(St. Paul, Mn-WWJ) Michigan employed a smothering defense to shut out high-scoring North Dakota, 2-0, earning a spot in college hockey’s national championship game.
The Wolverines (29-10-4) won the nightcap of the Frozen Four semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul Thursday, and will meet Minnesota Duluth in the title game Saturday night. The Bulldogs eliminated Notre Dame, 4-3.
Ben Winnett’s first-period goal held up until Scooter Vaughn iced it with an empty-netter with just over 38 seconds remaining. Kevin Hunwick stopped all 40 Fighting Sioux shots for his fourth shutout of the season. Michigan had only 20 shots on goal.
North Dakota saw its 15-game unbeaten streak come to an end. The Fighting Sioux finish 32-9-3.
The game was physical from the opening face-off. Sioux freshman forward Brock Nelson was carried out of the arena on a stretcher in the first period after he was slammed into the boards on a hard but clean check by the Wolverines’ Luke Glendening. Nelson was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution with what the team called a lower-body injury.
Michigan has won nine national championships, most of any school, but hasn’t claimed a title since 1998.
(Copyright 2011 WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press Contributed To This Story.)