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Gophers join WCHA affair

MINNEAPOLIS -- Barry Tallackson made sure his final season as a Golden Gopher didn't end prematurely, scoring in overtime yesterday to give Minnesota another berth in the Frozen Four.

The senior's goal at 4:31 of the extra frame gave Minnesota a 2-1 win over Cornell in the West Regional championship. Tallackson's initial shot was stopped by goalie David McKee, but the wing lifted the rebound past McKee's glove.

The Gophers (28-14-1) join fellow Western Collegiate Hockey Association members North Dakota, Colorado College, and Denver in the Frozen Four, marking the first time that four teams from the same conference have qualified for the event. Minnesota will be playing in the national semifinals for the third time in four years. Gophers goalie Kellen Briggs, who was named the regional's Most Outstanding Player, finished with 17 saves.

McKee finished with 37 saves for the Big Red (27-5-3), who lost for the first time since Jan. 8.

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