PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Matthew Peca recorded the fastest hat trick in NCAA tournament history, scoring three goals in a 3:12 span of the first period, leading top-seeded Quinnipiac to a 5-1 victory over Union in the East Regional final on Sunday night.
The Bobcats, who notched their first-ever tournament win by rallying past Canisius Saturday, will face Saint Cloud State April 11 in one of the two national semifinal games in Pittsburgh.
Quinnipiac (29-7-5), an upstart that rose to the No. 1 ranking this season for the first time, trailed Canisius, the No. 16 seed, 3-1, on Saturday before turning on the jets en route to a historic weekend in Rhode Island. Peca ignited a three-goal rally in the 4-3 win over the Golden Griffins, then had three more by the 12:58 mark Sunday. The Bobcats scored six goals in a span of 24:56 across two games.
Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell lost a shutout bid when Daniel Ciampini scored 3:15 into the third for Union (22-13-5).