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Yale relishes upset win over Quinnipiac

by Bob Snow /

Top 10 2013 championship facts

1) Yale wins its first-ever national championship.

2) Yale ends the 24-year drought for an ECAC national champion. (Harvard in 1989 with a 4-3 OT win over Minnesota)

3) Yale's 22 victories is the fewest for a national champion since Minnesota's 22 in 1974.

4) Yale scored more goals in the championship game than in a combined previous three games this season against Quinnipiac.

5) The 2013 championship game is the first for two teams from the same state since Boston University and Boston College met in 1978.

6) The game went scoreless for the longest time since 1968, and the second longest in NCAA history.

7) There were six NHL draft picks in the championship game; three from each team: Yale's Kenny Agostino (Calgary), Gus Young (Colorado), Rob O'Gara (Boston); Quinnipiac's Matthew Peca (Tampa Bay), Kellen Jones (Edmonton), Jordan Samuels-Thomas (Jets).

8) Yale is the only team in NCAA history to beat three No. 1 seeds to get to the title game.

9) There are only five championship-game shutouts in NCAA history.

10) The 2014 Frozen Four shifts 300 miles east of Pittsburgh in the Keystone state to Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.

PITTSBURGH – It was a meeting of ECAC rivals Saturday, but polar opposites in the national rankings entering the NCAA tournament.

So, how did No. 16 Yale University take down No. 1 Quinnipiac by a 4-0 score?

"Our goaltending is good. Their goaltending is good," Yale coach Keith Allain said two days ago.

Saturday, Yale's was better.

"[Jeff Malcolm] was the best player on the ice," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said about the Bulldogs' goaltender without hesitation. "I still think [goaltender] Eric [Hartzell] is the best player in the country and should have won the Hobey, and we are not here without him. But it's the best game I've ever seen [Malcolm] play."

"To get a shutout in the national championship in unbelievable," Yale coach Keith Allain -- a former goaltender at his alma mater -- said about his netminder's effort.

Quinnipiac defeated Yale three times previously this season.

"I think the details in our game and our individuals was better now than they were the last time we faced them," Allain said Friday.

Which details?

"I thought we did a better job of pressuring their defense," Allain said after Saturday's victory. "One of the things that I felt coming into the game tonight that gave us an edge is they hadn't seen our A-game in the previous three games. They saw the result of it, but I don't think they knew what we had become as a hockey team. And I thought we could surprise them a little bit with that."

"We had a ton of grade A's in the first two periods, and we just couldn't finish," Pecknold said.

Entering the game, Quinnipiac was among the top teams in total offense and defense.

"They have a great first line, and they're getting some balance from other lines," Pecknold said of Yale.

Yale's first two lines put up nine points on the final score sheet.

"Their first two goals, they didn't rip them under the bar," Pecknold said. "They just go in sometimes, and the third goal was nice."

"Well, one thing that I would have you think about is that what are the strengths of that team that we just played are," Allain said. "I think that they have as good of depth as any team in the country. We rolled all four lines tonight. I don't have a checking line, so it was a team effort. We shut them out because everyone was involved in the process."

After all the tape gets examined and reviewed, and all the pre-game strategy gets established, one factor usually surfaces.

"We'll try to come up with a way to counteract their strengths and attack their weaknesses," Allain said Friday.

"You get in the game and you can handle the other team's best forwards," Pecknold said earlier that day, "and I think that is a big part of it."'s Final Top 10

1. Yale 22-12-3
2. Quinnipiac 30-8-5
3. Massachusetts-Lowell 27-11-2
4. St. Cloud State 25-16-1
5. Minnesota 26-9-5
6. Miami 25-12-5
7. Notre Dame 25-13-3
8. Boston College 22-12-4
9. New Hampshire 20-12-7
10. Wisconsin 22-13-7

"The longer we could maintain the lead, the more desperate they would become," said Allain after the win. "I told our guys a desperate team will give us other opportunities as long as we were patient."

"I'll go through the video" Pecknold said dejectedly, "but there's probably ten moments. I mean, bad 5-on-3, couple power plays, good looks, we take a little too long."

Then there was, again, the three-game-sweep and league factor with Quinnipiac outscoring Yale 13-3 in those three previous wins.

"I know everyone's talking about the rivalry, and we're 3-0, and what will motivate them," Pecknold said before. "And it's a national championship game [that will]."

After the game?

"I don't know if that was as big a factor," Pecknold reiterated.

"I think it was a huge swing," Allain said about Clinton Bourbonais' goal late in the second period to put Yale up, 1-0. "Particularly that we didn't score on Quinnipiac the last game that we played them."

Finally, perhaps the whole weekend's outcome came down to a quote from each coach before opening faceoff Saturday.

"We pride ourselves in being ready," the Yale coach said Friday, "and we pride ourselves on playing fast and pushing the tempo, and that's what we'll try to do tomorrow night."

That's exactly what Yale did.

"If you give those guys time and space," said Pecknold, "they'll make plays and score goals."

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