MInnesota Duluth leaves Buffalo with its second straight NCAA Championship

The Bulldogs beat UMass 3-0 in the Frozen Four championship game

Paul Hamilton
April 13, 2019 - 11:26 pm

Photo: Elsa - Getty Images

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Minnesota Duluth played like champions on Saturday, shutting out UMass 3-0 to win their second straight NCAA championship.

The Bulldogs became the first team since Denver in 2005 to win back-to-back championships.

Duluth came out flying in the first period, forcing Filip Lindberg into four quality saves in the first 2:31 of the game.

UMass played very well for the first two periods against Denver, but they were dominate by the Pioneers in the third period and never got their game back for the rest of the tournament.

The defensive zone coverage looked like many Sabres games this season and it finally cost them when Parker Mackay shook free in front for a power play goal. The Minutemen were lucky they weren’t down 4-0 after just five minutes of this game as Lindberg stood on his head.

Mackay finishes the season with points in five straight games, scoring three goals and three assists. He also won the Most Outstanding Performer for the tournament.

The second period was quite a bit tighter until Minnesota Duluth defenseman Mikey Anderson shook free down the slot to make it 2-0. There wasn’t a UMass player in sight on the coverage.

Both teams tried to give the game away with taking stupid penalties, but the Bulldogs did a great job on the penalty kill and kept most scoring chances away from goaltender Hunter Shepard. Shepard made 18 saves on the night.

With just 2:42 left in the game, Jackson Cates iced the game from a bad angle.

UMass seemed very nervous to start the game and didn’t live up to their No. 1 ranking in either of the games in the Frozen Four.

Hobey Baker Trophy winner Cale Makar of UMass also had a very tough tournament. The sophomore is supposed to be leaving school to sign with Colorado, but after the Frozen Four, you have to wonder if he would play any games in the playoffs for the Avalanche.

It’ll be interesting to see if Duluth’s coach Scott Sandelin is on Jason Botterill’s radar in his coach search. Sandelin has spent 19 years as the Bulldogs coach going 369-311-87. He’s 21-6 in the NCAA Tournament and 7-2 in the Frozen Four.

Sandelin has 10 seasons of a winning percentage of .562 or better. In the last three years, he’s 82-34-12.

Sandelin was a second round pick of Montreal’s in 1982 and played with the Canadiens, Flyers and North Stars.

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