Around the Big Ten (Hockey): March 15
We’ve reached the Big Ten championship between Michigan and Minnesota for the second straight year. A lot of action has happened in the tournament, so let’s recap all the playoff action.
The seventh-seeded Wisconsin Badgers took on the second-seeded Michigan Wolverines in the quarterfinal, and for a team that wasn’t favored in this matchup, they played well behind the 8-ball even though they ended up getting swept.
In game one, Michigan opened the scoring, but the Badgers would take the lead into the first intermission. Later on, the Wolverines took, but when the third period rolled around, the Badgers responded and took the lead late. Mackie Samoskevich scored with less than a minute to go and Steven Holtz ended the game in overtime.
Game two saw a similar game where the Badgers stormed back to tie it down 4-1, but another late goal by Michigan and some empty net goals sealed the deal for Michigan. Adam Fantilli showed up when the lights were the brightest, scoring three goals and advancing the team to the next round.
The fourth-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the fifth-seeded Michigan State Spartans played in South Bend. It was a good goalie battle in game one, with only a goal by Grant Silianoff lifting Notre Dame to the win.
In game two, the Fighting Irish opened the scoring again, but Michigan State scored four unanswered goals to win 4-2, and in a do-or-die elimination game three, the Spartans’ Nicolas Muller scored twice to advance the Spartans.
Another rivalry was reignited with the sixth-seeded Penn State Nittany Lions and the third-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes dominated game one winning 5-1 and Stephen Halliday finished the game with four points.
Penn State’s Liam Souliere had an outstanding game two, saving 55 shots, and Kevin Wall came up clutch once again in Columbus, winning the game in overtime and forcing game three.
The Nittany Lions just couldn’t get it done in game three, however, with a second-period goal by Scooter Brickey and an empty net goal by Tate Singleton, OSU got the dagger that would send Penn State home.
In the semifinal matchups, Ohio State traveled to Ann Arbor in hopes of taking down one of its biggest rivals, Michigan. The Wolverines exploded early on, scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, one coming 23 seconds in by Gavin Brindley.
The Buckeyes scored a few times, but they were driven into the group by their opponent, losing 7-3. Adam Fantilli continued his strong playoff run with three points.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers finally got to play coming off their first-round bye, and they were met by the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans opened the scoring, but it wouldn’t be long until the Gophers struck back.
Minnesota went on to score five straight goals, two by Logan Cooley, who just continues to impress this year.
Who is winning the championship? Will it be back-to-back titles for Michigan, or will Minnesota get its revenge for last season’s results?
Anthony Desher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.