BUFFALO, N.Y. - With 2:10 remaining in regulation Saturday in the NCAA championship game at KeyBank Center, the University of Minnesota Duluth pep band blasted its fight song for the masses.
Bulldogs’ fans weren’t singing along to the song, however. They were well into a chant that would continue until the final buzzer.
The Bulldogs put the wraps on their second-consecutive national championship on Saturday via a dominating 3-0 victory over Massachusetts, getting goals from senior captain Parker Mackay, sophomore defenseman Mikey Anderson and freshman center Jackson Cates.
Anderson finished with three points while junior goaltender Hunter Shepard - now a perfect 8-0 in NCAA tournament games - made 18 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and school-record 15th of his college career.
Mackay and Anderson connected twice in the first two periods to stake the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead going into the third period.
Like last year’s 2-1 NCAA title victory over Notre Dame at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul when senior Karson Kuhlman scored nine minutes in, the captain once again struck early in the first.
Mackay, a senior wing, scored on the power play 3:51 into the 2018-19 championship, taking a feed up the middle from Anderson, a sophomore defenseman, and going forehand to backhand for his 16th goal of the season.
Sophomore center Justin Richards won a faceoff late in the second to Mackay to set up the second score. The captain then wheeled himself into a position to find Anderson racing unmarked up the middle.
Anderson recorded the second point of the evening by firing a shot top corner, bar-down over the glove of UMass freshman goaltender Filip Lindberg. His third came with he blocked a shot, that would eventually lead to the dagger by Cates with 2:42 left in regulation.
Cates’ goal came after the Bulldogs killed a fourth UMass power play. The Minutemen finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage in the final after going 3-for-5 again Denver in a 4-3 overtime win in the Frozen Four semifinals.
The national championship is the Bulldogs’ third all-time and third for head coach Scott Sandelin with all three coming this decade (2011, 2018, 2019).