The final one of the year as we put a bow on the 2011 season…
Minnesota-Duluth 3, Michigan 2: Both championship games played at the Xcel Energy Center have gone to overtime, and both times a team from Minnesota has come up champions. Duluth and Michigan played a game of how many unsung heroes could score big goals, and in the end it was Kyle Schmidt, who was actually named the nation’s unsung hero, who got the goal to win it in overtime. As for Michigan, Shaun Hunwick was great again, making 35 saves but the rest of the team didn’t play like they were in a national championship game. Only 24 shots, and they gave Duluth 9 power plays. Fortunately the Bulldogs’ power play was a bit off, otherwise it could have been an ugly title game.
Congrats to both teams, and to join the UConn basketball team, who finished 9th in the Big East, we have Duluth, who finished 4th in the WCHA. Next week I’ll examine where Duluth stacks up against previous national title winners, but for now Kyle Schmidt is going to save a lot of money on bar tabs for the rest of his life.
coming next week: My national awards, a look back at both my preseason top 10 and preseason bracket, and some of the top games of the year.