Michigan Hockey Wins Second 2011 Frozen Four Semifinal

In what could be considered the elite game of the two semifinal games, the Michigan Wolverines faced off against the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the second semifinal at the Frozen Four. Both schools have been apart of various Frozen Fours over the years and have won a combined 16 national championships. 

In terms of the game, it was a defensive battle between both teams as Michigan's Ben Winnett scored the game winning goal at the 13:26 mark of the first period. Winnett found a loose rebound and put it past North Dakota goaltender Aaron Dell for the first goal of the game. Scooter Vaughan iced the game for the Wolverines with an empty net goal with 35 seconds left in the game. 

It wasn't for the lack of offensive chances for North Dakota but Michigan's goaltending was the difference for the Wolverines. The Fighting Sioux outshot the Wolverines 40-20 in the game and by 26-10 in the final two periods. Michigan's Shawn Hunwick made 14 saves in the first and a total of 40 saves to preserve the shutout to get Michigan to the National Championship game. Dell made 19 saves in the losing effort for North Dakota. Dell was the top goaltender of the season with a 30-6-2 record and 1.81 goals against average in 39 appearances this year but his offense failed to find the back of the net for only the third time this season. 

There was a scary moment early in the first period for North Dakota. Freshman forward Brock Nelson was fighting for a puck near the Michigan net when he got tangled with a Michigan player and was sent awkwardly into the boards. He was down on the ice for a few minutes and then was eventually stretchered off the ice. According to reports, Nelson was taken to the nearest hospital for precautionary reasons, but was moving all limbs and had some lower back pain. 

Michigan will be taking on Minnesota-Duluth, the winner of the first semifinal game, in the National Championship on Saturday night. 

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