UND Ends Michigan Hockey’s Run at the Frozen Four

The Wolverines went into this weekend, after a huge win in the Big Ten title game against Minnesota, looking to make a run in the NCAA Hockey Tournament.

Michigan’s weekend started out on Friday against Notre Dame but nearly came to a quick end.  UM began the scoring with a goal from the senior Justin Selman on a beautiful face-off play.  The Fighting Irish would then go on to score two unanswered goals and put fear into the hearts of every Wolverines fan.

The game remained a 2-1 ND lead up until the third when Columbus Blue Jacket’s first rounder, Zach Werenski, took a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that beat Notre Dame’s Cal Petersen to tie the game up. The end of regulation would sound at a 2-2 tie.

That’s when the fun really started.

The famous CCM line was extremely quiet for the Wolverines during regulation, the line was minus 2 with only a handful of shots during the regulation. Something most Michigan fans had yet to see during the season. However, overtime was a different story.

8:19 into overtime, the nation’s leading scorer, Kyle Connor, rushed the puck up the ice, taking the defenseman wide.  Connor took a shot that hit the defenseman’s stick but trickled in front of the net, where J.T. Compher was rushing.  Compher picked up the puck, then gave a beautiful, behind the back, no-look feed to Tyler Motte for the game winner.  A perfect time for the CCM line to get on the board and advance the Wolverines.

With the huge win against Notre Dame, the Wolverines got to play for a spot in the Frozen Four, though it wouldn’t be easy. Michigan would have to face North Dakota, which is a perennially power house.  And they showed it from start to finish vs UM.

UND controlled almost every aspect of the game, out shooting Michigan 49-27.  Michigan goalie Steve Racine stood tall most of the game, with 44 saves on 48 shots but gave up two goals in the third, including one he definitely wishes he had back.

Michigan was lead by Compher who had two goals but it was not enough as UND would go on to win 5-2, ending the Wolverine’s season.

Quick Season Recap

Michigan’s season was extremely successful. The Wolverines won their first Big Ten Championship, finally got back to the NCAA Tournament and had one of the most exciting offenses in recent college hockey history.  This will now usher in a very scary time for the Wolverines though at they will be losing Cristoval “Boo” Nieves, Steve Racine and Justin Selman to graduation.  The Wolverines could very likely also lose the whole CCM line to the NHL, along with stud defenseman Zach Werenski.  Not to mention that there is speculation that this could be Red Berenson’s last season, due to retirement.  This should be a very interesting offseason for the Wolverines and one to watch very closely.

On the bright side, Michigan still has a shot at a Hobey Baker Winner this year with, Conner, Compher and Motte all being up for the award, and one expected to land it.

What did you think of the 2015-16 Michigan hockey team? Do you think the CCM line will head to the NHL? Will Conner win the Hobey Baker? Will Red call it quits? Let us know if the comment section below!

Photo Credit: MGoBlue