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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

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

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).

Quote of the Day

I think everyone left it out there. Every game this season, regular season and playoffs, we played as hard as we could. We're not out of the playoffs right now because of lack of effort, and that's all that we can ask of each other.

— Predators defenseman Seth Jones after Nashville was eliminated by Chicago in Game 6 on Saturday