Minnesota Completes a Sweep on Michigan

Credit: Jim Rosvold/USHCO.com

Minnesota ranks number two in the nation, while Michigan ranks third. These two games were huge as they are very close in rankings. However, six Michigan players were out of the lineup due to illnesses.

Michigan Down Players

A few weeks ago goaltender Erik Portillo was out due to an illness. Nevertheless, this week was worse as six players couldn’t play. One of the players is in Michigan’s ICU as stated by his mom in a Facebook post. With so many players out Michigan couldn’t put out a complete lineup. They even had to put their third-line goalie on the left wing.

One player they were missing was Adam Fantilli, who has been one of college hockey’s best players so far this season. Michigan was swept by Minnesota without A. Fantilli, does Adam Fantilli play that big of a role on this team?

Minnesota vs. Michigan- Game One

During game one Minnesota was able to get on the board first as Pitlick scored from the left circle. Later in the first period, Dylan Duke had a wide-open shot in front of the next tying this game 1-1. To add to Michigan’s bad luck this week, Minnesota’s Logan Cooley had a dangerous cross-check on Michigan’s Eric Ciccolini and only received a five-minute penalty. Following his return to the game, Cooley was suspended for game two, and Ciccolini was injured and wouldn’t return in this series.

Michigan was late to come on this ice for the third period which resulted in a penalty. Goaltender Erik Portillo had the worst outing of the season during game one as Minnesota won 5-2.

“We didn’t talk about hockey too much this week,” Michigan coach Brandon Naurato stated. “It’s been nothing but worrying about our teammates and their mental and physical health.”

Minnesota Dominates Game 2

During this game, Portillo and Michigan continued to struggle. Minnesota took an early 3-0 lead. However, feeding off of each other’s energy Michigan was able to get on the board as Dylan Duke bated down a put a puck into the next giving him his third point and goal this series. Immediately after, Minnesota responded and make it a 4-1 game. Adding on to Michigan’s bad luck, they called off a goal from Rutger McGroarty saying it was scored after the buzzer went off. Dylan Duke scored again giving him his fourth goal of the series. However, Minnesota didn’t give in and won the game 6-3 while dominating this weekend.


One big question remains, why would Michigan play this series? They didn’t practice this week due to illness going on throughout the team. The stress and knowing your teammates aren’t well showed a lot while they were on the ice. However, this was good for Minnesota as they were able to complete the sweep. This means they will most likely still rank top two in the nation.

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