College Hockey Game of the Week: Michigan vs. Minnesota

Story posted March 17, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Anthony Desher

The Big Ten has seen a crazy year of hockey. Now, it has finally reached its end with the Big Ten championship ready to be played between the second-seeded Michigan Wolverines and the first-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Wolverines have a current record of 23-11-3 and have a lot of high-end talent. Adam Fantilli leads the entire NCAA with 60 points on the year. He was recently awarded Freshman of the Year, and First-Team All-Conference by the Big Ten. He plays his role as a power forward almost perfectly as he can drive the net and create chances for himself or his teammates.

Second-Team All-Conference member, Mackie Samoskevich can put the puck in the net as he has 19 goals, and Gavin Brindley has 33 points in his draft-eligible year. On the blue line, you can find First-Team All-Conference defenseman, Luke Hughes. He’s one of the best defensemen in the entire NCAA with his 42 points this year.

Michigan faced some adversity against Wisconsin in their round one matchup, but prevailed to go on and take care of business against Ohio State in the semifinals.

The Wolverines carry so much speed in their game and it is a key part of their success. Blink and they might put the puck in the net in seconds.

Minnesota is the highest-ranked team in the nation and can be seen as the favorite to win it all. The Golden Gophers have a talented lineup, top to bottom and a 26-8-1 record shows the great success the program has had so far.

Logan Cooley has put this offense over the top and putting him with Jimmy Snuggerud and Matthew Knies during the season has put all the eyes on the trio. Cooley and Snuggerud were honored with Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team while Knies was awarded Big Ten Player of the Year.

The defensive core is also one that has stars all over the lineup. Jackson LaCombe has racked up over 31 points on the year, and Brock Faber won the honor of Big Ten Defenseman of the Year.

There is even security in the crease with Justen Close. He’s accumulated a goals against average of 1.95 and a save percentage of .929. Solid goaltending and defense win championships, and when your team is clicking with every position on the ice, it’s a big reason why the Golden Gophers are that much more dangerous.

After winning the regular season title, Minnesota was awarded a first-round bye and had a single-game series against the Michigan State Spartans. With another convincing win, the Golden Gophers look to get their revenge against Michigan, the team that beat them in the final last year.

Michigan and Minnesota are both some of the best teams in the NCAA this season, with each team having an explosive offense and defense. With so much talent on the ice at once, will this championship game end up being a shootout for the title, or will one team overpower the other?

Anthony Desher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email