime, freshman Zach Stepan was able to put back a rebound for the game-winner to clinch the series.

The easiest win of the night came in Bowling Green, where the Falcons built a commanding 3-0 lead after two periods and cruised to a 5-2 victory over Michigan Tech to sweep the series.

And in the final series, Alaska-Anchorage won a back-and-forth battle over rival and tournament third seed Alaska-Fairbanks to extend their season with a game three victory. The Seawolves led 3-1 heading into the final frame, but the Nanooks came charging back, tying the game at 3-3, then answering back again to tie the game after Anchorage took a 4-3 lead. But Brad Duwe scored for the Seawolves with 2:45 remaining in regulation to secure for the victory for the underdog Seawolves.

That sets up next weekend's Final Five semifinals. Bowling Green and Minnesota State will meet in the first semifinal at 2pm EST, while Alaska-Anchorage will play Ferris State at 7pm.

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