AUSTON – Denver defeated Michigan 3-2 in overtime in the Frozen Four men’s semifinal on Thursday to advance to the National Ice Hockey Championship game Saturday night at TD Garden in Boston. The Pioneers will face Minnesota for the title.
A Carter Savoy goal at 5:07 in first overtime allowed the Pioneers to win the match.
This is Denver’s first appearance in the tournament since 2018, when they won the title.
Denver, ranked fourth in the tournament, is looking to win the ninth men’s hockey championship in the program’s history, which would tie Michigan for the most championships in team history.
The overtime victory was the result of sloppy play by Michigan at its end. The Wolverines tried to go on an attack before securing the puck. Top scorer Bobby Brink’s pass was converted from the right corner by Savoy in front of the net, sending the pioneers to celebrate and the Wolverines home.
The match between the Pioneers and the Wolverines was not the offensive penalty shootout many expected. On the contrary, it was an intense battle between two talented and profound teams that lasted beyond organizational time.
Denver advanced 1-0 at 8:38 in the first half with a goal by Habs quarterback Brett Stapley, his 17th of the season.
The Pioneers scored before Michigan scored a shot on target, with the Wolverines eventually putting a discus on goalkeeper Magnus Crona in the 3:56 minute.
The first half ended with Denver’s advantage, the pioneers were 20-1-1 when they scored the first goal and 15-0-1 when they were ahead after 20 minutes of play.
Wolverine tied 1-1 at 15:57 of the second half with a goal scored by Jimmy Lambert.
The Pioneers regained the lead at 14:24 of the third period. But Michigan tied the score 2-2 with 10:51 remaining in third place.
The Wolverines have seven players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, including four of the top five picks from the 2021 draft. Defenseman Owen Power, the first overall pick, is expected to sign with the Buffalo Sabers after the tournament. National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Minnesota dominates its competition
In the other game, Minnesota State led the game against Minnesota 5-1 after allowing the first goal of the game to be scored.
Benton Maas and Reggie Lutz scored for Minnesota State in the second half to give the team the lead, which is now 37-5 this season.
Ondrej Pavel, David Seely and Brendan Fury were the other top scorers in the win.
Matthew Kniss was Minnesota State’s only goal scorer on his team’s first-ever shot.
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