Michigan Wins Big Ten Tournament at Minnesota
In a thrilling Big Ten title clash, the Michigan Wolverines took down the Minnesota Golden Gophers for their second conference championship and first since 2016.
Minnesota scored within the first minute of the contest, but the Wolverines were able to immediately respond with a Brendan Brisson goal.
The game began, Minnesota led and then it was tied again all within the first minute and seventeen seconds of the tilt.
Michigan was able to exit the ice for the first intermission with a lead thanks to a goal from Florida Panthers prospect Mackie Samoskevich.
The Wolverines used their talent to assert dominance in the second period by extending their lead from 2-1 to 4-1 by the period’s end.
Michigan was in cruise control for most of the third, but a pair of late penalties gave the Gophers a three-man advantage with the goalie pulled.
They scored two goals in the last minute to make the contest look closer than it probably was, ending the final with a 4-3 loss.
Michigan concludes an exciting Big Ten tournament in which they stomped over in-state rival Michigan State in round one, defeated a Notre Dame squad they went winless against in four regular-season games in round two and finally knocked off a No. 1 seeded Minnesota team in the final who Big Ten coaches predicted to win the championship over them in the preseason.
Three Big Ten teams were able to do enough to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. Michigan, Minnesota, and Notre Dame were all given berths to the 16 team battle for the Frozen Four.
Entering the Big Ten tournament, Ohio State was a bubble team with a decent chance to make the big dance if they played up to expectations.
However, the Buckeyes fell at home in a three-game series to Penn State. All three contests were tightly contested one-goal affairs with some unsung heroes for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State’s series victory marked the first time in the Big Ten tournament’s short history that a road team was able to advance past the quarter-finals.
The Nittany Lions ultimately lost 3-2 at Minnesota in a game that came down to the final four minutes.
All three Big Ten teams entering the tournament have legitimate Frozen Four and national championship aspirations.
The Fighting Irish under Jeff Jackson is one of the most well-coached teams in all of college hockey.
Their conference play, especially against Michigan, proved that they are capable of staying with any team in the nation.
Minnesota has a veteran squad with plenty of NHL talent to boot.
Justen Close is one of the hottest goaltenders in the country and the Gophers will be playing with a vengeance after falling to Michigan in the Big Ten championship game.
Michigan almost needs no introduction. Its lineup is loaded with first-round draft picks and despite being on the younger side, ran through the Big Ten tournament.
It is the Frozen Four or bust for this Michigan team.
Overall, it was an exciting Big Ten tournament and it should be even more exciting to see how the conference’s top squads stack up with the best of the rest in the nation when the stakes are raised even higher.
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Second Year / Broadcast Journalism