Minnesota Duluth dominates UMass to win second straight NCAA title

Minnesota Duluth players celebrate Saturday after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 in the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live

By Matt Wellens

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With 2:10 remaining in regulation Saturday in the NCAA championship game at KeyBank Center, the University of Minnesota Duluth pep band blasted its fight song for the masses.

Bulldogs fans weren’t singing along to the song, however. They were well into a chant that would continue until the final buzzer.

“Back-to-back! Back-to-back!”

The Bulldogs put the wraps on their second consecutive national championship Saturday via a dominating 3-0 victory over Massachusetts before a crowd of 13,624, getting goals from senior captain Parker Mackay, sophomore defenseman Mikey Anderson and freshman center Jackson Cates.

Anderson finished with three points, Mackay had two and junior goaltender Hunter Shepard — now a perfect 8-0 in NCAA tournament games — made 18 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and school-record 15th of his college career.

“This is awesome, it never gets old,” said Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin, who is now one of 10 coaches to win three or more NCAA Division I hockey titles. “Every one is different, they’re obviously special.”

 

All three of the Bulldogs’ national championships have come in this decade, with 2011 in St. Paul being the first.

UMD is the first team to go back-to-back since Denver did in 2004 and 2005. The next 13 champions failed to even come close to repeating, not even making the Frozen Four.

“To be able to go back-to-back at the NCAA level, it’s just a credit to my teammates and the coaching staff,” Mackay said. “Sandy, it starts there from the top down. We’re going to enjoy it again just as much as the first one because it doesn’t come around that often. To be able to do it two in a row, unbelievable.”

Mackay and Anderson connected twice in the first two periods to stake the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead going into the third period.

Like last year’s 2-1 NCAA title victory over Notre Dame at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul when senior Karson Kuhlman scored nine minutes in, the captain once again struck early in the first.

Mackay scored on the power play 3:51 into the championship game, taking a feed up the middle from Anderson and going forehand to backhand for his 16th goal of the season.

Sophomore center Justin Richards won a faceoff late in the second to Mackay to set up the second score. The captain then wheeled himself into a position to find Anderson racing unmarked up the middle. Anderson fired a shot top corner, bar-down over the glove of UMass freshman goaltender Filip Lindberg.

“Parker had great plays on both of them,” Anderson said. “You got to give him a lot of credit on those.

“It’s unbelievable. He’s been our glue guy all year. He’s taken the ‘C’ and worn it with pride.”

Anderson’s third point — another assist — came when he blocked a shot that would eventually lead to the dagger by Cates with 2:42 left in regulation. The goal came after the Bulldogs killed a fourth UMass power play.

The Minutemen finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage in the final after going 3-for-5 against Denver in a 4-3 overtime win in the Frozen Four semifinals.

“It’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that I don’t think that was our best tonight,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “I don’t mind losing to a good hockey team and, even at our best, I don’t know if we beat Duluth. We’ll go home knowing that we lost to a better team tonight.”

Game summary

Massachusetts 0-0-0—0
Minnesota Duluth 1-1-1—3
First period — 1. UMD, Parker Mackay 16 (Mikey Anderson, Riley Tufte), 3:51 (pp). Penalties — Marc Del Gaizo, UM (interference), 2:31; Scott Perunovich, UMD (holding), 12:23; Jake Gaudet, UM (indirect contact to the head), 18:37.
Second period — 2. UMD, Anderson 6 (Mackay, Riley Tufte), 15:48. Penalties — Noah Cates, UMD (roughing), 16:59; Cale Makar, UM (interference), 19:41.
Third period — 3. UMD, Jackson Cates 8 (Tanner Laderoute, Mikey Anderson), 17:18. Penalties — Kobe Roth, UMD (indirect contact to the head elbowing), 6:47; Peter Krieger, UMD (holding), 14:58; Kurt Keats, UM (roughing), 18:15.
Shots on goal — UM 5-7-6—18; UMD 13-11-6—31. Goalies — Filip Lindberg, UM (31 shots-28 saves); Hunter Shepard, UMD (00-00). Power plays — UM 0-of-4; UMD 1-of-4. Referees — Brian Aaron, Colin Kronfrost. Linesmen — Nick Bradshaw, Sam Shikowsky. Att. — 13, 624.

Check out coverage from the NCHC.

Justin Richards (19) of Minnesota Duluth celebrates with fans after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Fans react after Minnesota Duluth defeated Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Nick Swaney (23), Billy Exell (16), and Matt Anderson (3) of Minnesota Duluth celebrate with fans after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Fans react after Minnesota Duluth defeated Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth players and staff celebrate after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth players and staff celebrate after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Nick Wolff (5) of Minnesota Duluth kisses a piece of net after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Parker Mackay (39) of Minnesota Duluth celebrates with the trophy after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Parker Mackay (39) of Minnesota Duluth celebrates with the trophy after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Hunter Shepard (32) of Minnesota Duluth celebrates with the trophy after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Louie Roehl (6) of Minnesota Duluth celebrates with the trophy after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Noah Cates (21), Ben Patt (36), Tanner Laderoute (13) and Jackson Cates (20) of Minnesota Duluth celebrate after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth players celebrate after a Jackson Cates goal during the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Jackson Cates (20) of Minnesota Duluth scores a goal against Massachusetts in the third period during the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Peter Krieger (25) of Minnesota Duluth gets tangled with Cale Makar  (16) of Massachusetts during the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Goaltender Hunter Shepard (32) of Minnesota Duluth deflects a shot on goal against Massachusetts during the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Goaltender Hunter Shepard (32) of Minnesota Duluth deflects a shot on goal against Massachusetts during the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth players celebrate Saturday after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 in the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth players celebrate with head coach Scott Sandelin Saturday after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 in the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Noah Cates and Riley Tufte (27) of Minnesota Duluth celebrate Saturday after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 in the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth players celebrate Saturday after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 in the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth players celebrate Saturday after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 in the NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Hunter Shepard (32) of Minnesota Duluth deflects a shot on goal against Massachusetts Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Marc Del Gaizo (2) of Massachusetts and Tanner Laderoute (13) of Minnesota Duluth compete for the puck Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Nick Swaney (23) of Minnesota Duluth controls the puck against Massachusetts Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Peter Krieger (25) and Noah Cates (21) of Minnesota Duluth control the puck near John Leonard  (9) of Massachusetts Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Noah Cates (21) of Minnesota Duluth controls the puck against Massachusetts Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Justin Richards (19) of Minnesota Duluth celebrates a first period goal against Massachusetts Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Champ the Bulldog fist bumps Andy Wyse of Chicago, Ill. at the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Nick Wolff of Minnesota Duluth greets fans at the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Champ the Bulldog with fans at the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth cheerleaders perform at the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Head coach Scott Sandelin of Minnesota Duluth greets fans at the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
A Minnesota Duluth fan watches the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Jacob Runge plays the baritone with the Minnesota Duluth pep band at the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Champ the Bulldog and Sam the Minuteman pose for photos at the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Champ the Bulldog dances with Molly Watson of Duluth at the red carpet entrance Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth players celebrate a Mikey Anderson goal in the second period against Massachusetts Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Minnesota Duluth scores a goal against Massachusetts in the second period Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Noah Cates (21) of Minnesota Duluth and Niko Hildenbrand (19) of Massachusetts compete for the puck Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
Justin Richards (19) of Minnesota Duluth shoots the puck on goal against Filip Lindberg (35) of Massachusetts Saturday during the NCAA Championship at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Clint Austin / The Rink Live
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