Illini knock off No. 1 Minot State
The Illini move on to the Championship game to far Adrian College
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 / 12:34pm
Credit: ACHA

Robert Ernsting recorded three assists and Thomas Kolaz scored a pair of goals to lead the 5th-ranked University of Illinois to a 4-2 victory over top-ranked Minot State University in the second semi-final game of the ACHA National Championships Monday night at the OhioHealth Ice Haus at Nationwide Arena.

Both teams came out swinging, each scoring a pair of goals in the opening period. Minot State’s Blake Fournier scored first at 8:20 before Kolaz responded for the Fighting Illini with a power-play goal 1:23 later to even the score.

Beavers’ senior captain Eric Bollefer and Derrick Brooks helped Minot State regain the lead at 10:51 when they found defenseman Kyle Lipinski skating from the left side open for his first goal and third point of the Championships.

The Beavers would hold the 2-1 lead until 19.7 seconds remained in the first period. Illinois’ Joe Nolan scored his first goal of the Championships on the power-play from top of the point to make it 2-2.

Midway in the second period, Ernsting and Stephen Quinn assisted on Kolaz’s second goal of the game to give Illinois the lead, 3-2, with a one-time shot while skating toward the net.

The Fighting Illini would seal the deal with an empty-net goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation when senior forward James Mcging flipped the puck down the length of the ice to make it 4-2.

Illinois will face Adrian College in the National Championship game Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the OhioHealth Ice Haus at Nationwide Arena.

View Gamesheet Boxscore