Article: The state of California will be well-represented when Quinnipiac and Yale square off for the NCAA National Championship on Saturday night in Pittsburgh, PA.
Over the last 20 years, hockey has dramatically grown and flourished in the Golden State. The sport has sent numerous players to the NCAA as well as the WHL. The number of players choosing the collegiate route continues to increase, which in turn, is benefiting teams vying for National Championships each year. And that has been especially true this season. Of the five Californians among the Frozen Four participating teams, four are members of the two teams playing in Saturday night’s National Championship game.
Photo: St. Cloud State forward Drew LeBlanc's season and college career ended one game earlier than he would have liked, but he received a nice consolation prize after being named the 2013 Hobey Baker Award winner (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
St. Cloud State red-shirted senior Drew LeBlanc has been named the recipient of the 2013 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player The Hermantown, MN native is the first player from St. Cloud State to win the prestigious honor.
Photo: Quinnipiac University teammates Eric Hartzell (L) and Kellen Jones (R) celebrate Jones' second period goal that gave the Bobcats their 4-1 advantage over St. Cloud State (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Behind a dominating defensive effort and the clutch goaltending of senior Eric Hartzell, Quinnipiac is now one step away from winning their first National Championship in program history after defeating St. Cloud State, 4-1, in the second Frozen Four semi-final game on Thursday night.
Photo: UMass-Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 34 straight saves after the first intermission, but Yale captain Andrew Miller (not pictured) finally beat him under the pad for the game-winner in overtime (courtesy of Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
With the help of some late-game heroics from captain Andrew Miller, the Yale Bulldogs made history Thursday night when they earned a 3-2 overtime victory over the UMass-Lowell River Hawks. It will be Yale's first appearance in a national championship game ever and the first time an ECAC team has played for a national title since Colgate in 1990.
Photo: Defenseman Kevin Gravel has grown into his role on the shutdown defensive pairing for St. Cloud State, which will take the ice against Quinnipiac in the late semi-final game (courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI)
Junior defenseman Kevin Gravel (LAK) has been a pillar of strength on St. Cloud State’s blueline, logging upwards of 25 minutes per game and facing some of the best opposing players in NCAA hockey. He has played in all 41 games to date, posting 11 points (one goal, 10 assists).