Yale and Quinnipiac are only seven minutes apart, but they will play in Pittsburgh Saturday for the NCAA Hockey Title, joining the UConn women’s basketball team to give the state two winter champions. With NHL-bound goalie and potential player of the year Eric Hartzell in net, Quinnipiac practically put the game out-of-reach during the first 12 minutes by jumping ahead 3-0 en route to a 4-1 win. The game started late due to Yale needing overtime to beat UMass-Lowell in the other semifinal Thursday.
The Bobcats took advantage of a quick St. Cloud (MN) penalty, as Russell Goodman got the puck behind the goal and worked it around to Jordan Samuels-Thomas for the 1-0 lead at 1:49 into the game.
Samuels-Thomas got behind the net again a few minutes later and almost scored on a curl around. The rebound went to Ben Arnt to the left of the net, who put it in to make it 2-0 just 5:07 into the game.
After several more minutes of pressure and St. Cloud chasing offensive players, Zach Davies fired a slap shot that was saved only to have Jeremy Langlois put in the rebound to make it 3-0 11:19 into the game.
Quinnipiac continued to dominate possession, though St. Cloud did occasionally break through momentarily toward the goal, and was within one goal for eight minutes in the second period after a goal by Joey Benick made it 3-1.
However, from that point on Quinnipiac slowed down the game in front of their NHL-bound goalie and was never really threatened, putting the game out of reach on a Kellen Jones 14:31 goal to provide the final 4-1 margin.
Quinnipiac will go into Saturday’s championship as the favorite, having defeated Yale three times.
For ESPN’s account of Yale’s overtime win over Lowell out of Massachusetts, click here.