PHILADELPHIA -- Union trailed twice in the early stages of the first period, but the Dutchmen scored three consecutive goals to take a 4-2 lead over Minnesota into the dressing room after one period in the national championship game.
It was an action-packed 20 minutes in the final game of the 2014 Frozen Four. Union outshot Minnesota 20-15 in the opening period.
Right after killing a penalty, Minnesota took a 1-0 lead 2:37 into the game on a play right off a faceoff. Nate Condon's shot hit Union goaltender Colin Stevens high in the chest, but he could not corral the puck. It ended up by his feet where Justin Kloos was swooping in. The freshman scored his 16th goal of the season into a virtually open net.
Union answered at the 9:26 mark of the opening period on a terrific individual effort by defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. He cut through several Minnesota defenders at the blue line before using another defenseman as a screen to fire a shot past the glove of Gophers goaltender Adam Wilcox.
But, it didn't take the Gophers long to regain the lead. Just 37 seconds later Sam Warning gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead on a bad-angle shot from near the goal line. The play started with the rush up ice from Kyle Rau whose wraparound attempt went wide leading to the loose puck picked up by Warning.
Union answered with three goals of its own in a span of 1:54 towards the end of the opening period. Two freshmen were responsible for finding the back of the net to tie the game and then give Union its first lead of the game.
Mike Vecchione was able to pick up his own rebound after a mad scramble in front of the net on a sequence where Wilcox made several saves, but couldn't cover the puck. Daniel Carr and Daniel Ciampini were credited with the assists.
Eli Lichtenwald gave Union the 3-2 lead at the 16:06 mark on a goal that he was able to bank off the glove of Wilcox. Gostisbehere, who was +4 in the period, picked up the lone assist on the score.
Daniel Ciampini finished off the scoring flurry with 2:57 to play in the first period when he banged a big rebound off a Max Novak shot past a sprawling Wilcox.
Once Union settled into its game, it was able to carry the play. The Dutchmen won most of the battles for loose pucks at the end of the period. The Dutchmen are looking for the program's first national championship. Union has made the NCAA Tournament the past four seasons after never previously advancing.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.