Frozen Four 2013: Key Performers in Yale's Improbable NCAA Championship

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Frozen Four 2013: Key Performers in Yale's Improbable NCAA Championship
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Winning their first-ever NCAA Division I hockey title, the Yale Bulldogs made an improbable run through the 2013 Frozen Four.

Having already lost three times to Quinnipiac this season, Yale ousted its rival in the championship game on Saturday as the No. 15 seed in a tournament that featured just 16 teams.

ESPN's John Buccigross pitches in to show how impressive the Ivy League school's run was:

Hockey is undoubtedly a sport that needs cohesion and selflessness on the ice, but these three players stood out as top performers during the Bulldogs' run through the 2013 tournament.

 

Jesse Root, C

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Junior center Jesse Root was a key member of the Bulldogs' NCAA championship, finding the back of the net in three of Yale's four games during the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament.

Root scored the last goal for the Bulldogs in the championship game against the Bobcats in the third period—an empty-netter. It was the fourth goal for Yale, and it sealed the tourney win.

The center consistently put pressure upon opposing goaltenders night in and night out, racking up 17 shots on goal during Yale's run through the competition.

 

Andrew Miller, RW

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

If it weren't for the play of goaltender Jeff Malcolm, right winger Andrew Miller likely would have earned Most Outstanding Player honors.

The junior winger absolutely baffled his opponents in the tournament, scoring two goals and adding four assists for a total of six points in the tournament. No goal was more important than Miller's overtime goal against UMass Lowell that thrust the Bulldogs into the national championship game.

Throughout Yale's run, Miller was a steady combination of good passer and clutch scorer, landing 14 shots on goal and coming up clutch when his team needed him. He scored a goal and dished an assist in the Bulldogs' final win of the season against Quinnipiac in the championship-clinching game.

 

Jeff Malcolm, G

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Voted Most Outstanding Player throughout his performance in the tournament, senior goalie Jeff Malcolm was outstanding for the Bulldogs in the Frozen Four.

Malcolm allowed just five goals in the entire tournament and had the best game of his career on Saturday versus Quinnipiac—which was also his 24th birthday—recording a season-tying 36 saves in the 4-0 shutout of the Bobcats.

While a lot of the credit should be given to Yale's defense, and rightly so, Malcolm deserves a ton of respect for his performance in the 2013 Frozen Four and the championship game versus rival Quinnipiac.

 

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