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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

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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

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday