2011 Frozen Four National Semifinal Preview - North Dakota vs. Michigan
In order to recap the second national semifinal, Michigan’s 2-0 win over North Dakota, all you need to do is mention one name: Shawn Hunwick. Hunwick stopped all 40 shots he faced and most of the game he was “ standing on his head.” For the Wolverines, Ben Winnett scored the game winning goal midway through the first period—of a rebound.
North Dakota dominated the majority of the game and it is very evident when looking at the stat sheet. The Fighting Sioux outshot the Wolverines 40-20 including 26-7 over the last two periods, but that didn’t matter. Hunwick was more than equal to the task.
This is very surprising considering North Dakota was second in the nation in scoring this season and was dominating teams earlier in the NCAA tournament. Coming into the national semifinals, the Sioux had scored 12 goals while their opponents only put one past Goalie Aaron Dell. North Dakota has a loaded roster, eight players had over 25 points, including Hobey Baker finalist Matt Frattin.
Not only did the Sioux out shoot Michigan but it they had quality chance after quality chance but could never quite capitalize on their chances.
Seeing their season slip away, North Dakota decided to pull their goalie with 1:12 left and after three scoring changes Michigan got it out of their zone and ended the game.
Scooter Vaughan ended the game and the dreams of North Dakota hoisting their 8 th championship in school history with an empty netter.
Having a shutout isn’t something new to Hunwick, it is his fourth clean sheet of his season.
But losing isn’t something that is new to North Dakota is used to. Before falling to the Wolverines, the Sioux had not lost since January 28 th.
This game was the marquee game as two of the most storied college hockey programs were going head to head. This game lived up to the billing. Both rosters are loaded with NHL ready talent. Michigan has 13 players that have been drafted by NHL franchises while North Dakota has 16.
Losing in the Frozen Four is familiar ground for the Sioux and their fans. Since getting the head gig seven years ago coach Dave Hakstol has taken his Sioux to five Frozen Four and has yet to deliver a National Championship.
Michigan will play Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday for the chance to win its 10 th Championship and further cement their place as an elite hockey program.
By Alex Bausch
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