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Patrick Donnelly | | April 9, 2023

Quinnipiac men's hockey wins first-ever national championship in overtime thriller over Minnesota

Quinnipiac vs. Minnesota: 2023 NCAA Men's Frozen Four championship highlights

TAMPA, Fla. – For the first time in program history, Quinnipiac has reached the summit of college hockey, defeating Minnesota 3-2 in overtime to win the 2023 NCAA Division I men’s hockey national championship.

Jacob Quillan scored 10 seconds into overtime, putting home a forehand-backhand move off a feed from Sam Lipkin (two assists) to win it.

“It’s unreal,” Quillan said. “I mean, the boys put in so much blood, sweat and tears all year. It’s a dream come true, you know. We got it done. We’re gonna celebrate hard tonight.”

It was Quillan’s third goal of the Frozen Four after he had two goals against Michigan in the semifinals. He finished the tournament with five goals and two assists for seven points in four games.

“It’s a set play we have,” Quillan said of his goal. “Lipkin finds the middle. I mean [Zach] Metsa made a nice pass, and then [Lipkin] displayed his skill with the backhand sauce. I went back with it to the opposite side and tucked it in.”

Collin Graf tied the game as a power play expired with 2:47 remaining in regulation after head coach Rand Pecknold pulled Yaniv Perets (13 saves) for the extra attacker.

Cristophe Tellier also scored for the Bobcats (34-4-3), and Zach Metsa had three assists.

“It’s just awesome,” QU head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We’re excited. I’m so proud of these guys. Great group. It’s awesome to see all my alums in the stands. I can’t even put it into words. I’m struggling right now.”

John Mittelstadt and Jaxon Nelson each scored for the Golden Gophers (29-10-1). Justen Close made 27 saves.

“Tip your hat to Quinnipiac, but we were in the right spot,” Minnesota coach Bob Motzko said. “Turn the puck over for one [goal against]. Second one never should have went in. You know, that was an unfortunate situation right there. So we had a chance.

“I mean, I’m crushed. We just have a wonderful group. The love in that room and that group … I’m just crushed for them. For all of us.”

Mittelstadt opened the scoring just over five minutes into the game. QU’s Jayden Lee fanned on a breakout pass, and Connor Kurth was right there to pounce on the turnover before sending it out in front where Mittelstadt put it home.

Nelson doubled the lead less than five minutes into the second. Brock Faber’s shot took a huge bounce off the end boards, and Nelson was right there to put it home.

The Bobcats answered about three minutes later. Zach Metsa kept the puck in at the blue line before driving down the wall and feeding Tellier in front for a redirect.

The third period was all Quinnipiac before Graf broke through, racking up attacking zone time and outshooting the Gophers, 14-2, in the period.

QU previously reached the title game twice, falling to Yale in 2013 and North Dakota in 2016, the latter was also in Tampa.

“I don’t know if it’s really sunk in yet,” Metsa said. It’s been a crazy journey for it to be a goal at the beginning of the year and for us to come through … I’m happy for all the alums and the guys that came before us that set the foundation that we were able to grow from. … It’s a dream come true.”

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