Quinnipiac Bobcats Wins the 2023 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey National Championship


The Quinnipiac Bobcats faced the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the National Championship game for the 2022-23 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Season in Tampa, Florida. The Bobcats defeated Merrimack, Ohio State, and Michigan to reach the National Championship game. Minnesota beat Caniscus, St. Cloud State, and Boston University to punch their ticket to the title game. Quninnipiac entered the game with the best defense in the nation and third-best offense seeking the first National Championship in program history. The Gophers entered the game with the second-best offense and fourth-best power play and were searching for their fifth National Championship in program history and their first since 2003.

NCAA Hockey Championship 2023: Quinnipiac Earns 1st Title with OT Win vs. Minnesota | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Photo Cred: Bleacher Report

The game began with both teams being aggressive on both offense and defense. Minnesota struck first after John Mittelstadt took advantage of a whiffed pass by the Bobcats defenseman Jayden Lee and gave the Golden Gophers the 1-0 lead just over 5 minutes into the game. For the rest of the 1st period and the majority of the 2nd, Minnesota dominated the Bobcats by smothering them with their defense and adding on another goal at 4:24 of the 2nd period off the stick of Jaxon Nelson to make it a 2-0 Minnesota lead.

NCAA Hockey National Championship game Quinnipiac vs Minnesota

Photo Cred: The Comeback

Quinnipiac bounced back and got back a goal three minutes later. It cut the Gopher’s lead to one. Christophe Teller deflected the puck through the five-hole of Minnesota Goaltender Justen Close. After that momentum the was on Quinnipiac’s side and stayed there. Their momentum didn’t lead to the game being tied up soon after in the rest of the 2nd period and the majority of the 3rd due to Minnesota’s defense smothering the Bobcat’s offense at all times. It leads to Quinnipiac dominating the 3rd-period thanks to outshooting the Golden Gophers 14 to 2 and maintaining possession most of the period. And finally, all of those scoring chances the Bobcats had, Collin Graf tied the game at 17:13 of the 3rd period to make it a 2-2 game.

Bobcats' Hot Start Powers Exhibition Win over University of Toronto - Quinnipiac University Athletics

Photo Cred: Quinnipiac Athletics

The goal came following head coach Rand Peckold pulling the goalie while on the Power Play with 3:28 remaining. It lead to a six-on-four advantage and only 36 seconds left in the Power play. This risk could have backfired as Minnesota could have shot the puck down. But they didn’t take advantage of the empty net and put the game away. The National Championship game went to OT for the first time since 2011.

Quinnipiac entered overtime with a game plan. It didn’t take them too long to get the job done. Following a second faceoff after the puck flew into the bench. Jacob Quillan took a backhand pass from Sam Lipkin. He scored for the National Championship-clinching overtime goal just 10 seconds. It gave Quinnipiac their first National Title in program history.

Quinnipiac wins 2023 DI men's ice hockey national championship off OT winner | NCAA.com

Photo Cred: NCAA.com

It was also the first National Title for head coach Rand Peckold. He and the Bobcats fell short the past two times. They lost to the Yale Bulldogs in 2013 and North Dakota Fighting Hawks in 2016. Peckold has been with Quinnipiac since 1994. He helped turn them into Division 1 in 1999. Peckold has been the winningest head coach in all of college ice hockey over the past ten years.

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