SAINT PAUL- For the second consecutive Minnesota hockey game the final 90 seconds had its share of craziness.
With his team leading 4-2 in the final minute of the second North Star College Cup semifinal, Minnesota State goaltender Stephon Williams knocked off the net to stop play moments after making a fantastic diving save on Gopher forward Seth Ambroz.
"What are you doing? We had it under control," a laughing Mavericks head coach Mike Hastings said after the game about what was going through his mind when he saw Williams do that. "It's one of those things where you don't plan for that stuff. It made for some good drama."
The play came a week after Minnesota was involved in a last minute brawl with Wisconsin.
You can watch the GIF here or the video above.
Williams knocked the goal off intentionally because he was trying to draw attention to injured teammate Casey Nelson. The sophomore defenseman, who Hastings said was okay after the game, was on the ice for the previous 20 seconds after blocking a shot.
"I saw Casey down, and it was already a 6-on-4 penalty kill (as Gopher goaltender Adam Wilcox was pulled). With him down that makes it a 6-on-3," Williams said. "I was willing to take a delay of game to get fresh guys on the ice."
The end result was Minnesota choosing to take a penalty shot rather than the delay of game penalty per the rules of college hockey) with 1:13 remaining. The Gophers were already trying to get the score within one with a two-man advantage.
Williams stopped Ambroz, who was 3 for 4 in his career in shootouts, on the penalty shot.
"I wasn't really aware of the penalty shot rule. It was just one of those things where, when you have a guy hurt out there, things are a bit chaotic at the time. The puck was bouncing everywhere, guys were getting exhausted. It was just an impulse reaction. It's not something I'm going to make a habit out of, obviously," said the junior goaltender, who made 20 saves.
The penalty shot was Minnesota's first in a game since Jake Hansen scored on one against Alaska-Anchorage on March 11, 2011.
Minnesota State held on to win 4-2 and will play Bemidji State for the North Star College Cup championship.
"You just don't see that very often. Penalty shots are feast or famine and I'm glad it went our way," said Hastings.
SB Nation College Hockey's Chris Dilks contributed to this report