UMD 3, UM 2: Minnesota-Duluth beats Michigan, 3-2, in overtime for NCAA hockey championship
BY JEFF SHELMAN Special to AnnArbor.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The University of Michigan hockey players stood shocked in front of their bench. Wolverines senior Chad Langlais was bent over at the waist. Goalie Shawn Hunwick watched a replay on the scoreboard.
He couldn’t have liked what he saw. Because the replay showed the Minnesota-Duluth goal that gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 overtime victory and ended the Wolverines chances of winning a national championship.
Just 3:22 into the sudden-death overtime session, UMD’s Travis Oleksuk threw a perfect centering pass from behind the net. It found Kyle Schmidt who quickly buried the puck past Hunwick.
Instead of Michigan winning its 10th title in school history, UMD won its first.
The loss marks the first time Red Berenson has lost a championship game as the Wolverines won in both 1996 and ’98. Both of those titles were secured by 3-2 scores and in overtime.
The reality is the Wolverines might have been fortunate to reach overtime Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.
The Bulldogs applied much of the pressure in the third period and certainly had several good scoring chances. UMD had 36 shots on goal in regulation while the Wolverines had 23.
Wolverine defenseman Greg Pateryn made one of the biggest plays of the game. With UMD on the power play a shot appeared to have gotten past Hunwick with 7:30 to play in regulation. Pateryn, however, swept the puck out of the crease before it crossed the goal line.
Hunwick made 35 saves for the Wolverines.
While Michigan scored first and led 1-0 after one period, UMD controlled much of the second and third periods.
The Bulldogs evened the score, 1-1, just 1:39 into the second period. After UMD’s Brady Lamb’s shot from the right circle from the right circle was stopped, Oleksuk knocked the puck past Hunwick.
It was the first goal allowed by Michigan at the Frozen Four. Michigan trailed for the first time in the Frozen Four, 2-1, when UMD freshman Max Tardy scored the first goal of his career. With the Bulldogs on the power play, Tardy secured the rebound of his own initial shot on Hunwick and give UMD the lead.
Michigan tied the game, 2-2, at 17:46 of the second period as the Wolverines continue to get offense from unlikely sources. When Jeff Rohrkemper backhand in the slot got past UMD goalie Kenny Reiter, he scored for only the third time this season.
Michigan’s Ben Winnett, who scored only three goals in the regular season, scored the first goal of the game for the second time in this Frozen Four at the Xcel Energy Center.
When Michigan’s Matt Rust won a faceoff to the left of the Minnesota-Duluth goal, he pulled the puck back to Winnett at the top of the circle. Winnett made two short strides toward the center of the ice and fired a shot on the left side of the net.
The puck hit off of the skate of UMD’s Justin Faulk and snuck between Kenny Reiter’s stick and his leg pad at 14:42.
While this is Winnett’s 157th game for Michigan, he had not previously scored goals in consecutive games.