FF: Quinnipiac takes out Michigan, will play Minnesota in title game
TAMPA, Fla. — Quinnipiac will have another crack at winning its first national championship.
Third-period goals from Sam Lipkin (the game-winner) and Zach Metsa gave the Bobcats a 5-2 win over Michigan in Thursday’s national semifinal.
Quinnipiac will make its third appearance in the national championship game. The Bobcats were runners-up in 2013 (Yale) and 2016 (North Dakota).
Through two periods, Michigan and Quinnipiac were tied at 2-2 after the teams traded goals.
Jacob Quinlan opened the scoring for the Bobcats in the first period, followed quickly by Seamus Casey, who tied the score 1:31 later.
Quinlan struck again midway through the period, giving the Bobcats a 2-1 lead, but Michigan tied the score again when Hobey Baker finalist Adam Fantilli finished a feed from Luke Hughes at the 9:45 mark of the second period.
The Wolverines had a significant push in the second period, but Quinnipiac goaltender Yaniv Perets was up to the task and made 11 saves.
The Wolverines had a 2-on-1 off the opening faceoff of the third period, but shot the puck wide.
About one minute later, Quinnipiac took the lead and would never relinquish it.
Collin Graf took a shot off a rush, and it trickled behind Erik Portillo and wide. Sam Lipkin was the second man to the net, and he retrieved the puck behind the net and tried to get it back out in front. In doing so, the puck hit the back of Portillo and went into Michigan’s net.
Michigan had a chance to tie the game on the power play at the 14:08 mark of the third when Christopher Fillion was called for clashing, but the Wolverines couldn’t cash in on the power play.
The teams were up and down in the period, and the Wolverines continued to generate opportunities. Luke Hughes walked the blue line with 8:24 left and snapped a shot through traffic that Perets knocked down with his glove.
The Bobcats struck again with exactly 7:00 on the block. Captain Zach Metsa fired a puck from the left wall that beat Portillo and gave the Bobcats a comfortable 4-2 lead.
Quinnipiac added an empty-net goal with 1:45 left to clinch the victory.
Quinnipiac and Minnesota will play for the national title on Saturday night (8 p.m.). Quinnipiac is playing for its first championship in program history. Minnesota is playing for its first title in 20 years (2003).
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