Colgate men's hockey falls to Michigan in NCAA tournament
An impressive postseason run for the Colgate men's hockey team came to a disappointing halt Friday.
A skilled No. 2 nationally ranked University of Michigan team used its high-powered offense in a lopsided second period to halt Colgate.
The top-seeded Wolverines scored seven times in the period — including four goals over 4:56 — as Michigan rolled to an 11-1 victory over Colgate on Friday in an NCAA tournament regional quarterfinal at PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
There had been some hope Colgate, which moved to No. 19 in the USCHO poll this week, could pull off a monumental upset over Michigan after the Raiders won their second Eastern College Athletic Conference Hockey championship last Saturday and its first since 1990.
Colgate’s previous four games in the ECAC tournament were all one-goal decisions, including wins over No. 2 Quinnipiac in double overtime and No. 6 Harvard to capture the conference title,. However, Colgate appeared to be overmatched by Michigan’s offense, which is second in Division I with more than 4 goals per game.
Colgate finishes its season 19-16-5 under longtime coach Don Vaughan. Colgate was making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2014. The other tournament appearances were in 1981, 1990, 2000, and 2005.
On Friday, Michigan grabbed a first period lead and never really looked back. Sophomore forward Luke Hughes, the 2022 No. 4th overall pick of the New Jersey Devils, helped lead the charge offensively with two goals and three assists. Hughes is expected to join the Devils — the parent club of American Hockey League's Utica Comets — when the season at Michigan ends.
“We all knew they were pretty hot coming in, especially with four seeds beating one seeds, you can’t take them lightly,” Hughes said on the ESPN broadcast following the game. “I don’t think we did that. We were really prepared, and that’s a credit to our coaching staff and the guys we have in that locker room. It was a great win and now we are on to the next.”
Colgate got its lone goal of the game early in the third period from Nic Belpedio when Michigan had built an 8-0 lead.
It didn't get better in the third period for Colgate. After Colgate’s Alex Young was given a major for butt-ending midway through the third period, Michigan scored three times on the five-minute power play.
Michigan’s 11 goals were the most in the tournament since Denver defeated St. Lawrence 12-2 in the 1961 championship game. The 11-1 result tied for the third-largest margin of victory in an NCAA men’s tournament game.
Friday's result was part of a big tournament for Big 10 teams: The four games involving teams from the conference had them outscoring opponents 36-4. Minnesota topped Canisus 9-2 on Thursday while Ohio State topped Harvard 8-1 and Penn State topped Michigan Tech 8-0.
Michigan advances to face No. 2 seed Penn State at 6:30 p.m. Sunday with a trip to the Frozen Four up for grabs.
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