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2014 Frozen Four: Justin Holl beats the buzzer to send Minnesota to the finals (GIF)

In an improbable ending, Minnesota scored a shorthanded, buzzer-beating goal to send them into the finals against Union.

Matt Dewkett (mrd-photos.com)

PHILADELPHIA -- There's goals, there's game-winning goals, and then there's shorthanded game-winning goals in the NCAA semifinals. That last scenario doesn't happen too often (like, ever) but it did in Thursday night's meeting between Minnesota and North Dakota. The tally came courtesy Justin Holl, who also hadn't scored a game all season.

Holl_game-winner_medium

The senior certainly picked an excellent time (pun intended) to net his first, and set up a national championship date between the Gophers and the Dutchmen on Saturday.

Further examining this play though reveals just how crazy it was. It began with a defensive zone faceoff for Minnesota won by Kyle Rau. The Gophers carry the puck up ice, and Rau takes a shot that's blocked by Jordan Schmaltz.

But the puck kicks perfectly off Schmaltz's skate and back to Holl, who immediately gets rid of it—with no time to spare—and pots it just inside the far post to beat Zane Gothberg, who had 26 saves on the day.

s/t to @CJZero for the GIF