Wolverines fall in heartbreaking Frozen Four semifinal

Wolverines fall in heartbreaking Frozen Four semifinal

Notre Dame, Ohio State and MI finished in first, second and third place, respectively, in the Big Ten and made up 75 percent of the teams in the men's Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"Obviously, we're the underdog in the tournament and we're just happy to be there, and it's bonus hockey for us now, but it's been a great week in Michigan", Wolverines head coach Mel Pearson said.

A number of fans young and old who attended the 2011 championship game, in which UMD beat MI 3-2 in overtime, are headed back to St. Paul this week to cheer on the Bulldogs.

Ohio State vs Minnesota Duluth is Thursday at 6 p.m. ET and will be on ESPN2, Notre Dame vs. MI is Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET and will be on ESPN2, and the national championship is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be on ESPN.

The first national semifinal pits Ohio State against Minnesota Duluth in a rematch of last year's first-round matchup, which saw the Bulldogs advance with a 3-2 overtime win.

Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State all represented the Big Ten, guaranteeing the conference a berth in Saturday's National Championship.

Minnesota Duluth assistant coach Brett Larson doesn't need to have his eyes on the ice to know when senior captain Karson Kuhlman has hit the turbo button.

But he underwent a bone marrow transplant in August 2010 and was back at work just more than three months later.

"I hope it gives us a big advantage", UMD coach Scott Sandelin said.

"The way we play defensively, teams don't shoot the puck all the time", Shepard said.

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"My mom has been reminding me since past year", he said, smiling.

"After my first circle of the arena, an older gentleman made a comment about my Bulldog jersey and how I was supporting the right team. I just had to find the puck and put it in the net".

Here is a look at the Frozen Four results, which will be updated when the second game goes final.

"I think our game plan was to keep them off the power play", Calderone said.

But, since Notre Dame is involved, a one-goal game is likely to be part of the equation.

Tufte, a first-round draft pick of the Dallas Stars who has 16 goals and 13 assists this season, returned in the second period and finished the game.

The Bulldogs earned another chance to show the world that they're, possibly, the best team in the game on Saturday night. MI is one of the best offensive teams in the NCAA, so this was expected.

They all knew the scenario. Morrison went wide and threw a centering pass to Evans, who looked like he was tied up by MI defender Quinn Hughes. I didn't think (Morrison) was going to pass. "But I'm just again expecting it to be a real tight, lower-scoring game". "We dug ourselves a hole, but I couldn't be more proud of my group".

MI (22-15-3) led 1-0 after the first period on a Tony Calderone goal, and doubled its lead just 17 seconds into the middle period when Dexter Dancs banked a shot off the body of Irish defenseman Dennis Gilbert. "He made a reference to his grandson playing and I asked him which player was his grandson".

These same two teams will meet twice in late October in South Bend.

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