Yale Clips # 1 Quinnipiac, Celebrates National Championship Crown


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Yale winger TRENT RUFFOLO (11), the sophomore from Coral Springs, Florida, who has netted ten goals in two seasons since arriving in New Haven, and Quinnipiac’s Canadian legionnaire MATTHEW PECA (20), the sophomore winger from Petawawa, Ontario, who was the seventh round selection (# 201 overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, compete for the puck along the boards during the so-called “Battle of Whitney Avenue” that served as the Final of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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A late second period goal that appeared to materialize out of seemingly nowhere and a surprising follow up strike off of a rebound from a very sharp angle tilted the contest in favor of the underdog Ivy Leaguers once and for all as # 15 YALE UNIVERSITY completely shut down top ranked QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY 4-0 to win the coveted NCAA national championship title for the very first time ever in school history.

# 1 Quinnipiac had already defeated its intra-city foe from Connecticut three times previously during this 2012/13 campaign, including a 3-0 triumph in the third place consolation game of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference playoff tournament at Atlantic City, New Jersey in late March. To review, that last loss to the Bobcats had looked as if it could very well cost the Bulldogs an invitation to the annual Sweet Sixteen On Ice. And it would have, too, had Michigan been able to conquer Notre Dame in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament finale.

However, resugent Yale truly found its form once the NCAA tournament began and certainly earned the right to play in the Final of the 2013 Frozen Four after knocking off two of the nation’s three highest ranked teams. Extra time had been required in the NCAA opener against # 2 Minnesota as well as in the Frozen Four semifinal opposite the # 3 University of Massachusetts – Lowell side. In their other NCAA tournament contest this spring, the Bulldogs trailed for two periods against # 7 North Dakota before rallying to score unanswered four goals in final twenty minutes.

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Yale’s Canadian legionnaire goaltender JEFF MALCOLM (33), the undrafted senior from Lethbridge, Alberta, who posted career numbers (30 ga, 2.24 avg, .919 save pct) his final season in New Haven, tracks the puck after halting Quinnipiac’s leading goal-scorer JORDAN SAMUELS-THOMAS (19), the homegrown junior right wing from West Hartford who was the seventh round pick (# 203 overall) of the Atlanta Thrashers at the 2009 NHL Draft and redshirted last season after transferring from Bowling Green State University.
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The 2013 NCAA Final, an all-Connecticut clash watched by an audience of 18,184 spectators at the Consol Engery Center in Pittsburgh, had all the makings of a classic goaltenders’ duel with the second intermission literally only seconds away.

But then Quinnipiac shot-stopper ERIC HARTZELL, the senior from White Bear Lake, Minnesota, who was selected at the First Team (East) All-America goaltender for this 2012/13 season, went behind his own net and attempted to play the puck around the boards on the backhand. Pinching in near the left point, though, was Yale defenseman GUS YOUNG, the junior from Deadham, Massachusetts, who was chosen by the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round (# 184 overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Draft. Hartzell had plenty of time to get back in position, but unsung Bulldogs center CLINTON BOURBONAIS, parked in the left faceoff circle, was able to redirect the low shot from Young ever so slightly and register what has to be the biggest goal in the entire history of Yale ice hockey.

The homegrown junior from Colcehster had notched only three goals in 35 games this term for the Yale varsity coming into the 2013 NCAA Final; then again, all throughout this 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament, Yale benefited by important goals coming from the most unlikeliest sources.

The energized Bulldogs doubled their advantage roughly three and a half minutes into the final frame after Bourbonais, a biomedical engineering major who has totaled 27 assists combined the past two seasons for Yale, sent CHARLES ORZETTI into zone down the left wing. A long, routine shot was easily turned aside by the standout Quinnipiac netminder but the hustling freshman from Wyckoff, New Jersey, tracked down the rebound and squeezed the puck through the five hole of the Hartzell from a very sharp angle. Just the second goal of the season, then, for Orzetti, who only skated 19 games for the Bulldogs this term (but did appear in all of Yale’s last eleven contests).

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Yale captain ANDREW MILLER (17), the senior right wing from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, who led the Bulldogs with 18 goals and was also joint top scorer with 41 points this term, beats unfortunate Quinnipiac netminder ERIC HARTZELL, the undrafted standout (42 ga, 1.57 avg, .933 save pct) who later signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, through the five hole on the breakaway at the Consol Energy Center.
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Fittingly enough, it was Yale captain ANDREW MILLER, the very same man who had lifted the Bulldogs over # 2 UMass – Lowell at the semifinal hurde by scoring a vital goal in overtime, who effectively broke the back of Quinnipiac after taking a smooth pass from left wing KENNY AGOSTINO, the junior left wing from Flanders, New Jersey, who was tabbed by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round (# 140 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft and paced Yale with 24 assists this season.

Miller, who finished with two goals and five points in four games for Yale at this year’s NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament, would be honored as the Most Outstanding Player.

In a tactical move that was grounded in far more reality as compared to desperation, Quinnipiac removed its goaltender in favor of an extra attacker with well over seven minutes to skate in the third period but it was not long before Yale center JESSE ROOT was able to find the back of the empty net.

Yale senior netminder JEFF MALCOLM became only the fifth goaltender to post a shutout in the championship final over the long, 65-year history of the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament. Denver University (1968 and 2004), Boston University (1972) and Boston College (2010) are the only other schools in history to have kept the scoresheet clean in the NCAA championship game. The triumphant Bulldogs, meanwhile, became just the third Ivy League instution of higher learning after Cornell (1967 and 1970) and Harvard (1989) to ever celebrate the coveted NCAA national title.

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Yale center JESSE ROOT (20), the undrafted junior center from Pittsburgh who scored three goals in the Bulldogs’ last four games of this 2012/13 season, lines up a wrist shot that Quinnipiac defenseman DANNY FEDERICO (22), the undrafted sophomore from Acton, Massachusetts, seeks to block during the all-New Haven Final of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament at the Consol Energy Center in the western Pennsylvania city where the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers all meet.
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2013 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament Final
Consol Energy Center – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
YALE UNIVERSITY 4 – QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY 0

39:59 … YALE – Bourbonais 4 (Young)
43:35 … YALE – Orzetti 2 (Bourbonais, Laganiere)
49:06 … YALE – Miller 18 (Agostino)
53:02 … YALE – Root 12 (Miller, O’Gara) – eng

QUINNIPIAC : Hartzell – Davies, Tolkinen ; Federico, Dalhuisen ; Barron, Currie – Peca, K. Jones, C. Jones ; Harvey, Langlois, St. Denis ; van Brabant, Arnt, Samuels-Thomas ; Bui, Hibbeler, Goodman

YALE : Malcolm – Young, O’Gara ; Fallen, Obuchowski ; Dueck, Witek – Agostino, Root, Miller ; Orzetti, Bourbonais, Laganiere ; Balch, Wilson, Day ; Ruffolo, Cooper, Killian

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