Denver beats Minnesota St. to claim ninth NCAA hockey title

Denver players celebrate after defeating Minnesota State in the NCAA men's Frozen Four championship college hockey game Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Boston
Posted at 10:59 PM, Apr 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-09 22:59:45-04

BOSTON (AP) — Ryan Barrow and Mike Benning scored less than three minutes apart to give Denver the lead and the Pioneers awakened with five goals in the third period to rally past Minnesota State 5-1 on Saturday night for their record-tying ninth college hockey title.

Two nights after eliminating Michigan in the Frozen Four semifinal, Denver joined the Wolverines as the only schools with nine championships. Magnus Chrona stopped 27 shots for the Pioneers (31-9-1), who won it all for the first time since 2017.

Minnesota State (38-6) took a 1-0 lead on Sam Morton’s first-period goal and dominated — outshooting Denver 18-8 in the first 40 minutes — before Barrow slid a rebound of Benning’s shot through the legs of Hobey Baker Award winner Dryden McKay five minutes into the third.

Forty seconds later, Morton was sent off for tripping; he had just returned to the ice and crossed into the defensive zone when Benning one-timed it into the net to give the Pioneers the lead. Massimo Rizzo added another goal with 6:26 to play, and Brett Stapley and Cameron Wright added empty-netters 30 seconds apart in the final 2 1/2 minutes.

McKay made 15 saves for Minnesota State, which led the nation in wins.