Friday, April 8, 2011

It's U-M vs. UMD on Saturday

It'll be Wolverines against Bulldogs on Saturday night in St. Paul for it all. And really, who out there had that final pairing picked when the brackets were announced on March 20? Yet here we are.

Minnesota-Duluth again used a trio of power-play goals to record its latest victory, and held on to beat Notre Dame, 4-3, behind Kenny Reiter's 31 saves in the first semifinal played Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center. In the nightcap, Shawn Hunwick made 40 stops and allowed a first-period tally by Ben Winnett to hold up as Michigan blanked No. 2 North Dakota, the school favored by many to win this year's national championship, by a 2-0 count.

Michigan will be looking for its 10th national title and first since 1998, along with its fourth straight win over a WCHA team, when the puck drops tomorrow night. UMD will be seeking its first-ever NCAA crown in its first Frozen Four since 2004, and its first national final appearance in 27 seasons.

It's been quite a ride so far this spring in the NCAA Division I tournament - some expected outcomes, several exciting finishes, and even a few surprising upsets. All the final answers will be revealed on Saturday when the 2010-11 college hockey campaign concludes.

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