North Dakota defeats Quinnipiac, 5-1, to take NCAA hockey title

Quinnipiac defenseman Chase Priskie (13) skates off as North Dakota celebrates their 5-1 win during an NCAA Frozen Four championship college hockey game Saturday, April 9, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

From QuinnipiacBobcats.com:

TAMPA, Fla.–Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey lost to North Dakota, 5-1, Saturday in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey National Championship Game at Amalie Arena. With the loss, Quinnipiac completes an historic season with a record of 32-4-7.

Quinnipiac junior Tim Clifton (Matawan, New Jersey) scored the Bobcats’ only goal, with assists going to his brother, Connor Clifton, and Travis St. Denis (Trail, British Columbia).

Following the game, St. Denis and Connor Clifton were named to the All-Tournament team.

North Dakota jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals within five minutes of each other late in the first period. Brock Boeser assisted on the first goal and scored the second, while Shane Gersich put the Fighting Hawks on the board with his ninth of the season. On the first goal, Gage Ausmus sent a one-timer off a pass from Boeser off the pads of Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig (Prince George, British Columbia). Gersich was waiting just above the crease to pick up the loose puck and slip it past the Bobcats’ goalie.

North Dakota took a 2-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Boeser 3:30 after Gerrsich’s goal. Boeser broke up a pass in the neutral zone, sending the puck deep in the Bobcats’ zone. Garteig came out of the net to play the puck, but his attempted clear caught Boeser’s stick and left him with a wide-open look at the Bobcats’ goal.

Tim Clifton cut North Dakota’s lead in half with his 19th goal of the season on the power play in the closing minutes of the first period. With the Bobcats trailing 2-0, but on a 5-on-3 advantage, St. Denis won a draw in front of North Dakota goalie Cam Johnson and played it back to Connor Clifton at the point. Connor found his brother’s tape on the left flank where Tim was able to one-time it past Johnson to pull Quinnipiac within a goal, 2-1.

For Connor, the assist on his brother Tim’s goal was his 21st of the season and 10th of the postseason, giving him 11 points in the postseason. For St. Denis, it was his team-leading 27th assist of the year and seventh of the postseason. He scored 11 points in nine postseason games. Tim Clifton’s 10th power-play goal of the season gave the Bobcats three players with 10 power-play goals – Tim Clifton, St. Denis and Sam Anas (Potomac, Maryland) – for the first time in a single season in program history.

North Dakota took control of the game in the third, scoring three times to push its lead to 5-1. The Fighting Hawks scored early in the third period as Boeser picked up his third point of the night when he tipped the puck along the boards in the Bobcats’ zone to Nik Schmaltz. Schmaltz held the puck before finding a seam in the Bobcats’ zone and connecting with Drake Caggiula on the doorstep for the one-timer to push North Dakota’s lead to 3-1.

Less than two minutes later, it was Caggiula again off a pass from Boeser in the slot for his 25th goal of the year as the Fighting Hawks took a 4-1 lead.

With just under 10 minutes play, Austin Poganski scored his 10th of the year off a rebound in front of the goal.

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