BOSTON — Magnus Chrona wasn’t the higher touted goalie in the national championship game, facing off against Hobey Baker Award winner Dryden McKay.
But it was Chrona who made the big saves, 27 in total, to lead the Denver Pioneers to a 5-1 victory over Minnesota State.
The Pioneers trailed 1-0 for most of the game, outshot 18-8 through two periods before breaking through for five unanswered goals in the third period.
It was Chrona who kept his team in the game, making several key saves to keep things 1-0.
“You have to give him credit,” said Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings. “He kept it at one. That’s a big piece of this game to not be able to get it to two. I want to give him credit for what he did.”
“Obviously, we couldn’t have done it without Magnus standing on his head,” said Denver coach David Carle. “He made a few massive saves to keep it at one.”
“The big Swede staying solid between the pipes was awesome for us. He kept us in the game.” said Denver forward Mike Benning, who scored the game-winning goal at 7:33 of the third period.
Chrona allowed the game’s first goal at 13:59 of the first, but shut the door after that, including stopping a short-handed breakaway attempt by David Silye in the second period and making a point-blank stop on Jake Livingstone early in the third.
“Obviously, I have to give a shout out to Magnus for the first 40 minutes,” said Denver senior forward Ryan Barrow. “I don’t think our team realized we were in the national championship game (yet). He stood on his head until we got our feet under us.”
Chrona said he was able to relax a bit once his teammates got him even at 1-1.
“After the first one, I thought almost immediately that we were going to get a second one,” he said. “After that (the rest of the game) was pure joy.”
“Sometimes it takes all 60 minutes,” said Carle. “And we utilized the last 20 to our fullest advantage. And it takes a full team and we utilized our goaltender to the extreme.”
Chrona was asked if his parents back in Stockholm were excited about their son winning a national title.
“I’ve got to text my mom, she was pretty nervous,” he said. “It’s pretty late (there). They stayed up to watch me.”