Duluth Wins College Hockey National Title

Amherst MA-04/13/2019-UMass Amherst students watching the Frozen Four championship game at Spoke on Saturday night react to the impeding loss during the last seconds of the game. Topic 14amherst Reporter

Amherst MA-04/13/2019-UMass Amherst students watching the Frozen Four championship game at Spoke on Saturday night react to the impeding loss during the last seconds of the game. Topic 14amherst Reporter

The Bulldogs beat MA 3-0 on Saturday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y.to win their third national championship in program history - all in this decade under coach Scott Sandelin - with the last two coming back-to-back.

The Bulldogs (29-11-2) became the ninth school to successfully defend a title, and first since Denver in 2004 and '05. "They've got some big guys, they're physical", UMass coach Greg Carvel said. "For whatever reason, our compete level wasn't at the level it usually is".

"You never know how they're going to come back".

This was not a heartbroken UMass team on the podium; they had been defeated so thoroughly that they could actually pause and consider what they HAD accomplished without suffering the pain of what could have been. "Just very grateful, very grateful". "I don't think we are even close to where we are without him". It's a learning lesson. UMass senior Kurt Keats summed it up best. The Bulldogs converted on their first power play of the game when Parker Mackay took advantage of UMass over-rotating and found himself alone in front of Lindberg. "Tonight he was a very good player".

This championship was also a farewell to the Black Makar, a player who did not forget the college hockey universe soon. He's thanked me for keeping him around. Our team has brought so much respect to this program.

"He's a tremendous kid". I'm so very honored and humbled to put this jersey on every single game. "I'm proud that he got to see the transition, he got to feel the transition, feel like he was a big part of it".

It started in the faceoff circle.

UMass came out as most people expected a new team stepping onto the national stage would: jittery, star-struck and over-powered.

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Freshman goalie Filip Lindberg stopped 28 shots, and had little chance on either of the Bulldogs' first two goals. Careless turnovers and easy giveaways plagued the opening 20 minutes for the Minutemen. The Bulldogs withstood the early push from UMass in the middle stanza and then were able to capitalize on a mistake in the defensive zone.

Meanwhile, the Minutemen's second-ranked power play was ineffective all night against the aggressive Minnesota Duluth penalty kill unit.

The rest of the period was a survival mission, especially after Jake Gaudet went to the box with 1 minute, 23 seconds left in the period.

"We never take it for granted", Sandelin said.

At one point, Duluth got away with having too many men on the ice.

Anderson finished with three points, Mackay had two and junior goaltender Hunter Shepard - now a flawless 8-0 in NCAA tournament games - made 18 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and school-record 15th of his college career.

The Bulldogs are used to playing that way. But a back-breaking tally at the end of the final frame from Jackson Cates officially ended UMass' season.

"We weren't at the top of our game tonight", sophomore defenseman Mario Ferraro said. Again, probably because of Duluth. We looked like a young team.

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