Minnesota Duluth Wins Second Straight Title at Frozen Four Final

Paola Ditto
Aprile 15, 2019

The defending national champion Bulldogs will try and become the first team to repeat as NCAA champions since Denver in 2004 and 2005 when they take on MA at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday in Buffalo. Massachusetts, Denver, Minnesota Duluth and Providence are still competing for the title. I went into the locker room as soon as we came off the ice, the body language, the hanging and the mopiness.

Mackay, seated proudly at the podium, could say the same thing about Shepard. Registered 66 points on 18 goals and 48 assists with a +6 rating ... Denver had four attempts at a loose puck that was bouncing off UMass goalie Filip Lindberg and defenseman Jake McLaughlin as they tried to keep it out, but Kohen Olichefski was able to finally lift the puck over Lindberg's pad at the end of the scramble.

Shepard had his seventh shutout of the season and nation-leading 29th victory, improving his NCAA Tournament record to 8-0.

He's buzzing and with the addition of Makar, elite scorers, the season-long ride all capped off with the OT thriller from Thursday, Duluth will have its hands full in the championship. Because we had those lessons, I think the guys did believe.

The Bulldogs had two goals disallowed in the opening 20 minutes. 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.

And yet the Minutemen are still considered the underdog due to their past and lack of experience on such a big stage.

Probably not by coincidence, when the Friars rallied from a one-goal, third-period deficit to upset Boston University for the 2015 national championship, they had finished tied for second in Hockey East and were the last at-large team to get into the NCAA tournament, receiving a No. 4 seed.

"It's frustrating because the game to that point where he thought he had to defend himself", UMass head coach Greg Carvel said.

- The Bulldogs controlled possession over the final nine minutes of the game.

The Avalanche selected Makar with the fourth pick in the 2017 draft. "I was asked if I wanted to use my challenge and I chose not to". "It's a jersey I'm very proud to wear". Then you lose Mitchell, we become a smaller team. "After they scored, they won some good D-zone faceoffs, and we gave them too much time off faceoffs".

UMass killed the rest of the penalty and went on the power play when McLellan was called for holding at the 11:16 mark of the period.

Filip Lindberg of Espoo, Finland, had 37 saves for the Minutemen, while Filip Larsson of Stockholm had 24 saves for the Pioneers. Not reviewing this play, is also unacceptable. Yep, that's a high hit to the head. Anderson took a few steps and snapped a shot inside the right post.

Coach Scott Sandelin isn't taking Minnesota Duluth's third consecutive trip to the Frozen Four championship game for granted because of how hard it is to get there. UMD also has needed overtime on three occasions, including the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship win over St. Cloud State (3-2 in double OT) and the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal win over Bowling Green (2-1 OT). In its 4-3 overtime win over Denver in the Frozen Four, it was Marc that was the hero as his snipe from the top of the left circle with less than five minutes left in the extra frame pushed UMass to the title game in walkoff fashion.

Chaffee was ejected with 3:48 left in the second period.

Marc Del Gaizo reminded folks of that just after Thursday night turned into early Friday morning at KeyBank Center.

All three Minnesota Duluth's championships have come during coach Scott Sandelin's 19-year tenure.

"We never take it for granted".

Scott Sandelin is no different than anyone else in appreciating a rags-to-riches journey such as the MA hockey program has enjoyed over the past three years.

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