Minnesota Duluth wins 2nd straight title, beating UMass 3-0

Jose Verdugo
Abril 17, 2019

All three of the Bulldogs' national championships have come in this decade, with 2011 in St. Paul being the first.

The Minutemen proved doubters wrong all season on their way to the Hockey East regular season championship and a spot in the national title game, Saturday night at KeyBank Center. They shut out UMass for just the third time all season, 3-0.

MA defenseman Cale Makar, the Hobey Baker Award victor as the top player in college hockey, was one of four Minutemen with three shots on goal. A lot of Duluth's dominance came in the faceoff circle, as they held a 31-20 advantage from the dot.

The Bulldogs' defensive core was spectacular on Saturday night, stifling the Minutemen at every turn, with active sticks disrupting every entry, cutting off every pass, pressuring every puck-carrier and keeping UMass from ever developing a flow.

Duluth pushed UMs to such a height and provoked that Minutemen took only seven shots at halfway point of the game. UMD was up 1-0 before UMass even put a shot on goal.

"We just didn't really get stretches of momentum". UMass was outshot 14-5 in the first, and only had a pair of decent chances created by the fourth line.

"We could have done a better job getting traffic in front of the goalie's eyes and getting pucks to the net", UMass sophomore John Leonard said.

The Bulldogs carried a 57-second power play into the middle frame after a huge hit from Jake Gaudet sent him to the box toward the end of the first. They killed all four penalties they took, allowing just three total shots in eight minutes.

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"We were out of sorts", UMass coach Greg Carvel said. "I don't mind losing to a good hockey team and, even at our best, I don't know if we beat Duluth".

UMass tried to adjust by altering the sides of its wingers but couldn't find the combinations or the spark to find a goal. "Are they really super motivated to get back there?" "We tried to start competing harder". The Bulldogs challenged UMass moving out of its own zone, through the neutral zone and into their defensive end.

Riley Tufte began the play by controlling a bouncing puck at the right boards and feeding Anderson at the left point. "We'll go home knowing that we lost to a better team tonight, for sure".

All the Bulldogs had to do in the third was play it out and, as they did all game, outmatch the Minutemen on all sides of the ice.

Russ Cohen already reported that Philadelphia has interest and I am hearing at least one other team (which does not now have an "official" vacacny) may contact Sandelin if they opt to go in a different direction.

The Avalanche selected Makar with the fourth pick in the 2017 draft. Goalie Hunter Shepard backstopped the Bulldogs to their second straight title. I am very respected and I am passionate about putting this jersey on every single sport.

"He's unbelievable. I feel very fortunate that I got to coach him", Carvel said. "Their puck poise, their puck management was extremely good".

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