The University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldgos hockey team poses with the championship trophy at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo: UMD Athletics.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - They were the last ones invited, and they were the last ones standing. The University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs are NCAA Hockey National Champions, defeating Notre Dame 2-1 Saturday in front of a UMD-heavy crowd at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
This was a bit of a miracle on ice for UMD. Minnesota-Duluth was the final team invited to the NCAA Tournament, but skated their way into the Frozen Four with wins over Minnesota State and Air Force. A 2-1 win over Ohio State in the semifinal sent Scott Sandelin's Bulldogs back to the national championship game for a second straight season.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind goals from Karson Kuhlman and Jared Thomas. Notre Dame countered with a power play goal from Andrew Oglevie in the second period, but the Irish could never find the equalizer.
All four UMD wins in the tournament were one-goal margins -- a tournament first. Bulldogs defenseman Scott Perunovich, forwards Karson Kuhlman and Jared Thomas and goaltender Hunter Shepard were named to the All Tournament team.
This is the second national championship in eight years for Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs defeated Michigan for the title in 2011.