PITTSBURGH -- Yale head coach Keith Allain said that in coming to coach at his alma mater, he wanted to prove that you can get the best education in the world and still compete at the highest level of Division I athletics. His vision came to fruition on Saturday night, as his Yale Bulldogs won their first national championship against their ECAC rivals, the Quinnipiac Bobcats, by a final of 4-0.
The game was scoreless until the waning seconds of the second period, when Clinton Bourbonais tipped a puck through the five hole of QU goalie Eric Hartzell. Goals would follow in the third period from Charles Orzetti, Andrew Miller and Pittsburgh native Jesse Root as the Bulldogs took all the momentum and snowballed.
Yale bottled Quinnipiac up all game long, stifling their speed through the neutral zone and giving the Bobcats zero room with the puck in the offensive zone. Just like they did to Minnesota, North Dakota and UMass-Lowell, the Bulldogs took control of the tempo of the hockey game and took time and space away from a team that thrives on it.
It helped, of course, that Jeff Malcolm also played the game of his life. The senior from Lethbridge, Alberta outdueled the Hobey Baker finalist Hartzell, who looked weak on each of the first two Yale goals, which beat him five-hole. Malcolm on the other hand was just phenomenal, most notably stopping Jordan Samuels-Thomas on a break during the first period. He saw the puck well, didn't give up rebounds and absolutely led his team to the win.
Quinnipiac, which had defeated Yale three times during the 2012-13 season and had carried the No. 1 overall ranking in the country for most of the year, will see 11 seniors leave over the summer, including Hartzell and four of their six defensemen. They do, however, return their entire top line of Matthew Peca, Connor Jones and Kellen Jones, so there's reason to believe they'll be a competitive club once again in 2013-14.
The Bulldogs aren't thinking of next year just yet, though. They're national champions.