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Union beats Minnesota for 1st NCAA men's hockey title

Union College won its first NCAA hockey title Saturday night, scoring three times in a 1:54 span in the first period in a 7-4 victory over Minnesota on Saturday night in Philadelphia.

New York collegiate team bests Golden Gophers 7-4

Union's Daniel Ciampini, center left, reacts to his goal with teammates as Minnesota's Brady Skjei skates by during the first period of the NCAA men's college hockey final on Saturday in Philadelphia. (Chris Szagola/Associated Press)

Union College won its first NCAA hockey title Saturday night, scoring three times in a 1:54 span in the first period in a 7-4 victory over Minnesota on Saturday night.

Mike Vecchione tied it at 2 with 4:01 left in the first, Eli Lichtenwald gave the Dutchman the lead 57 seconds later, and Daniel Ciampini capped the spree with 2:57 to go.

"I don't think anyone will call us Cinderella anymore," said Shayne Gostisbehere, who had a goal and two assists. "These guys, my brothers, they do everything. I don't care about anything else, were national champions."

Max Novak, Kevin Sullivan and Mat Bodie also scored and Colin Stevens made 36 saves for Union (32-6-4), the 2,200-student liberal arts college in Schenectady, N.Y., that competes in Division III in all other sports.

Justin Kloos, Sam Warning, Taylor Cammarata and Hudson Fasching scored for Minnesota (28-7-6). Adam Wilcox stopped 41 shots for the five-time champion Gophers.

Cammarata pulled Minnesota within one with the lone goal in the second period, but Novak restored the two-goal cushion on a deflection at 5:31 of the third.

Fasching cut it to 5-4 with a power-play goal with 3:40 left. Sullivan put it away with 1:22 to go, and Bodie scored into an empty net with 44.2 seconds remaining.

"This was the biggest game of our lives," said Bodie, the team captain.

Kloos opened the scoring on a rebound 2:37 into the first period. Gostisbehere responded for Union by weaving through three opponents and beating Wilcox with a wrist shot to glove side at 9:26. Less than a minute later, Warning squeaked a bad-angle shot between Stevens and the pipe to put Minnesota up 2-1.

Under third-year coach Rick Bennett, Union won its final 12 games and went 16-0-1 in its last 17. Ciampini scored three goals in the Dutchmen's 5-4 victory over Boston College in the semifinals Thursday night.

The Dutchmen have competed in Division I since 1991-92.

Minnesota lost for the seventh time in the title game. The Gophers were making their first appearance in the championship game since winning its second straight title in 2003.

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