Quinnipiac beats Minnesota in OT to win the national championship
TAMPA, Fla. — All it took was 10 seconds.
After dominating the third period and tying the game in the final moments, Quinnipiac only needed 10 seconds in overtime to win its first national championship.
Jacob Quinlan won the opening faceoff of overtime back to Zach Metsa. The grad defenseman worked it up the right wall to Sam Lipkin, and Quinlan drove the net, accepting a pass from Lipkian and slipping a backhander past Justen Close.
The night ended with the Bobcats celebrating, but it began with them trying to find a way to recover from a messy opening few minutes.
The Gophers had a power play just 21 seconds into the game but couldn’t capitalize. Nevertheless, Minnesota did strike first a few minutes after that power play expired. John Mittelstadt, who watched his brother Luke score twice in the semifinals on Thursday, beat Quinnipiac goaltender Yaniv Perets on a wraparound play that Connor Kurth set up.
After Mittelstadt’s goal, both teams settled in and didn’t allow many scoring chances for the rest of the period.
Minnesota led 1-0 after the first period.
The Gophers also found the back of the net early in the second period. Brock Faber collected the puck at the point and -- what looked like purposefully -- shot the puck off the end wall after lanes to the net were clogged with Bobcats. The puck re-directed off the dasher and bounced directly onto the stick of Jaxson Nelson, who beat a recovering Perets to make it 2-0 Gophers.
However, the two-goal lead didn’t last for long.
Zach Metsa scored from the right-wing wall against Michigan on Thursday night. On this night, he took the puck down the right-wing wall again and found teammate Cristophe Tellier in front, who hammered the puck past Justen Close, which cut the Minnesota lead to 2-1.
After a few back-and-forth minutes, the Bobcats went on the power play with 7:48 left in the second period when Jimmy Snuggerud was called for tripping. Quinnipiac had a chance when Sam Lipkin tipped a shot in front of the crease, but it sailed over the net. Moments later, Tellier took a shot from the right flank that Close swatted with his glove, which somehow stayed out of the net.
The Bobcats continued to apply pressure after the power play expired. With 4:28 left in the second period, Collin Graf worked a puck to the net that also popped up, but Close gloved it for a whistle.
The second period ended with Minnesota leading 2-1.
Three minutes into the third period, the Gophers went on the power play when Logan Cooley tried to split multiple Quinnipiac defenders, and Skylar Brind’Amour was called for hooking. On the power play, Jackson LaCombe had a shot from the point through traffic that Pertes stopped with his right pad, but the Gophers couldn’t generate anything more than that.
The Bobcats had a strong offensive push around the midpoint of the third period. Heading into the TV timeout with 10:54 left in the third, Quinnipiac registered three shots in a one-minute span, but the shots were either blocked or stopped by Close.
From the start of the second period through the midpoint of the third, the Bobcats had an 18-7 shot advantage.
Metsa had another chance from the left-wing wall with 8:40 left in the third period, but Close got his stick on the shot through traffic.
Pushing for offense in the final 10 minutes, the Bobcats allowed a 2-on-1 with 8:30 to play, but Perets dove to his left and managed to deflect Jimmy Snuggerud’s shot over the net with his blocker.
About a minute later, Close stopped a point shot from Charles-Alexis Legault through traffic, which he couldn’t have seen, to keep the Gophers in front. The Gophers then called a timeout with 6:43 to play after icing the puck. At the timeout, Quinnipiac was outshooting Minnesota 9-1 in the third period and 24-14 overall.
After the timeout, Ethan de Jong tipped a shot from Jake Johnson that sailed past Close but also wide of the net. Moments later, the Gophers iced the puck once again.
Logan Cooley had a backhand chance alone in front of the net with five minutes left but had his pocket picked by Sam Lipkin. As Quinnipiac exited the zone, Cooley and Lipkin got tied up, and Cooley’s stick rode up into Lipkin’s face; he was called for high sticking with 4:52 left on the clock.
Close made an incredible stand-up save on Jack Quinlan about halfway through the power play. Close made another high-pressure save when Tellier worked a puck to the front of the net, and Quinlan got a whack at it on the doorstep.
Quinnipiac called time to regroup with 36 seconds left on the power play and 3:28 left in the game. Pecknold chose to pull Yaniv Perets for the extra-attacker for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Minnesota killed off the remaining power-play time.
Seconds after Cooley left the box, Collin Graf tied the game with 2:47 on the clock. Grad took a shot from the lower left circle that beat Close and tied the game.
Quinnipiac iced the puck with 35.6 seconds left in regulation and Minnesota won the draw, but the puck was fumbled at the blue line by Mike Koster at the blue line and the Bobcats cleared the zone, which ran the rest of the time off the clock.
The game went to overtime tied 2-2 and Quinnipiac had a 29-15 shot advantage through 60 minutes. This was the first national title game that went to overtime since 2011, when Minnesota Duluth beat Michigan in the championship game from St. Paul.