UMD Wins Second National Championship, Defeats Notre Dame 2-1 [PHOTOS]
The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs lost some big names on the roster after falling to Denver in last year's National Championship game, leaving many with the perception the 2017-2018 season would be a rebuilding year for the program. The team had other plans. After sneaking into the NCAA tournament with an at-large bid, UMD played lights-out hockey to skate to the school's second Men's National Title.
Senior Karson Kuhlman opened scoring in the game at the 9:06 mark in the first period, and fellow Twin Ports area native Jared Thomas scored late in the period to give UMD a 2-0 lead at the end of the first frame. Notre Dame's Andrew Oglevie cut the UMD lead in half midway through the second period, marking the last time anyone would score in the game.
UMD's 2-1 victory over Notre Dame gives the team their second ever national title, both of which were won at the Xcel Energy Center (last in 2011).
Defenseman Mikey Anderson talked about what it was like winning it all after barely making it into the tournament, saying “It’s unbelievable. Two weeks ago, we’re not even sure if we’re playing again, and to have this happen in Minnesota is unbelievable." Sophomore Riley Tufte spoke further on winning it all, especially after falling short last year, saying “It is awesome. Obviously losing that game last year, you have a bitter taste in your mouth, but getting back here this year, we barely got into this tournament. It just tells you to take it seriously, and everyone has to play their best game. It’s so awesome. I’m glad we won it here tonight.”
This was the last game for seniors Jared Thomas of Hermantown, Blake Young of Battleford, Saskatchewan, and captain Karson Kuhlman of Esko. All three of these players played a big role in Saturday night's championship win, providing veteran leadership and Thomas and Kuhlman also were the two goal scorers that propelled the team to victory. Emotions ran high among all three of these players as they ended their Bulldog career bringing home a championship trophy to Duluth.
Five Bulldogs also made the All-Tournament Team, which was announced after the championship game. Here is the full team:
- Forward: Karson Kuhlman (Minnesota Duluth)
- Forward: Jared Thomas (Minnesota Duluth)
- Forward: Andrew Oglevie (Notre Dame)
- Defense: Scott Perunovich (Minnesota Duluth)
- Defense: Jordan Gross (Notre Dame)
- Goaltender: Hunter Shepard (Minnesota Duluth)
- Most Outstanding Player: Karson Kuhlman (Minnesota Duluth)
Check out the photo gallery below that highlights the game action and the celebration on the ice after the game.