For the second year in a row, Minnesota Duluth is the NCAA DI men’s ice hockey national champion. UMD defeated Massachusetts 3-0 in Saturday’s championship game to claim the title.
The Bulldogs started Saturday’s contest with the bulk of offensive control, dominating the net with 14 shots on goal to Massachusetts’ five. Filip Lindberg was able to handle most of the action, including a bouncing puck in the crease and a close wraparound attempt on the post. The attack paid off eventually though, as UMD’s Parker Mackay took a calm and pretty backhand over the right shoulder of Lindberg. UMass was able to get a few shots off, but most of the period was spent in a neutral zone back-and-forth between the well-matched teams.
As if UMD wasn’t already playing well, the Bulldogs dominated the second frame, adding 11 more shots on net and taking offensive control. Lindberg was stalwart for UMass, taking shot after shot until Mikey Anderson took a centering pass and hit the top shelf behind Lindberg. That put UMD up 2-0, and a textbook power play kill by the Bulldogs rounded out the period.
Massachusetts found an offensive spark in the third and final period, but despite two power play opportunities, the Minutemen were unable to cash in. Again, play in the neutral zone dominated much of the period and each team mustered only six shots on goal each. To seal the win, Minnesota Duluth’s Jackson Cates netted the puck on a low shot that just barely snuck between Lindberg and the pipe.
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UMd netminder Hunter Shepard turned away 18 shots in his seventh shutout of the season and maintained a perfect 8-0 record in NCAA tournament games.
Minnesota Duluth won its second national championship in as many years after appearing in its third-straight title game appearance. Last season, the Bulldogs defeated Notre Dame 2-1 for the national title.
Callan Sheridan is a graduate of Saint Peter's University and has produced content for The Press Enterprise, the American Junior Golf Association and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Follow her on twitter at @calsh_13.