PHILADELPHIA -- Union College is the 2014 NCAA Champions of college hockey with a 7-4 victory over the University of Minnesota at the Wells Fargo Center in the Frozen Four.
Entering the third period up a goal by a score of 4-3, Max Novak scored his fourth goal of the tournament to extend the Dutchmen lead to two goals at the 5:31 mark. It was a beautiful tip-in goal off a shot by Kevin Sullivan who was streaking down the right side in transition.
The teams started a combined 0-for-10 on the power play, but Minnesota's Hudson Fasching got his team to within one goal with 3:40 to play in the game. Travis Boyd and Mike Reilly picked up the helpers on the goal.
Kevin Sullivan gave the Dutchmen a key insurance marker with 1:22 to play in the game on a transition play up ice. Shayne Gostisbehere blocked a shot at the other end and fellow defenseman Mat Bodie lofted the puck up ice to where Sullivan picked it up and entered the zone before squeaking the puck through the five-hole.
Bodie added an empty net goal for added insurance with just 45 seconds to play in the game on a shot from the far blue line.
Taylor Cammarata scored 1:13 into the second period on a rebound goal as the freshman was persistent around the net. After an initial shot from Justin Kloos was blocked, Cammarata scooped the puck up. His first shot was saved, but he poked his own rebound past Union goaltender Colin Stevens.
Minnesota outshot Union, 18-14, in the second period, but the Dutchmen still lead 34-33 for the game. There was a scoring lull for the rest of the middle frame, a stark contrast from the opening period that saw six combined goals between the two teams.
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 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.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.