Wolverines Fall to Gophers in Overtime

Despite holding a two goal lead, the Wolverines couldn't hang on as the Minnesota Golden Gophers came back to win 3-2 in overtime of the NCAA Frozen Four semifinal.

The Wolverines hopes of an NCAA Hockey Championship fell short on Thursday night, despite holding a lead for most of the game. The Golden Gophers struggled back to tie the game late in the third period, before winning it in overtime.

AP Photo/David Duprey

Michigan dominated the first period of play, out-shooting Minnesota 15 to 5 in the early going. The Wolverines capitalized on their opportunities, when Brandon Kaleniecki scored off of a face-off at the 9:33 mark of the period. The period ended with Michigan in charge 1-0.

AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli

The Wolverines scored again at the 14:38 mark of the second period, when senior Jed Ortmeyer received the puck in front of the net, and was able to score on a backhand shot. But the two goal lead didn't last for long, when Minnesota's Troy Riddle scored at the 17:45 mark of the period to pull within one.

AP Photo/Don Heupel

The Golden Gophers' Gino Guyer scored early in the third period, at the 1:35 mark, to tie the game up a two aside. Despite registering ten shots in the period, the Wolverines were unable to score, and the game advanced into sudden death overtime.

AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli

At the 8:55 mark of the overtime period, Minnesota's Thomas Vanek was able pick up a loose puck, and shoot it past Al Montoya on the near side. Minnesota advances to the finals, where they will face New Hampshire on Saturday night for a chance to repeat as National Champions.

AP Photo/Don Heupel

Michigan..... 1 1 0 0 : 2
Minnesota...0 1 1 1 : 3

1st period

-MICH, Brandon Kaleniecki/14 (Andrew Ebbett/18) 9:33
PENALTIES - Jed Ortmeyer, MICH (tripping) 2:52; Matt DeMarchi, MINN 4:39; Keith Ballard, MINN (holding) 14:26; Mark Mink, MICH (high sticking) 17:15; Gino Guyer, MINN (cross-checking) 18:49

2nd period

-MICH, Jed Ortmeyer/18 (Jeff Tambellini/19) 14:38
-MINN, Troy Riddle/26 (Thomas Vanek/30, Matt Koalska/30) 17:45
PENALTIES - Brandon Rogers, MICH (holding) 1:34; Al Montoya, MICH (tripping) 12:07

3rd period

-MINN, Gino Guyer/13 (Barry Tallackson/15, Chris Harrington/13) 1:35
PENALTIES - Chris Harrington, MINN (hooking) 4:05; Chris Harrington, MINN (holding) 7:49

OT period

-MINN, Thomas Vanek/30 (unassisted) 8:55

Shots on Goal: Michigan 33; Minnesota 32

Power Plays: Michigan 0 of 5; Minnesota 0 of 4

Attendance: 18702

Post-Game Quotes:

Head Coach Red Berenson

On the game:

"It was a great game. I think that everyone expected these two teams to go all out to win. When it goes down to overtime, it's tough to swallow. Both teams were evenly matched. It's disappointing when you lose and players like Jed Ortmeyer don't get another chance, and they've given so much to the program."

On keys to the game:

"We still needed to score more than the first goal in the first period. When we had them on their heels, we had to make it count ... We didn't do it."

On senior captain Jed Ortmeyerv:

"I can't say enough about Jed Ortmeyer. He's one of those individuals that I'm really going to miss. It's not that he's just a senior, but he's a leader and a leader by example. He's vocal. He's in sync with the program and with Michigan ... He's the epitome of what I want in a captain for my team."

On freshman goalie Al Montoya and the game-winning goal:

"That was a tough shot, but that's the kind of shot that wins a game in overtime. You can't blame our goalie. I don't think I've seen a better freshman goalie in college hockey than Al Montoya. He's had a tremendous year."

Jed Ortmeyer

On comparing the game today vs. last year against Minnesota in the Frozen Four:

"We're two different teams. Last year we got off to a bad start and fought back; this year we got off to a good start and they got a good finish where they got an overtime goal just by taking chances."

On taking a 2-0 lead:

"We were excited, I don't think we were overconfident. They had us on our heels, they got momentum, and ours wasn't too high and they eventually got a break."

On the game:

"To win a championship, you need good goaltending, he (Minnesota's Travis Weber) did his job and Al Montoya kept us in the game when Minnesota had chances. They ended up getting the one chance in overtime."

John Shouneyia

On the game:

"We got a couple goals, and there's no such thing as a good lead in hockey. They (Minnesota) got bounces, we had momentum with a fast start, then we got some luck, we thought we got it back, but we didn't get it back."

On Michigan getting to the Frozen Four:

"We knew coming into the season we weren't going to have any 35-goal scorers, we had a blue-collar team. Our goals were to outwork the other team with solid defense, and we put in hard work every night."

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