College Hockey Inc.
Hang 10! Denver Stifles Boston College for Record 10th NCAA Title
DU’s Davis Earns Tourney MVP Honors with 35-Save Shutout

DU players swarm goalie Matt Davis after his championship-clinching shutout (Photo: Matt Dewkett).

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Denver junior netminder Matt Davis stopped all 35 shots he faced to carry the Pioneers to a 2-0 win over top-seeded Boston College in the NCAA Frozen Four title game Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

DU, which finished with a 32-9-3 record, became the first program in NCAA Division I men’s hockey to get to 10 national championships.

Sophomore forwards Jared Wright (Burnsville, Minn.) and Rieger Lorenz (Calgary, Alberta) provided the goals for the Pioneers, but it was a team defensive approach and the continued spectacular play from Davis that enabled DU to win its latest national title without having scored more than two goals in any of its four NCAA Tournament games.

Davis, a Calgary, Alberta, native, allowed just three goals in four tournament games, stopping 138 of 141 shots (.979 save percentage). His best save Saturday came two-and-a-half minutes into the third period with DU on the penalty kill and trying to preserve its two-goal lead.

BC freshman Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) slid a pass across the goalmouth to classmate Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) for what appeared would be a sure goal, but Davis dove back across his body and robbed the 31-goal scorer with backhanded glove stop.

“I just saw the puck go back door again. I was like, “uh-oh,” and I dove over and made the save,” said Davis.

Had he seen a replay of the save yet?

“I just saw it on the JumboTron,” said Davis. “I just thought, ‘Sweet.’ Like, as long as it's not in the back of the net, that's sweet.”

Unsurprisingly, Davis was named the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player. His perfect effort Saturday marked the first time the Eagles had been shut out since the 2023 Hockey East Tournament.

“Superhuman. It's incredible what he did [in the tournament],” said DU head coach David Carle. “A lot of big-time saves in those games. It's not like we weren't giving up any chances. Did we get better defensively? Yes. Did we get more predictable? Yes. But there's many moments in all these games that he could have cracked, and he didn't.”

Davis and the Pioneers also snapped BC’s 15-game winning streak, third-longest in school history.

“They did a good job slowing us down, especially through the neutral zone,” said BC forward Jack Malone (Gr., Spring Lake, N.J.). “And when we got into the offensive zone, I felt, until the third period, they did a good job keeping us to the outside and keeping our shots not as much of a threat as we wanted them to be.”

BC averaged 4.5 goals per game in 2023-24 – only DU (4.6) averaged more – but could not generate an answer to the Davis riddle.

Wright opened the scoring midway through the second period, receiving a pass at the bottom of the left faceoff dot and stuffed a shot between BC netminder Jacob Fowler (Fr., Melbourne, Fla.) and the near post. It was Wright’s 15th goal of the season.

Lorenz, a Minnesota draft pick playing in the Wild’s home rink, added what would prove to be the insurance tally five-and-a-half minutes later. DU defenseman Zeev Buium (Fr., San Diego, Calif.) drew two BC defenders to him inside the left circle and deftly dished to Lorenz, who snapped the puck past Fowler for his 16th goal of the year.

That was more than enough for Davis and the Pioneers on the road to their latest championship.

“What an effort by our team,” said Carle. “I thought they executed unbelievably well. These guys up here, everybody laid it all on the line. And we're national champions. So proud of them.

“They'll walk together forever.”

All-Tournament Team
G: Matt Davis, Denver (MOP)
D: Zeev Buium, Denver
D: Sean Behrens, Denver
F: Will Smith, Boston College
F: Rieger Lorenz, Denver
F: Tristan Broz, Denver

Notes: The championship game attendance was 18,694 … DU is 10-3 all-time in NCAA Frozen Four championship games … Davis ended the season on a career-long nine-game winning streak … BC freshman Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) won the NCAA scoring title with 71 points in 40 games, setting BC rookie records for points and assists (46) … Teammate Cutter Gauthier (So., Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished with an NCAA-leading 38 goals, tying the school record … It was the second championship in three months for Carle, who led the United States to a gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in early January.