Yale defeats UMass-Lowell, advances to championship

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Senior captain Andrew Miller scored 6:59 into overtime, and Yale (21-12-3) defeated UMass-Lowell to advance to the national championship game.

Miller beat UMass-Lowell goalie Connor Hellebuyck with a backhander through the five-hole.

The Bulldogs will continue their incredible Cinderella run in this tournament, as Yale was the second-to-last team to crack the NCAA field. The Bulldogs out-shot UMass-Lowell 47-18.

“I think it’s just an honor to send Yale University to the championship game,” said Miller.  “We’ve worked hard to be here and we got a good bounce and it was just a matter of time before we popped one.”

“That was probably the biggest goal in the history of Yale hockey,” said head coach Keith Allain. “I couldn’t ask for a better captain.”

Yale took a 1-0 lead on freshman Mitch Witek’s first goal of the season 12:55 into the first period. The goal came after UMass-Lowell high sticking penalty.

The Bulldogs extended to a 2-0 lead when Antoine Laganiere scored with 0:54 left in the second period. UMass-Lowell scored twice in the span of 14 seconds in the second period on goals by Riley Witmore and Joseph Pendezza. Both goals came after a Yale penalty.

The Bulldogs dominated the game from start to finish, winning face-offs, puck battles and holding the puck in the Lowell zone.

“They did to us what we normally do to teams. They deserve all the credit,” said UMass-Lowell forward Riley Wetmore.

Yale becomes the third No. 4 seed to advance to the title game. The Bulldogs have now defeated two No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 on their way to the title game.

“Yale took it to us,” said UMass-Lowell head coach Norm Bazin. “We just didn’t have it tonight.”

Yale will face the winner of Quinnipiac and St. Cloud State in the title game on Saturday night.