PITTSBURGH - University of Massachusetts hockey controlled play from start to finish and rolled to a 5-0 shutout of St. Cloud State to capture the 2021 Division I Men's Hockey NCAA Championship on Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena, the first in program history. The Minutemen finish the season with a 20-5-4 record, the fewest losses for an NCAA Champion since Maine's 40-1-2 season in 1992-93.
"When you win your first National Championship, you really want to think about the people that laid the foundation and yesterday I was a bit emotional because Red Gendron was one of those people," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "And I loved Red. And he was a big part. He worked with Toot (Cahoon) when UMass had some really good teams. When I lifted that trophy, I thought of people like that and former players. And I also think about how important it is for our University to have a championship like this. And it's just people like that that this trickles down to a lot of people. When I got hired, my vision was never to win a national championship. My vision was to build a program that great pride could be taken in."
Junior Bobby Trivigno was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Tournament Team, joined by sophomore defensemen Zac Jones and Matthew Kessel and goaltender Filip Lindberg.
Freshman Aaron Bohlinger opened the scoring for the Minutemen at the 7:26 mark of the first period as an outlet pass from junior Ty Farmer sprung Bohlinger and freshman Ryan Sullivan on a 2-on-0. Sullivan dished to Bohlinger who deposited the puck into an open net for his first collegiate goal.
UMass then doubled its advantage 18:56 into the opening frame. Sophomore Cal Kiefiuk wrapped around the back of the Huskies' net and classmate Reed Lebster was there at the post to deposit the rebound.
Senior Philip Lagunov later expanded the lead to 3-0 with a highlight reel shorthanded goal 5:10 into the second period, toe dragging around a St. Cloud State defender before skating in on David Hrenak alone and netting his fourth of the year.
The Minutemen added their second special teams' goal of the period on the power play at the 13:45 mark. With traffic in font, senior Jake Gaudet corralled the puck and tapped it to classmate Oliver Chau. Chau passed it out to sophomore Matthew Kessel at the right point for a booming one timer, his 10th tally of the season.
Trivigno then capped the scoring in the third period with his 11th of the season, collecting the puck from Lebster and picking a corner on Hrenak at the six-minute mark.
The Huskies out-shot UMass 25-22, while the Minutemen went 3-of-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-2 on the power play.
Filip Lindberg totaled 25 saves to collect his fourth career NCAA Tournament shutout, an NCAA record. Hrenak stopped 17 shots for Saint Cloud.
Ten different Minutemen combined for 11 points in the contest with Lebster leading the way with a goal and an assist.