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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Quinnipiac, the No. 1 overall seed, cruises to first Frozen Four berth, defeats Union, 5-1

Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 9:14 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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).

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery