After North Dakota’s CBS line was able to take down Denver’s Pacific Rim line Thursday night, and number one seed Quinnipiac was able to outplay Boston College, the two teams were set to take on one another Saturday night with the National Title up for grabs.
Quinnipiac seemed to be stuck in their own end early on in the game and shots were still at a minimum throughout until Shane Gersich put one past Quinnipiac’s goaltender to open up the scoring. The goal came after an outstretched Garteig came up a bit short in the save attempt across the crease, just nine minutes in. Just two minutes later Brock Boeser broke in on Garteig who tried to clear the puck. It ended up being deflected off Boeser’s hip and behind Garteig for an easy goal to put them up 2-0. Late in the first, the puck found its way to a wide-open Tim Clifton who roofed it by UND’s goalie to put the Bobcats back within one goal. QU and UND goalies Michael Garteig and Cam Johnson had the better half of the second period as no one scored heading into the third period. Nick Schmaltz found Caggiula for a backdoor dagger early in the third. Only a couple minutes later, a streaking Boeser found a trailing Caggiula for his second goal of the night. Austin Poganski put home the fifth and final goal of the night with nine minutes to play.
Quinnipiac had nothing but good things to say about North Dakota after the loss. They gave QU a lot, and it was simply just too much for them to handle that night. This was the first national title for rookie coach Brad Berry who had taken over this season. In his final season, Drake Caggiula gave everything he could back to his school in scoring two goals for his team along with Freshman Brock Boeser netting a short hander and having three assists. They will look forward to getting this talent back from the young guy but will surely miss the veterans that will be leaving. North Dakota has 12-13 draft picks on their team from this year. Nothing speaks louder than that. The fact that a team has that much NHL talent is unreal.
In Quinnipiac’s defense, Sam Anas was clearly hurting throughout the game. He left he bench for the locker room twice during the game. He’s been fighting upper body pain and skated off after getting hit into the boards on a penalty. Tyler St. Denis accompanied him but the two couldn’t put a fight up against the CBS line from UND. QU had a strategy to “try” and shut down at least some of the line but clearly that didn’t happen here. They were just out played but mentally, physically and through the scoring. Sometimes one person can’t lead a team to victory but two or three could do the trick. Boeser and Caggiula were just too much for Quinnipiac to handle and they ended up being the difference maker here. Congratulations to the North Dakota Fighting Hawks on their national title.