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Union Dutchmen beat Minnesota to win their first-ever NCAA championship

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(Elsa/Getty Images)

This was Union’s first-ever NCAA championship game appearance, and they came away with the victory. (Elsa/Getty Images)

By Mike McMahon

The Union Dutchmen defeated no. 1-seeded Minnesota 7-4 on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to win their first Division I National Championship in their first-ever appearance in the big game.

The Gophers outnumber the Dutchmen in NHL draft picks 14-1, but it was Union’s lone selection that made all the difference. Junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a Philadelphia Flyers prospect notched the Dutchemen’s first goal, a wicked wrist shot over the glove of Adam Wilcox and added two assists, finishing the game at a mind-boggling plus-7.

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  • Published On Apr 13, 2014
  • Frozen Four Final preview: Minnesota, Union face off for NCAA national title

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     Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

    Daniel Ciampini is looking to help lead Union College to its first NCAA title victory. (Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

    By Darian Somers

    It was one man who put Union in the championship game, and it was one very late shot that did the same for Minnesota.

    Now, those two teams will square off in one last game to decide the 2014 NCAA national champion at 7:30 Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. It’ll be the first meeting between the schools since 2010, when the Dutchmen went to Minnesota and upended the Gophers in overtime, 3-2.

    For the No. 1-seeded Gophers, who got to the final by a literal last second shot win over North Dakota, it’s familiar ground — this will be the school’s 11th national title appearance. But it’s unfamiliar territory for No. 3 Union, which will be playing in its first NCAA title game.

    McMahon: Frozen Four recap: Minnesota, Union advance to national championship game 

    Led by Daniel Carr,  Flyers draft pick Shayne Gostisbehere and Daniel Ciampini — the latter of whom scored a hat trick to lead Union past No. 2 seed Boston College on Thursday — the Dutchmen have the second-best offense in the country, averaging 3.73 goals per game. They also boast the best winning percentage in all of college hockey, at .805.

    Meanwhile, the Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the top teams in the country, and is looking for its first national title since 2003, when Don Lucia guided the Gophers to its second championship in as many years. Along with a deep bench, the Gophers are led offensively by Kyle Rau, who has 39 points this year, and Sam Warning, who has 33. Nine Gophers have 20 or more points this year, and five of them have 13 or more goals. The young Gopher team, made up of eight freshmen who have combined for 56 goals this season, also has one of the best goalies in the country in Tampa Bay draft pick Adam Wilcox. The Mike Richter Finalist had the second-best save percentage (.935) and goals against average (1.79), playing in 40 games this season with 37 starts. His .914% winning percentage also ranks inside the top 10 of the country.

    There’s a lot to live up to after two tremendous and dramatic semifinal games, but this championship game certainly has enough fascinating storylines — Adam Wilcox vs. the country’s 2nd-best offense, experience in the title game vs. a team hungry for its first championship — to make it a Frozen Four final to remember.


  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • Hobey Baker Award winner Johnny Gaudreau signs with Calgary Flames

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    Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College signed with the Calgary Flames

    The Flames weren’t about to let highly touted forward Johnny Gaudreau get away. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    A Calgary radio station reported, and Boston College has confirmed, that Eagles stars Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold will turn pro and make their NHL debuts with the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

    Both players became eligible to sign with the NHL team after BC was eliminated from the Frozen Four by Union College on Thursday night. Gaudreau’s three-year entry leave deal has a reported annual average value of $1.85 million; Arnold was given two years at $900k per.

    Arnold, a fourth-round selection of the Flames in 2010, was expected to turn pro as a graduating senior, but the addition of Gaudreau will surely catch the attention of Calgary’s fans. The 20-year-old forward led the nation with 36 goals and 80 points as a junior and has won the Hobey Baker Award as the country’s top player.

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  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • Frozen Four recap: Minnesota, Union advance to national championship game

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Justin Holl’s last-second game-winner was his first of the season for the Gophers. (Elsa/Getty Images)

    By Mike McMahon

    After a thrilling night of Frozen Four semifinals, the stage is set for the national championship game as the Minnesota Gophers and Union College Dutchmen will face off in the final on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

    Everything came down to the last second — literally.

    With Minnesota and North Dakota tied at one and time ticking down, Gophers defenseman Justin Holl threw a frantic shot on net that scooted past North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg with just 0.6 seconds left to give Minnesota a pass into the championship game. Read More…


  • Published On Apr 11, 2014
  • Minnesota, North Dakota, BC and Union vie for NCAA title at Frozen Four

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    BC's Thatcher Demko was named the top amateur goalie by the NHL's Central Scouting. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

    BC’s Thatcher Demko was named the top undrafted North American goalie by the NHL’s Central Scouting. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

    By Michael Blinn

    The road to this year’s national championship has delivered two distinctly different matchups headed for the Wells Fargo Center in Philly. On one side of the bracket, a longtime power is going head to head with a rising force while the other side features one of college hockey’s most storied rivalries adding another chapter to its growing volume.

    To say that North Dakota and Minnesota are familiar with one another is like saying the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are just friendly acquaintances. The two schools have met on the ice 283 times, the NCAA’s third highest total, and up until this season they were Western Collegiate Hockey Association combatants before Minnesota joined the newly formed Big 10 while North Dakota, the last at-large bid to make it into this year’s tourney, jumped over to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in its first season.

    Despite their new homes, don’t expect any of the heat to come off the hostility between the teams. The two schools have long been among the best in the collegiate game and perennial national championship contenders. Some of the biggest names in hockey history have graced their respective ranks, including Herb Brooks and Neal Broten (Minnesota) as well Ed Belfour (North Dakota) and Dean Blais (both), while many current NHLers such as Thomas Vanek (Minnesota) and Zach Parise (North Dakota) have played a part in the teams’ histories.

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  • Published On Apr 10, 2014
  • 2014 Frozen Four field: Boston College, Minnesota, North Dakota, Union

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    North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg starred in backstopping the team to the Frozen Four. (Al Behrman/AP)

    North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg starred in backstopping the team to the Frozen Four. (Al Behrman/AP)

    By Mike McMahon

    Boston College is off to its 24th Frozen Four after defeating UMass-Lowell 4-3 on Sunday to win the Northeast Regional in Worcester, MA. The Eagles, led by Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau, also beat Denver in the first round of the single-elimination tournament.

    The Eagles will face off against East Regional winner Union in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 10 for a chance to play for the National Title two days later. The Dutchmen dispatched Providence 3-1 in the regional final in Bridgeport, CT, one day after knocking off Vermont. Flyers draftee Shayne Gostisbehere starred on the blue line as arguably the best defenseman in the four-team playoff, even chipping in some crucial saves in the crease to help Union top the Friars.

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  • Published On Mar 30, 2014
  • NCAA announces seeds, regional matchups for championship tournament

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    Flyers prospect Shayne Gostisbehere will try to lead Union to a National Championship. (J. Meric/Getty Images)

    Flyers prospect Shayne Gostisbehere will try to lead Union to a National Championship. (J. Meric/Getty Images)

    By Michael Blinn

    March Madness is already in full swing on the court, and it’s about to get a crazier with hockey version ready to go on ice.

    Sunday afternoon, the NCAA selection committee announced seeds and regional placements for 16 men’s hockey teams, which Adam Wodon of College Hockey News notes was not a difficult task this season.

    Last year’s champion Yale did not make the tournament, but exposed the possibility that anything can truly happen, as the Bulldogs became the lowest-seeded team to take the whole shebang. Traditional powers Boston College and Minnesota look to add to their trophy cases, while sixteenth-seeded Robert Morris will make its first appearance in the NCAA postseason in just its 10th season as a Division I program. The field will be whittled down to four before heading the Philadelphia, where the Frozen Four will take place beginning on April 10, with the final two days later.

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  • Published On Mar 23, 2014
  • Finalists for NCAA hockey’s 2014 Hobey Baker Award announced

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    By Allan Muir

    The original herd of 68 hopefuls has been culled and now the list of potential 2014 Hobey Baker Award winners is down to 10.

    The finalists who are hoping to be recognized as college hockey’s top player are Nebraska-Omaha junior forward Josh Archibald, St. Lawrence senior forward Greg Carey, St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd, Ohio State junior forward Ryan Dzingel, Boston College junior forward Johnny Gaudreau and senior forward Kevin Hayes, Ferris State junior goalie CJ Motte, Wisconsin junior goalie Joel Rumpel, Minnesota sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox and Union College defenseman Shane Gostisbehere.

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  • Published On Mar 20, 2014
  • Ducks sign coveted free agent Antoine Laganiere

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    Antoine Laganiere is fresh off helping the Yale Bulldogs to their first NCAA championship. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    At 18, Antoine Laganiere was on no one’s radar. Slow, gawky and plagued by questionable hockey sense, he was completely overlooked in the NHL draft.

    Four years later, the late bloomer became an NCAA champion with the Yale Bulldogs and, as of today, the newest member of the Anaheim Ducks. Laganiere signed a two-year deal this afternoon with Anaheim. It’s expected that he’ll spend a week with the team, and then return to Yale to finish his exams.

    Laganiere, a 6-foot-4, 215-lb winger from Quebec, had 15 goals and 29 points in 37 games with the Bulldogs in 2012-13. Scouts see him as a power forward, but there are differing opinions on his upside. “He’s big, strong and protects the puck really well,” one scout told SI.com. “He knows how to fish where the fish are.” Another expressed concerns about his skating and hockey sense, but still thinks he can be a piece of the puzzle for Anaheim. “I can see him stepping in right away and playing on their third line,” the scout said. “He’s a big body who will chip in with the occasional goal.”

    The Ducks came in as a dark horse to secure his services. The Canucks, Canadiens and Predators were thought to be the front-runners, with Columbus, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg and Edmonton also in the mix.

    While Laganiere could suit up for the Ducks immediately, he is ineligible to dress for them in the playoffs.


  • Published On Apr 16, 2013
  • Joe Sacco tabbed to coach Team USA at World Championships

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    Joe Sacco will lead Team USA at the World Championships despite poor recent form with the Avalanche. (Tony Ding/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    If you listen to Jean-Sebastien Giguere, his Colorado Avalanche teammates have been making off-season plans for weeks.

    Now his coach has a trip of his own to look forward to.

    Joe Sacco, coming off his third straight playoff DNQ with the Avs, has been tabbed by USA Hockey to helm Team USA at the upcoming World Championships.

    Sacco is a veteran of the USA program, having served as an assistant coach at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships and skating for Team USA at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville.

    Sweden and Finland are co-hosting this year’s event. The Americans, who are playing in a group based in Helsinki, will face Austria in their opener on May 4.

    Roster decisions are still at least 10 days away, but it’s expected that Sacco will be guiding a young team that should see several NCAA players skating alongside NHL vets such as Paul Stastny, Matt Carle, Drew Stafford and Zach Bogosian.

    Fans and media in Denver are lining up to drive Joe Sacco to the airport after another disappointing campaign for the Avs.


  • Published On Apr 15, 2013


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