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Season over: Gophers fall to Notre Dame after controversial penalty in overtime

Meanwhile, the Gopher women won to advance to the Frozen Four.

The Gopher men's hockey season is over after a 2-1 overtime loss to Notre Dame in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals Saturday night. 

Minnesota could've clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the conference tourney, or at least given itself a chance for an at-large bid by beating Notre Dame. 

Those hopes were dashed after a controversial penalty led to the game-winning goal 53 seconds into the extra session. 

Here's a short replay of the penalty on Tyler Sheehy, who was called for hooking 31 seconds into overtime when he lifted the stick of a Notre Dame player near the blue line. 

Sheehy, via the Pioneer Press, said it's one of the worst penalties he's witnessed.

“It’s overtime. They put the whistles away for most of the third period, then they call one on us with three minutes left, and obviously a terrible call there in overtime ends the career for nine guys," said Sheehy. 

Sheehy later retweeted Lou Nanne's criticism of the call, as the Minnesota hockey great said the official who made blew the whistle shouldn't be allowed to work playoff games. 

“That was an absolute travesty, the way that game ended. Play it however you want to play it, it was a travesty,” Gophers coach Bob Motzko said. 

After speaking with the media, Motzko reportedly had a heated discussion outside the locker room with the Big Ten director of hockey officiating, according to multiple reports. 

Minnesota entered the weekend ranked 20th in the Pairwise, which serves as the best predictor for the 16 teams that make the NCAA Tournament. 

Gopher women advance to Frozen Four

There is no such drama with the Gopher women's hockey team, who toppled Princeton 5-2 on Saturday to earn a trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. 

"I'm so happy that we're headed to the Frozen Four," head coach Brad Frost said, via GopherSports.com

"This is a team that has earned it. They deserve it, but you always get the opportunity to go just because you deserve to go. Again, I think our depth was able to wear Princeton down a little bit tonight – it's a really, really special group. We're excited to get out there."

Minnesota will face Cornell at People's United Center in Hamden, Connecticut, next Friday, March 22. The other national semifinal is between Wisconsin and Clarkson. 

The national championship is Sunday, March 24. 

This is Minnesota's eighth trip to the Frozen Four since 2008-09, having won the national title four times in that span. 

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