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Union trumps Minnesota for title

PHILADELPHIA — A visit to the City of Brotherly Love was supposed to end with a golden moment.

At least that’s the way the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team, a self-proclaimed 20-member band of brothers, had it planned.

But tiny Union College delivered a dagger that pierced the Gophers’ championship hopes, posting a resounding 7-4 victory in the national title game Saturday night in front of 18,742 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Minnesota’s quest for its sixth national championship ground to a halt in the wake of a Dutchmen offensive attack that fired shots at will. Union, a Schenectady, N.Y., school with an enrollment of 2,241, won its first national sports crown since a lacrosse title 1929.

“I don’t think anyone’s going to be calling us a Cinderella anymore,” Union junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said.

The Gophers’ defense abandoned them at the season’s pivotal moment, and tears flowed afterward. The frustration left many players speechless and unwilling to be interviewed.

“There is not much to say about it,” said sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox, who faced a barrage of 49 shots.

“The season is over,” senior captain Nate Condon said. “It is very tough to swallow. This is not something I want to revisit. It will be one of those things I remember for the rest of my life, but not in a good way.”

Wild drop finale

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — With their season ending, the Nashville Predators could dismiss long-time coach Barry Trotz. Although the Predators are out of the playoffs, lately Trotz’s players have given the organization reason to keep him around.

On Sunday the Predators closed the season with a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Wild and have been one of the NHL’s hottest teams of late, going 9-1-2 in their final dozen games.

Right winger Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists for the Wild (23-27-12), who started goalie Illya Bryzgalov, but lifted him after two periods.

 of their final tune-up before the playoffs begin. Bryzgalov had 16 saves on 21 Nashville shots and was replaced by John Curry, who finished with 10 saves. Left wingers Erik Haula and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota, which is heading to the postseason for the fifth time in team history.