Instant classic 🏆: Quinnipiac wins first-ever national title in overtime thriller
TAMPA, Fla. – For the first time in program history, Quinnipiac has reached the summit of college hockey, defeating Minnesota 3-2 in overtime to win the 2023 NCAA Division I men’s hockey national championship.
Jacob Quillan scored 10 seconds into overtime, putting home forehand-backhand move off a feed from Sam Lipkin (two assists) to win it.
“It’s unreal,” Quillan said. “I mean, the boys put in so much blood, sweat and tears all year. It’s a dream come true, you know. We got it done. We’re gonna celebrate hard tonight.”
It was Quillan’s third goal of the Frozen Four after he had two goals against Michigan in the semifinals. He finished the tournament with five goals and two assists for seven points in four games.
“It’s a set play we have,” Quillan said of his goal. “Lipkin finds the middle. I mean [Zach] Metsa made a nice pass, and then [Lipkin] displayed his skill with the backhand sauce. I went back with it to the opposite side and tucked it in.”
Collin Graf tied the game as a power play expired with 2:47 remaining in regulation after head coach Rand Pecknold pulled Yaniv Perets (13 saves) for the extra attacker.
Christophe Tellier also scored for the Bobcats (34-4-3), and Zach Metsa had three assists.
“It’s just awesome,” QU head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We’re excited. I’m so proud of these guys. Great group. It’s awesome to see all my alums in the stands. I can’t even put it into words. I’m struggling right now.”
John Mittelstadt and Jaxon Nelson each scored for the Golden Gophers (29-10-1). Justen Close made 27 saves.
“Tip your hat to Quinnipiac, but we were in the right spot,” Minnesota coach Bob Motzko said. “Turn the puck over for one [goal against]. Second one never should have went in. You know, that was an unfortunate situation right there. So we had a chance.
“I mean, I’m crushed. We just have a wonderful group. The love in that room and that group … I’m just crushed for them. For all of us.”
Mittelstadt opened the scoring just over five minutes into the game. QU’s Jayden Lee fanned on a breakout pass, and Connor Kurth was right there to pounce on the turnover before sending it out in front where Mittelstadt put it home.
Nelson doubled the lead less than five minutes into the second. Brock Faber’s shot took a huge bounce off the end boards, and Nelson was right there to put it home.
The Bobcats answered about three minutes later. Zach Metsa kept the puck in at the blue line before driving down the wall and feeding Tellier in front for a redirect.
The third period was all Quinnipiac before Graf broke through, racking up attacking zone time and outshooting the Gophers, 14-2, in the period.
QU previously reached the title game twice, falling to Yale in 2013 and North Dakota in 2016, the latter was also in Tampa.
“I don’t know if it’s really sunk in yet,” Metsa said. It’s been a crazy journey for it to be a goal at the beginning of the year and for us to come through … One, I’m happy for all the alums and the guys that came before us that set the foundation that we were able to grow from. … It’s a dream come true.”
Rand Pecknold gets the Powerade shower. This party’s going all the way back to Hamden pic.twitter.com/IRbBRkIRwS— Patrick Donnelly (@PatDonn12) April 9, 2023
OT WINNER! 🚨 Bobcats take it 10 seconds into OT
For the first time in program history, Quinnipiac is at the top of the men's college hockey mountain, knocking off Minnesota, 3-2 just 10 seconds into overtime of the national championship.
Jacob Quillian went forehand backhand off a setup from Sam Lipkin to beat Gophers' goaltender Justen Close for the winner.
END 3rd: We're going to overtime
60 minutes wasn't enough. We'll need overtime in the national championship for the first time since 2011 as Minnesota and Quinnipiac are tied, 2-2.
Collin Graf tied it late on the power play with the goalie pulled. Quinnipiac outshot Minnesota, 14-2, in the third.
GOAL! 🚨 This game is tied! Collin Graf! | 3rd – 2:47
Quinnipiac finds an equalizer with less than three minutes to go in regulation on the power play.
With the extra attacker on the ice, Collin Graf opts to shoot and beats Justen Close five-hole to tie it, 2-2.
Bobcats to the power play late 🥵
Quinnipiac is going to the man advantage down, 2-1, in search of a tying goal with 4:52 to go.
The Bobcats have been all over the Gophers so far in the third, outshooting them 9-2.
Quinnipiac turning it on late 😱
Just about halfway through the third period, and the Bobcats are all over Minnesota, applying tons of offensive pressure in search of a tying goal as they trail, 2-1.
Shots on goal are 5-1, QU, so far in the period. Quinnipiac took momentum from a strong penalty kill, and Justen Close has been good when needed for Minnesota.
END 2nd: Minnesota still up by one 〽️
Two periods are gone, and the No. 1 Golden Gophers are up, 2-1, on No. 2 Quinnipiac.
Jaxon Nelson buried a rebound off Brock Faber's shot to make it 2-0, but Zach Metsa and Christophe Tellier combined to cut it to 2-1.
Shots on goal are 15-13, Bobcats.
GOAL! 🚨 Bobcats get one back | 2nd – 12:19
Quinnipiac shows a sign of life.
Zach Metsa drives down the wall and zips it to Christophe Tellier in front, and he's able to redirect it past Justen Close to cut it to 2-1.
GOAL! 🚨 Nelson doubles the Gophers' lead | 2nd – 15:36
Minnesota makes it 2-0 early in the second.
Brock Faber's wrist shot takes a huge bounce off the boards, and Jaxon Nelson is there to put it home.
All in the family 🤗
Both the Minnesota and Quinnipiac crowds are rocking tonight, thanks to a ton of family and friends in attendance.
QU captain Zach Metsa has over 16 family and friends at Amalie Arena, and we caught up with his parents before the game:
We also caught up with Gophers forward Bryce Brodzinski's dad as well.
END 1st: Gophers lead by 1️⃣
Through 20 minutes, No. 1 Minnesota leads No. 2 Quinnipiac, 1-0, in the national championship.
The Gophers started strong, and John Mittelstadt gave them the lead after Connor Kurth jumped on an opportunistic turnover. The Bobcats picked it up towards the end of the period, though.
Shots on goal are 7-3, Minnesota.
GOAL! 🚨 Minnesota opens the scoring | 1st – 14:25
The Gophers capitalize on brutal luck for QU defenseman Jayden Lee, who whiffed on the pass as it went right to Connor Kurth. John Mittelstadt finished the loose puck in front to make it 1-0 early.
Puck drop is 15 minutes away 👀
The 2023 Men's Frozen Four national championship is less than 15 minutes away as No. 1 Minnesota and No. 2 Quinnipiac battle it out for a trophy.
Here's how each side will line up:
How Minnesota and Quinnipiac will line up tonight for the national championship pic.twitter.com/DNfD5CgHgQ— Patrick Donnelly (@PatDonn12) April 8, 2023
Catch yourself up to speed with everything you need to know going into the national title game:
The 2023 Division I men's hockey championship is today
The 2023 Men's Frozen Four national championship is today, Saturday, April 8, at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
Here is how to follow the action: