Michigan won its third Big Ten tournament title in program history, as well as its second straight. All three B1G tournament titles for UM came against Minnesota (’16, ’22, ’23).
» Dylan Duke scored the game-winning goal with 8:14 remaining, giving Michigan a 4-3 lead.
» Rutger McGroarty scored Michigan’s first two goals and added an assist for an evening three-pointer.
» Adam Fantilli added an assist to set a new Big Ten Tournament scoring record with 11 points. He was named tournament MVP.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — An inspired effort from every part of the roster helped the second-seeded University of Michigan ice hockey team overcome a third-period deficit to defeat top-seeded Minnesota by a score of 4 -3 to win the 2023 Big Ten Tournament Championship on Saturday (March 18) inside 3M Arena in Mariucci.
The 4-3 win at Mariucci matches last year’s Big Ten Championship result, as Wolverines have now won back-to-back trophies at the home of the Golden Gophers. Michigan’s three modern Big Ten championships have been against Minnesota and in the hockey state; the 2016 title match was held at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.
junior goalkeeper Eric Portillo started between the pipes for Michigan and backed the Wolverines to a one-goal win for the second straight year. Portillo stopped 22 of 25 shots he faced from Minnesota’s very powerful offense to keep UM in the game and allow the team’s offensive power to win the game at the other end of the ice.
1-ranked Minnesota (26-9-1) opened the scoring at 6:52 after a blocked shot in its own end led to an odd run for the Gophers. The home side buried a two-to-one chance to take a 1-0 lead.
Rutger McGroarty scored twice in 34 seconds to put Michigan up 2-1 in the second period. With the Wolverines moving into the Minnesota area, Gavin Brindley carried the puck behind the net for the Wolverines before passing a pass to Ethan Edwards, which came in a shot from the high slot. Edwards’ initial outburst was pushed back, but McGroarty was perfectly positioned to finish the rebound and level the game, 1-1, 3:12 from center frame.
Off the ensuing faceoff, UM entered the Gophers game with the puck on Adam Fantilli‘s stick and got back to work. Minnesota native and senior blue liner Keaton Pehrson sent a long shot from the point that ricocheted off the back wall and across the net. McGroarty was there again to complete the rebound and celebrate with a delighted group of Wolverines as Michigan took a 2-1 lead just 34 seconds after scoring for the first time.
Just after the middle of the game, Michigan settled into the offensive zone before a pass was deflected by a Gopher stick in the neutral zone to create a two-to-zero chance for a pair of Gopher forwards. . The duo took the opportunity to tie the game with 9:11 left in the period.
The fourth-ranked Wolverines (24-11-3) came out of the gate for the third period with energy, threatening the Gophers with a flurry of shots on goal before an exceptional individual effort for a Minnesota forward failed. results in a deep rush in the UM finishes before beating Portillo to regain a one-goal lead at 1:57 and make it a 3-2 game.
At 5:29, Michigan found another equalizer to tie the game at three. Again, it was a freshman scoring a critical goal in the title game. This time, Let’s talk about Casey snatched a shot from the point that found the back of the net through traffic to make it 3-3 with 14:31 left in regulation. Brindley and McGroarty were involved in Casey’s seventh goal of the season.
Michigan took a 4-3 lead with 8:14 to go when Dylan Duke buried his 17th goal of the season with a flexible effort from the top of the blue paint. Aid went to TJ Hughesfor handing the puck to Duke near the front of the net, as well as to Brindley, his third assist of the game.
Looking for a tying goal with time running out, Minnesota pulled their goaltender for an extra forward. The Gophers tried to keep the puck in the Michigan zone, but the UM defense stayed strong and held on to put the finishing touches to a one-goal win and repeat as Big Ten Tournament champions .
After the match, the Big Ten Tournament Championship trophy was once again presented to an elated group of Wolverines dressed in corn and blue. When the All-Tournament team was named, a trio of freshman forwards Adam Fantilli and McGroarty with the blue liner Casey joined the second year Luc Hughes by making the cut with a Gopher forward and Minnesota goalie, Justen Close.
In addition, the country’s top scorer, Adam Fantilli, was honored as the Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for his record-breaking 11-point performance throughout the tournament.
Tomorrow night, the fourth-ranked Wolverines will join the rest of the hockey world as the team tunes into the NCAA draft show on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. for details (including the opponent , place and time of the game) of the team. record 40th trip to the NCAA Tournament.