Michigan Wolverines win Big Ten tournament title

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

 

By @MichaelCaples –

The Michigan Wolverines are Big Ten champions.

With a 5-3 win over Minnesota tonight at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, UM has secured the Big Ten tournament title.

The Wolverines’ famed ‘CCM Line’ of Kyle Connor, JT Compher and Tyler Motte were joined by defenseman Zach Werenski on every single one of the Wolverines’ goals.

Connor recorded one goal and three assists, as did Werenski. Compher posted one goal and two assists, while Motte scored the first goal and the last goal of the evening for Michigan.

Steve Racine stopped 30 shots between the pipes to lead Michigan to the victory.

The win secures Michigan’s spot in the NCAA Tournament, though they would have reached the national playoffs either way. The Wolverines will find out their seed, who they will play and where they will play tomorrow night.

Motte scored his 30th goal of the season in the first period, giving the Wolverines the game’s first lead when he took a pass from Connor near the Minnesota goal and roofed the puck over Schierhorn.

The Wolverines took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission after out-shooting Minnesota 10-6 in the first 20 minutes of play.

Compher increased the Wolverines’ lead to 2-0 just 1:31 into the second period, scoring on his own rebound for the second power-play goal of the night for Michigan. A flurry of scoring by the Golden Gophers, however, put the Wolverines a goal behind heading into the third period. First, it was Leon Bristedt for Minnesota, beating Racine at the 6:35 mark of the middle frame. Jake Bischoff found the back of the net at 10:21, and then Justin Kloos scored on a power play at the 16:50 mark of the second period.

Connor scored his 35th goal of the season 3:28 into the third period to even the score once again. The freshman from Shelby Township took a pass from Compher and put the moves on Schierhorn, deking the Minnesota netminder before tucking the puck into the empty net.

Werenski gave Michigan the lead when he sent a shot through traffic and into the top corner past Schierhorn with 4:33 remaining in regulation.

Motte finished things off with an empty-netter in the final minute.

Racine, Werenski, Compher and Connor were all named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. Connor was named Tournament MVP, as well, as he finished with five goals and eight total points in the two games the Wolverines played in during their title run.