Yale goalie Jeff Malcolm was without question the least-heralded
The Bulldogs broke open a scoreless game on a goal with 3.5 seconds left in the second period.
Clinton Bourbonais tipped the puck through Eric Hartzell's five-hole just before the break.
Hartzell, a Hobey Baker finalist, had gone behind the net to clear a shot and was back at the corner of the crease facing the shooter, but the puck was deflected by Bourbonais at the last second.
The shot from Gus Young was launched just above the left circle at the wall. It had the makings of a routine, albeit odd-angle shot until the deflection.
"It was just a flukey goal," Hartzell said. "That's what happens when you get pucks on nets, just weird things happen. I didn't really see the shot. It was deflected, it was bouncing, he redirected it right to my five hole."
Just 3:35 into the third period Charles Orzetti gave Yale a 2-0 lead with another shot through Hartzell's five-hole, this one a wrister from the left circle.
Andrew Miller then made it 3-0 at 9:06 of the third period on a breakaway, and Mt. Lebanon's Jesse Root scored into an empty net at 13:02.
goalie to make his way to Pittsburgh for the Frozen Four.
But Saturday night, he played the game of his life at Consol Energy Center.
Malcolm and the Yale Bulldogs shut out Quinnipiac, 4-0, to win the first national championship for a program with roots that go back more than a century to 1893.
"I just felt comfortable in there," said Malcolm, who made 36 saves. "We got some bounces. And, yeah, here we are. ... It was one of our goals at the start of the season to get here. It's just an amazing feeling right now."
A crowd of 18,184 watched the Bulldogs hoist the NCAA championship trophy as confetti rained from the rafters.
Yale and Quinnipiac had played three times previously this season with the Bobcats winning all three games.
The two programs, located 10 miles apart near New Haven, Conn., play in the same conference -- the ECAC.
"We shut them out because everyone was involved in the process," said coach Keith Allain, a former Yale goaltender. "I came back to prove you can go to the best university in the world and compete at the highest level of hockey. This group has proven that right here."
Quinnipiac had its chances, getting 36 shots on net, and both teams had lengthy 5-on-3 power plays in the second period stemming from too many men on the ice penalties, but neither converted on those opportunities.
"We're devastated. It was a great year, and this wasn't the way it was supposed to end," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. "I'm proud of my guys. ... We weren't perfect through two periods. We played well enough. We had plenty of chances. We just couldn't score."
Neither team scored in the first period, but each had chances thanks to two power plays apiece.
Hartzell turned away a sharp wrister by Tommy Fallen about a minute into the game and gloved a shot on Yale's first power play after it zipped through traffic. Malcolm made a few key saves early, too.
He knocked a rebound of a shot he had stopped up and over the back of the goal, then thwarted a breakaway attempt by Matthew Peca, who shot from a tough angle with just under four minutes to play in the first period.
"Jeff played great all night. You could tell right from the start he was feeling it," defenseman Colin Dueck said of Malcolm. "Getting shots and seeing them well. In the second period, he made a pretty great breakaway stop. I knew at that point he's just closing the door."
Yale is the first No. 4 seed to knock off three No. 1 seeds to win a championship. They beat Minnesota in the regional, Massachusetts Lowell in the semifinal, and Quinnipiac for the title.
Jenn Menendez: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez. First Published April 14, 2013 4:15 AM