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Gophers beat UND in Frozen Four semis; riot police break up Dinkytown fracas

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Justin Holl, Sam Warning
Minnesota's Justin Holl, left, reacts to his goal being ruled good with Sam Warning, right, behind him during the third period of an NCAA men's college hockey Frozen Four tournament game against North Dakota, Thursday, April 10, 2014, in Philadelphia. Minnesota won 2-1. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/AP

Police in riot gear broke up a rowdy crowd in Dinkytown last night who spilled into the streets after a dramatic last-second win by Minnesota's men's hockey team in the Frozen Four semifinals. 

The Gophers scored a shorthanded goal with less than a second left to defeat the University of North Dakota and go to this year's college hockey championship game. The Gophers and UND played in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center.

Fans spilled into the streets near 4th and 14th Street southeast about 10 p.m., according to Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder.

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Almost a dozen fans jumped on a police car, threw bottles and cans, shot off fireworks and climbed a traffic light as officers from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis police, the East Metro SWAT team and the State Patrol gathered to disperse the crowd. 

The Minneapolis fire department also responded to a small fire in the area, and a State Patrol helicopter also responded to help watch over the scene. 

Initial reports indicated more than 100 people were involved as hundreds of others stood by and watched.

"There was a massive presence of students who failed to obey lawful commands," said Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder. "We had less than a dozen arrests."

Police sealed off the blocks from 13th to 15th Avenue and University to 5th Street SE.

The crowd dispersed early this morning. There were no reports of serious injuries, although scanner traffic indicated one police officer suffered a broken ankle.

The Gophers will play in the final against Union College on Saturday night. Union beat Boston College 5 to 4 yesterday to make its first appearance in the Division I championship game.

The University of Minnesota men's hockey team last won the national championship in 2003, which also sparked off rioting in Minneapolis. Police arrested 27 people in that disturbance, including a dozen felonies.

Police said earlier this week that they were preparing for unrest following the game against the Gopher's longtime rival from Grand Forks. University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler sent an email to U students on Tuesday saying the school would have "zero tolerance" for another riot following this year's hockey tournament.

Kaler's warning: