» Michigan captured its third Big Ten Tournament title in program history, as well as its second straight. All three B1G Tournament titles for UM have come against Minnesota (’16, ’22, ’23).
» Dylan duke scored the game-winning goal with 8:14 left to play, giving Michigan a 4–3 lead.
» Rutger McGroarty scored Michigan’s first two goals and added an assist for a three-point night.
» Adam Fantilli added one assist to set a new Big Ten Tournament scoring record with 11 points. He was named the most outstanding player of the tournament.
MINNEAPOLIS, Min. — 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 4-3 and win the 2023 Big Ten Tournament Championship on Saturday ( March 2023) to win. 18) at the 3M Arena in Mariucci.
The 4-3 victory at Mariucci ties in with the outcome of last year’s Big Ten Championship as the Wolverines have now won back-to-back trophies in the home of the Golden Gophers. All three of Michigan’s modern Big Ten championships have come against Minnesota and state hockey; the 2016 title game took place at Saint Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.
Junior goaltender Eric Portillo started between the pipes for Michigan and stopped the Wolverines back to a one-goal win for the second straight year. Portillo deflected 22 of the 25 shots he faced from Minnesota’s very powerful offense to keep UM in the game and allow the team’s star offensive force to win the game on the other side of the ice.
Number 1 ranked Minnesota (26-9-1) opened the scoring at 6:52 after a blocked shot in his own zone led to an odd man out for the Gophers. The home side buried the two-on-one chance of a 1-0 lead.
Rutger McGroarty scored twice in 34 seconds to put Michigan ahead 2–1 in the second period. With the Wolverines settling into the Minnesota zone, Gavin Brindley carried the puck behind the net for the Wolverines before making a pass Ethan Edwards, who stepped into a bulkhead from the high slot. Edwards’ initial blast was brushed aside, but McGroarty was perfectly positioned to round off the rebound and tie the game, 1-1, at 3:12 from mid-frame.
After the ensuing throw-in, UM entered the Gophers end with the puck on it Adam Fantillistick and went back to work. Senior blue liner and native Minnesotan Keaton Pehrson sent a long shot on target from the point that bounced off the end wall and across the net. McGroarty was there again to round off the rebound and celebrate with an elated pack of Wolverines as Michigan took a 2-1 lead just 34 seconds after scoring the first.
Just after the middle of the game, Michigan set up in the offensive zone before a pass was deflected by a Gopher stick in the neutral zone to create a two-to-nil chance for a pair of Gopher forwards. The duo took the opportunity to tie the game with 9:11 remaining in the period.
The fourth-ranked Wolverines (24-11-3) came out of the gate with energy for the third period, threatening the Gophers with a flurry of shots on target before a superb individual effort from a Minnesota forward resulted in a rush deep into the UM finished before beating Portillo to regain a one-goal lead at 1:57 to make it a 3-2 game.
At 5:29, Michigan found another tying run to tie the game at three. Once again it was a freshman who scored a crucial goal in the title game. This time, Let’s talk about Casey ripped a shot from the point that found the back of the net through traffic to make it 3-3 with 14:31 left to play under the rules. Brindley and McGroarty assisted on Casey’s seventh point of the season.
Michigan took a 4-3 lead with 8:14 left then Dylan duke buried his 17th goal of the season with a flexible bet from the top of the blue paint. Assists went to T. J. Hughesfor taking the puck to Duke at the front of the net, and also to Brindley – his third helper of the game.
Looking for a decisive goal as time ticked, Minnesota pulled its goaltender for an extra forward. The Gophers tried to keep the puck in the Michigan zone, but the U-M defense held firm and held on to put the finishing touches on a one-goal win and a repeat as Big Ten Tournament champion.
After the game, the Big Ten Tournament championship trophy was again presented to an exultant group of maize and blue-clad Wolverines. When the All-Tournament team was named, a trio of freshmen in forwards Adam Fantilli and McGroarty along with blue liner Casey joined the sophomore Luke Hughes in making the cut alongside a Gopher forward and Minnesota netminder 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 Wolverines in fourth place join the rest of the hockey world as the team tunes into the NCAA Selection Show on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. to learn the specifics (including opponent, venue, and game time) for the team. record 40th trip to the NCAA Tournament.