PITTSBURGH – Yale entered the NCAA men’s hockey tournament as an underdog, but the Bulldogs are shedding that reputation quickly. Seeded 15th in the 16-team field, the Bulldogs will play for a national championship on Saturday night after cooling off the hottest team in the country in the Frozen Four semifinals.
Andrew Miller tucked his team’s 47th shot on goal between the pads of Massachusetts Lowell goalie Connor Hellebuyck in overtime for a 3-2 Bulldogs’ victory. They will make their first-ever appearance in the title game.
Miller got possession of the puck at center ice, motored around a River Hawks defenseman to score his 17th goal of the season.
“It was a good bouncing puck,” Miller said. “I think we stopped them in transition a bit. I came across and caught a defenseman flat-footed. They have a really good goaltender and he played a really great game, but it was a great team goal for me to put one by him. It’s an honor to move on.”
In a scenario similar to their tourney-opening victory over the Gophers in the West Regional, the Bulldogs built a 2-0 lead, got tied and then won in overtime. The River Hawks, the third overall seed, scored two goals 14 seconds apart in the middle period. But they had just 18 shots total.
Yale becomes the first Ivy League team to appear in the Frozen Four title game since 1989, when Harvard beat the Gophers 4-3 in overtime in St. Paul.