Michigan to Take on Minny in Finals
Ben Winnett’s goal from inside the hash marks 13:26 into the first period and great defense from goaltender Shawn Hunwick, in front of 19,139 spectators on Thursday night, propelled the second seeded University of Michigan Wolverines to Saturday’s NCAA Frozen Four championship game against the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs at the Xcel Energy Center.
The top-seeded University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux were considered the heavy favorite in the tournament but could not penetrate Hunwick’s stellar defense despite 40 attempts, and came out on the short end of a 2-0 shutout. Wolverine forward Scooter Vaughan scored the other goal with 36 seconds left in the contest after North Dakota pulled their goalie.
The Wolverines scored their two goals on only 20 attempts. Fighting Sioux goaltender Aaron Dell had 18 saves to Hunwick’s 40.
2:32 into the first period when freshman forward Brock Nelson sustained a lower-body injury after losing his balance following a clean hit by Michigan’s Luke Glendening. Nelson’s back slammed against the boards. After lying on the ice for a few minutes, he climbed to all fours but was still wobbly. With the assistance of the medical staff, Nelson was immobilized and taken to the hospital as a precaution.
With the win, the Michigan Wolverines (29-10-4) will attempt to win their tenth NCAA championship at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday against the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (25-10-6). This will be their first National Championship matchup against UMD.