The Yale Bulldogs proved that perseverance pays off as the unheralded 15th seed won the NCAA national ice hockey championship with a 4-0 victory over the Quinnipiac Bobcats.
The number-one ranked Bobcats, led by Montrose natives Connor and Kellen Jones and Trail’s Travis St. Denis, couldn’t solve Bulldog netminder Jerry Malcolm, as the Lethbridge product stopped all 36 shots for the shutout win.
It was the first national championship for Yale, who made the tournament on the final day of qualifying and then ousted the top seeds North Dakota and Minnesota on its way to the semifinal 3-2 overtime win against U.Mass-Lowell.
With the momentum building, the Bulldogs then upset their ECAC rival Quinnipiac (30-8-5) – located less than 10 miles from the Yale campus – a team that spent most of the year ranked No. 1 and had beaten the Bulldogs in three previous meetings this season, outscoring them 15-3.
Yale’s Clint Bourbonais netted the winner when he redirected a shot between goalie Eric Hartzell’s legs with 4 seconds left in the second period, and freshman Charles Orzetti scored his first goal in four months 3:35 into the third to make it 2-0.
Andrew Miller, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, then broke loose and flipped a backhand by Hartzell for his 18th goal of the season. Pittsburgh native Jesse Root added an empty netter to set the coronation in motion.