PITTSBURGH -- The Quinnipiac Bobcats are headed to the national championship game. The nation's top-ranked college hockey team showed why they deserve that honor on Thursday evening, easily defeating a strong St. Cloud State Huskies team, 4-1, with a sound mix of speed, opportunism and brilliant goaltending from Hobey Baker finalist Eric Hartzell.
The Bobcats stormed out to a 3-0 lead early and never looked back. A goal by Jordan Samuels-Thomas just 1:49 into the game gave QU a 1-0 lead, and from there, they piled on with goals by Ben Arnt and Jeremy Langlois to take a 3-0 lead into the second period.
St. Cloud pushed back in the second period, getting on the board with a Joey Benik goal at the 6:25 mark and generating several stretches of sustained pressure throughout. But in the end, the Huskies just couldn't beat Hartzell, who was clearly the Bobcats' MVP in the victory.
Kellen Jones added a goal late in the second period to give Quinnipiac a 4-1 lead. In the third, Consol Energy Center emptied (aside from the QU and SCSU cheering sections) as it became evident that the Bobcats had sealed the deal and clinched a date with Yale in the national title game.
The ECAC rivals will go head to head for the national championship at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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