Diminutive right winger Bobby Brink made a huge play in overtime Thursday to help send the University of Denver into the NCAA championship game.
Denver stunned tournament favorite Michigan, 3-2, at TD Garden in Boston, earning a spot in Saturday’s 8 p.m. final (ESPN2) against Minnesota State.
From the right corner, Brink picked up a loose puck and threaded a perfect pass to a Savoie in front of the net. Savoie’s initial shot was stopped, but he put in his own rebound to start a wild Frozen Four celebration.
“That pass was unbelievable,” Savoie told reporters. “I got the first shot and then got the rebound. No words to describe it. Best feeling ever.”
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) April 8, 2022
It was the 22nd goal, top on the team, for Savoie, who was selected by Edmonton in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2020 draft.
Brink was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round (34th overall) in 2019. The 5-foot-9, 166-pound junior is one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s best player. The award will be announced Friday.
The Minnesota native is expected to sign with the Flyers a short time after the championship game.
Denver will be in the championship game for the first time since 2017, when it beat Minnesota-Duluth. The Pioneers will be aiming for their ninth national title, which would tie Michigan for the most in NCAA hockey history.
Michigan had four players selected in the top five in last year’s NHL draft and was the tourney favorite, but Denver and Brink had other ideas.
Minnesota’s 5-1 semifinal loss Thursday to Minnesota State ended the season for winger Bryce Brodzinski, a Flyers prospect who assisted on the game’s first goal.