from College Hockey Inc,
Massachusetts, with an impressive championship game performance, captured the school’s first national championship Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The Minutemen’s convincing 5-0 win against St. Cloud State marked the culmination of an uncertain season in college hockey, one that was abbreviated and for many teams paused due to the pandemic.
Saturday, however, was a showcase of the sport, with UMass even close to full strength thanks to the return of goaltender Filip Lindberg and forward Carson Gicewicz from Covid-related quarantine. Lindberg was perfect, stopping all 25 shots he faced and setting an NCAA Tournament record with his fourth career shutout in the event.
UMass is only four years removed from a last-place finish in Hockey East and a 5-29-2 record in 2016-17, head coach Greg Carvel’s first with the program. This season’s team finishes 20-5-4, the fewest losses for an NCAA champion since 1993 (Maine, 40-1-2). Its 11-0-3 run to end the season is the longest unbeaten streak to end a season since Union in 2014 (16-0-1).
“I can't say a lot to describe it. The feeling's unbelievable,” said captain Jake Gaudet. “To be here four years, the guys that have come through this program and worked really hard, to wear a letter and help lead our team to the biggest national stage is one of my proudest achievements and it's something I'll never forget.”
Below, watch the final minute of play and the celebration.