Yale goalie Jeff Malcom was without question the least heralded goalie to make his way to Pittsburgh for the Frozen Four.
On Saturday night he played the game of his life at Consol Energy Center.
Malcom and the Yale Bulldogs shut out rival Quinnipiac 4-0 to win a first ever national title for a program with roots that go back more than a century, to 1893.
“I just felt comfortable in there today,” said Malcom, who made 36 saves. “We got some bounces. And yeah here we are…It was one of our goals at the start of the season to get here. It’s just an amazing feeling right now.”
A crowd of 18,184 watched the Bulldogs hoist the NCAA championship trophy as confetti rained down from the rafters.
The Bulldogs broke open a 0-0 game after scoring a critical goal with 3.5 seconds left in the second period as Clinton Bourbonais tipped the puck through Eric Hartzell’s legs.
The shot came from Gus Young just above the left circle at the wall, and had the makings of a routine odd-angle shot until it was deflected.
"It was just a flukey goal,” Hartzell said. “That's what happens when you get pucks on nets, just weird things happen. I didn't really see the shot. It was deflected, it was bouncing, he redirected it right to my five hole.”
Three minutes, five seconds into the second period Charles Orzetti finished his own rebound to give Yale a 2-0 lead, striking through Hartzell’s legs a second time in one game on a wrist shot.
Andrew Miller made it 3-0 at 9:06 of the third period on a breakaway and Mt. Lebanon’s Jesse Root scored into an empty net at 13:02.
“We shut them out because everyone was involved in the process,” said Coach Keith Allain, a former Yale goaltender. “I came back to prove you can go to the best university in the world and compete at the highest level of hockey. This group has proven that right here.”
Quinnipiac certainly had its chances, getting 36 shots on net.
“We’re devastated. It was a great year and this wasn’t the way it was supposed to end,” said Quinnipiac Coach Rand Pecknold. “I’m proud of my guys.”
The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Jenn Menendez is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.