Mecca and BlueReview – McGarty scored twice as UM won back-to-back Big Ten Tournament titles

Photo of author

Brandon Naurato and the Michigan hockey team marched into the 3M Arena in Mariucci and defeated the top-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers 4–3. Compared to the previous season’s Big Ten Tournament Championship, it was the same result, by the same score, on the same sheet of ice.

It was a classic game between the two best teams in the Big Ten, and was played in a similar fashion to the previous year’s Big Ten Tournament title game.

Minnesota jumped out to an early lead less than seven minutes into the game as it benefited from a 2-on-1 breakaway that left Michigan goaltender Eric Portillo with little choice.

It took a few minutes for Michigan to respond, but when it did, it did so in the blink of an eye. Rutger McGarty scored back-to-back goals just 34 seconds apart, and suddenly it was a one-goal Michigan lead.

Midway through the second period, Hobe Baker candidate Logan Culley tied the game with two goals for Minnesota.

The game remained tied at two for the remainder of the second period, and it was setting up for an instant classic in Minneapolis.

Minnesota’s Rhett Pitlik started the third period with one of the most impressive goals of the college hockey season, and Minnesota had all the momentum early in the final period.

Michigan, however, did not falter. Seamus Casey leveled the game a few minutes later. The goal was challenged by Minnesota head coach Bob Motzko, but the call was upheld, and the game remained tied.

See also  Pittsburgh waives Patrick Peterson from the Vikings

With only eight minutes to go in the game, and both teams looking for a go-ahead goal, Dylan Duke executed with a freakish backhand goal that beat Golden Gophers goalie Justen Close.

Minnesota pulled close in the final minutes of the game, but Michigan did a great job of holding off a six-man Golden Gopher rush to claim its second consecutive Big Ten Championship.

McGroarty and Gavin Brindley earned their first and second stars of the game in the win.

Michigan will now undoubtedly be the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and it will just await its appointment to the national tournament, which comes Sunday night.


Discuss this article with our community premium message board

Not a subscriber to Maize and Blue Review? Sign up today to access all the latest Michigan Intel M&BR offers

Follow our staff on Twitter: @JoshHenschke, @berry_seth14, @TrevorMcCue, @DennisFithian, @BrockHeilig, @JimScarcelli, @lucasreimink, @Jared Halas

Subscribe to our podcasts: apple podcast, google podcasts And Spotify

View video content of the Maize and Blue Review on Youtube

Follow Maize and Blue Reviews on social media: Facebook, Twitter, TIC TocAnd Instagram