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against NCAA Regional
23 Mar (Do)
against NCAA Regional
» Michigan captured its third Big Ten tournament title in program history as well as its second straight title. All three B1G tournament titles for UM came against Minnesota (’16, ’22, ’23).
» Dylan Duke scored the winning goal with 8:14 left to give Michigan a 4-3 lead.
» Rutger McGroarty scored Michigan’s first two goals and added an assist on a three-point night.
» Adam Fantilli added an assist to set a new record in Big Ten tournaments with 11 points. He was named the tournament’s most outstanding player.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — An inspired effort from all parts of the roster helped the second-ranked University of Michigan ice hockey team come down from a third-period deficit and defeat top-seeded Minnesota 4-3 to win the Big Ten on Saturday (March 2023). Tournament Championship 2023 to win 18) at the 3M Arena in Mariucci.
The 4-3 win at Mariucci matches last year’s Big Ten championship as the Wolverines have now back-to-back trophies at the Golden Gophers’ home stadium. All three of Michigan’s modern Big Ten championships have been played against Minnesota and the hockey state. The 2016 title game was held at Saint Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.
junior goalkeeper Eric Portillo started between the whistles for Michigan and stopped the Wolverines to a one-goal win for the second straight year. Portillo turned aside 22 of the 25 shots he faced in Minnesota’s highly potent attack to keep UM in the game and allow the team’s offensive star power to win the game at the other end of the ice.
1st-ranked Minnesota (26-9-1) opened the scoring 6:52 after a blocked shot in their own zone led to an odd run at the Gophers. The home side buried the two-on-one chance for a 1-0 lead.
Rutger McGroarty scored twice in 34 seconds to give Michigan a 2-1 lead in the second half. With the Wolverines settling in the Minnesota zone, Gavin Brindley carried the puck behind the net for the Wolverines before slamming out a pass Ethan Edwards, who stepped into a shot from the high slot. Edwards’ initial slam was brushed aside, but McGroarty was perfectly positioned to end the rebound and level the game at 1-1 at 3:12 of midframe.
After the subsequent faceoff, UM entered the Gophers’ end with the puck Adam Fantilli‘s stick and got back to work. Senior blue liner and native Minnesotan Keaton Pehrson sent a long shot on goal from the point that ricocheted off the end wall and went to the other side of the net. McGroarty was right there again to finish the rebound and celebrate with an enthusiastic group of Wolverines as Michigan went 2-1 up just 34 seconds from their first goal.
Just after halftime in the game, Michigan lined up in the offensive zone before a pass was deflected into the neutral zone off a Gopher stick to create a two-for-zero chance for a pair of Gopher forwards. The duo took the chance to level the game 9-11 in the semifinals.
The fourth-seeded Wolverines (24-11-3) came out of goal full of energy for the third period, threatening the Gophers with a barrage of shots on goal before a standout individual performance by a Minnesota forward led to a rush deep in goal as UM ended before beating Portillo to retake a one-goal lead at 1:57 and make it a 3-2 game.
At 5:29, Michigan found another equalizer to tie the game at three. Once again it was a freshman who scored a crucial goal in the title game. This time, Seamus Casey ripped a shot from the point that found the back of the net through traffic to make it 3-3, with 14:31 to play in regulation. Brindley and McGroarty assisted on Casey’s seventh marker of the season.
Michigan took a 4-3 lead at 8-14 Dylan Duke He buried his 17th goal of the season with a flexible move from the top of the Blues. Templates were received TJHughesfor taking the puck to Duke near the net, and also to Brindley – his third assist of the game.
Looking for a game-defining goal with time running out, Minnesota pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker. The Gophers tried to keep the puck in Michigan’s zone, but the UM defense stayed strong and held strong to put the finishing touches to a one-goal win and repeat themselves as Big Ten tournament champions.
After the game, the Big Ten tournament championship trophy was again presented to an enthusiastic group of corn-and-blue-clad Wolverines. When the All-Tournament team was named, a trio of freshmen in forwards Adam Fantilli and McGroarty and sophomore blue liner Casey joined Luke Hughes along with a Gopher forward and Minnesota goaltender Justen Close to make the cut.
In addition, the nation’s top scorer, Adam Fantilli, was recognized as the Big Ten’s Most Outstanding Player for his record-breaking 11-point performance throughout the tournament.
Tomorrow night, the fourth-seeded Wolverines will join the rest of the hockey world when the team tunes into the NCAA Selection Show on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. for the full details (including opponents, location and game time) for the team’s record 40th trip to the NCAA tournament.