The Wolverine

April 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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APRIL 2022 THE WOLVERINE 57 U -M defeated Notre Dame by a score of 2-1 at Yost Ice Arena on March 12 to advance to the Big Ten Tournament final at Minnesota on March 19. It was the Wolverines' first victory over the Irish this season after dropping all four meetings in the regular season. The fifth time was the charm for this group, who saved its best effort against the Irish for last with the most stakes on the line. "It definitely felt really good," soph- omore forward Brendan Brisson said. "When we found out we were going to play [Notre Dame] we were pumped. … It was a team effort." The program was eager to get another shot at Notre Dame after how the meet- ings in the regular season went. It added some extra juice to a postseason run that Michigan hopes ends in a national championship. "We wanted the opportunity to play them again," head coach Mel Pearson said. "I think when we left there [South Bend], it was not a good feeling. A cou- ple of weeks ago, our team was upset, staff was upset, everybody's upset. They rubbed our noses in it a little bit down there. Left a real bad taste with us and we were happy to get them. "They are a really good team, but you want to play those teams leading up to the tournament." It was also a victory that Brisson hopes becomes a narrative changer for the Wolverines. Because of their bevy of NHL talent, many have labeled them a finesse team. They would like to switch that sto- ryline. "There's a stereotype about our team that since we're so skilled, we play soft," Brisson said. "That's just not true. Ev- erybody was finishing their hits tonight and down the road that's what we're going to have to do." The game was also a notable return to form for Michigan's "Hero Line" of Brisson, Matty Beniers and Kent John- son. The trio, which just returned from Olympic play a few weeks prior, was responsible for both goals in the victory. "They were all excited to play with each other," Pearson said. "You can see it on the first goal, just the creative- ness and skill that they had. You don't want to give them much time or space or room, because they can make you pay." And make them pay they did. The Wolverines threw the kitchen sink at Notre Dame, who were the victims of a desperate hockey team out to send a message. "I wasn't gonna try to change on the fly, I trust our guys to play [against U- M's top line]," Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said. "They just capitalized. They're good players and that's what's gonna happen." Next up is a trip to take on top-seeded Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament final March 19. The NCAA Tournament selection show is set for March 20. — Anthony Broome U-M TEAM CAPTAIN RECEIVES NATIONAL HONOR Senior defenseman and captain Nick Blankenburg was named one of 10 fi- nalists for the 2021-22 Senior CLASS Award, it was announced on March 7. The Senior CLASS Award, which is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, is focused on the totality of a student- athlete's impact and encourages them to use their platform to make an impact Sophomore forward Brendan Brisson scored the game-winning goal in the Wolverines' 2-1 triumph over the Fighting Irish in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals March 12. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL   MICHIGAN HOCKEY Michigan Saves Only Win Over Notre Dame For When It Counts

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