Duluth defends national title

UMD wins their second straight NCAA Title

UMD wins their second straight NCAA Title

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

"We didn't let them really get going", UMD coach Scott Sandelin said. But it was fun.

"It's unfortunate. It's unfortunate that I don't think that was our best tonight", UMass coach Greg Carvel said.

Shepard had his seventh shutout of the season and nation-leading 29th victory, improving his NCAA Tournament record to 8-0. It's the third championship for UMD, which beat Notre Dame in the Frozen Four final a year ago and also won in 2011. Noah Cates scored with 2:42 remaining to seal the victory for the Bulldogs, who were making their third consecutive appearance in the final, dating to a 3-2 loss to Denver in 2017. Getting to experience a matchup with one of the most dominant programs in all of college hockey can only prove helpful in the long-run for the UMass hockey program. The Minutemen (31-10) were making their first appearance in the championship game and in just the second tournament berth in school history.

"We were trying to get pucks and get them to the middle because they were pinching pretty hard on that half wall", UMass sophomore Cale Makar said. Three of them are National Hockey League draft picks.

"I think their six [defensemen] are very, very good", Carvel said.

Makar said he wanted to first have a discussion with his family and added: "Everything's up in the air right now". I am very respected and I am passionate about putting this jersey on every single sport. "It's going to be a couple of years that I'll never forget in my entire life".

Carvel, Makar's partner in thrusting UMass to hockey prominence over two seasons, made a salient point about his superstar. "You got to give him a lot of credit on those". "I don't expect him back. Just very grateful, very grateful". Playing Duluth and its anaconda style, a two-goal deficit is a mountain, three is Everest.

The Bulldogs dominated from the start and were outshooting the Minutemen 6-0 when Mackay opened the scoring 3:51 in, and 1:20 after UMass defenseman Marc Del Gaizo was penalized for interference. They controlled play along the boards to limit UMass' time on the puck and shortened the game. Anderson immediately sent a pass into the slot, where a wide-open Mackay cut across and backhanded in a shot inside the left post.

Duluth outworked and outmuscled UMass to such an extreme degree, that the Minutemen managed a mere seven shots at the game's halfway point, 18 for the game.

And then shortly after Mikey Anderson made it a two-goal game, going top-shelf on Lindberg at the 15:48 mark. Anderson took a few steps and snapped a shot inside the right post.

This heart was not the UMass team on the podium; They were defeated so well that they could actually break and thought that what they could accomplish without fulfilling the pain of what they could have done. "This is a big stage". But we have some kids on our team that usually play big, heavy, compete, create offense through that. Sandelin improved his tournament record to 21-6, and the Bulldogs' 29 wins were the most since going 36-9-3 in 1984-85.

NOTES: UMass played minus forward Bobby Trivigno, who served a one-game NCAA suspension for an illegal hit to the head against Denver on Thursday.

Denver was the last team to capture back to back title in college hockey, doing so back in 2004 and 2005.

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