Quinnipiac men’s hockey tops Michigan, advances to national title game against Minnesota

One down, one to go. For the third time in as many trips to the Frozen Four, the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team will play for a national championship.

First-year forward Sam Lipkin scored the game-winner 1 minute and 24 seconds into the third period, lifting the second-seeded Bobcats to an eventual 5-2 win over No. 3 Michigan in front of 19,119 at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Thursday night.

The Bobcats advance to play top-seeded Minnesota, a 6-2 winner over No. 4 Boston University in the first game of the doubleheader.

“Quinnipiac culture was on display tonight,” said Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold. “In the end I thought our culture came through, our conditioning was awesome tonight and our battle level was awesome. I’m just proud of the boys and we’re excited to move and play Minnesota.”

Jacob Quillan scored twice in the opening period to stake the Bobcats to a 2-1 lead. The sophomore from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia registered his first goal on a nifty shot from behind the net, bouncing the puck off the back of Michigan goaltender Erik Portillo shortly after a Bobcats power play had expired. Lipkin also scored on a bank shot, a testament to the Bobcats’ willingness to finish plays.

Quillan notched his second goal on a breakaway at the 11:21-mark of an action-packed first period. Captain Zach Metsa and Ethan de Jong each added goals in the third period to seal the win, and Collin Graf and Christophe Tellier tallied two assists apiece.

“I think you give yourself 15-20 minutes to enjoy [the win] and then we still have a job to do,” said Metsa. “It’s been our goal since the beginning of the year and we have an opportunity to get it.”

Bobcats goalie Yaniv Perets turned in another stellar performance, stopping 29 of 31 Michigan shots.

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