World news – UMass Hockey wins 1st national title by dominating St. Cloud State

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UMass senior striker Garrett Wait handles the puck in front of David Hrenak of St. Cloud State Huskies during the Division I men’s ice hockey championship held at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 10, 2021. Justin K. Aller

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UMass junior goalie Filip Lindberg protects the net against St. Cloud State during the Division I men’s ice hockey championship held at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on April 10, 2021. Justin K. Aller

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The Minutemen won their first national championship on Saturday night, dominating St. Cloud State 5-0. UMass was closed by Minnesota Duluth in 2019, but it wasn’t long before the lamp was lit and there were showers of fireworks at the PPG Paints Arena Freshman defender Aaron Bohlinger’s first career goal gave UMass its first lead in the national championship game. The Minutemen were excluded in 2019. Bohlinger finished a 2-on-0 pass from Ryan Sullivan 7 minutes and 26 seconds later. He carried the puck on the ice after Cal Kiefiuk distracted him to an inch-perfect point in the defensive zone, starting the break. Sullivan and Bohlinger approached the net from opposite sides and circled to hug after the puck hit the net.

The UMass-vaunted penalty went in after a cross check by Anthony Del Gaizo at 3:27 pm Service provided. UMass only allowed one shot on goal and quietly wiped out the chance.

The Minutemen doubled their lead with 1:04 in the remaining time. Kiefiuk carried the puck behind the net and found Reed Lebster on the back step over the fold. Lebster buried his first goal since Jan 6, only his second of the season, to make it 2-0. UMass was initially out of the game but St. Cloud State took possession and UMass took it back and negated that possible call.

St. Cloud State almost took a quick lead before many took their places when Veeti Miettinen hit the bar 90 seconds later. He hit Lindberg’s glove but couldn’t hold the shot enough.

UMass captain Jake Gaduet drew UMass’s first penalty 24 seconds into the second half after Seamus Donohue tripped him behind the St. Cloud State net . The Minutemen could not generate any chances with a man advantage. In the face of St. Cloud State, more dangerous opportunities were created.

That became an issue at that time. UMass went a man again with 3:57 in the second when Ryan Sullivan was whistled for stumbling. A minute, 13 seconds after the power play began, UMass senior center Philip Lagunov chased a distracted pass in its defensive zone and raced up the ice. St. Cloud State defender Nick Perbix, a Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick, stood between him and the gate. Lagunov slid the puck between Perbix’s stick and the skates and regained possession on the other side. Alone with Huskies goalkeeper David Hrenak, Lagunov faked to the right and then slid a backhand shot between Hrenak’s legs. The puck paused in the crease for a moment after it ricocheted off Hrenak, and Lagunov watched it from behind the net. It had enough momentum to cross the goal line and Lagunov triumphed 3-0.

UMass’ second power play went much better. The Minutemen parked in the St. Cloud State zone and worked around the net with the puck. Oliver Chau set a clear line for Matthew Kessel, who brought them into the net to 4-0.

Junior captain Bobby Trivigno, who was suspended for the 2019 title game, put the final nail in six minutes after the start of the third half the coffin. He intercepted a pass on the left circle during a subpar line change at Huskies and calmly stuck a wrist shot into the net to make it 5-0. Lebster added support for the game.

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Ref: https://www.gazettenet.com

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