For the second consecutive year, Michigan hockey is advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four, after a thrilling 2-1 overtime win against Penn State. The Wolverines’ Mackie Samoskevich, a former first-round NHL draft pick, secured the victory just 52 seconds into overtime, marking their 27th Frozen Four appearance – an NCAA record.
Quest for Redemption
The Wolverines aim to avenge their loss in last season’s national semifinals and secure their first national title since 1998, which would be their 10th in school history. Their Frozen Four rivals, Quinnipiac, are also seeking retribution after Michigan eliminated them in the regional final last season.
Michigan freshman Adam Fantilli, a Hobey Baker Award finalist, played a crucial role in tying the game at 1-1. After a holding penalty on Carter Schade, Fantilli scored during the Wolverines’ fourth power play, smashing the puck past Souliere with 7:52 left in regulation.
Goalie Conundrum Overcome
Throughout the season, Michigan hockey demonstrated an ability to outwit goalies, with only one netminder holding them scoreless. In their 40th game, they faced the formidable Penn State goalie Liam Souliere, who stopped 40 shots in regulation before Samoskevich’s decisive goal. Michigan’s high-scoring offense, averaging 4.3 goals per game, had previously demolished Colgate 11-1 in the first round.
Tough Ending for the Nittany Lions
Penn State held a brief 1-0 lead when Connor MacEachern scored on a power play. The match showcased the two teams’ strengths, as they ranked first and third in shots. Despite a controversial non-goal call in the first period, the Wolverines persevered to secure their spot in the Frozen Four.
Frozen Four Details
No. 1-seed Minnesota and unseeded Boston University at 5 p.m. ET on April 6.
No. 2-seed Quinnipiac and No. 3-seed Michigan at 8:30 p.m. ET the same night.
The winners will move on to the national championship game, which takes place on Saturday, April 8.
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Featured Image Syndication: Detroit Free Press