2023 NCAA hockey tournament: What you need to know about Michigan vs. Colgate
2023 NCAA hockey tournament: Michigan Wolverines vs. Colgate Raiders
Matchup: 1-seed Michigan (24-11-3) vs. No. 4 Colgate (19-15-5), NCAA tournament Allentown region first round.
Faceoff: 8:30 p.m. Friday; PPL Center, Allentown, Pennsylvania.
At stake: Winner plays Friday’s winner between Penn State and Michigan Tech at 6:30 p.m. Sunday for spot in Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida.
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The Wolverine to know: F Adam Fantilli
Michigan lost a ton of talent to the NHL from last season’s Frozen Four squad then made up for it with a freshman class that featured five players with at least 20 points. (And that’s not even including Frank Nazar III, a first-round draft pick last summer who played in just 10 games this season due to injury.) But the bluest of the maize-and-blue-chippers has to be Fantilli, who entered with top-three draft pick buzz and did nothing to kill it after scoring 27 goals and adding 34 assists in just 33 games — his 61 points are tops in the nation, and his 1.85 points per game are 0.27 ahead of the next-closest player, Harvard junior Sean Farrell. The 6-foot-2 Fantilli enters the NCAA tournament on a heater, as well; the Hobey Baker Award finalist nabbed Most Outstanding Player honors in the Big Ten tournament after setting the tourney record with seven goals in U-M’s first three games. (He didn’t score in the final, though he did set up one of the Wolverines’ four goals against Minnesota.)
The Raider to know: G Carter Gylander
No goalie spent more time on the ice this season than the 6-foot-5 Gylander, whose 2,342 minutes were 99 more than No. 2 on the list, Ohio State’s Jakub Dobes. The Alberta native picked up his game over the Raiders’ shocking nine-game finish to the season that saw them go from fifth in the ECAC during the regular-season to conference tournament champs. In all, Gylander allowed three or fewer goals in all 10 games, going 6-1-2 with an OT win in the first round of the ECAC tourney and a double-OT win (in which he allowed just one goal in nearly 88 minutes) over NCAA No. 1 seed Quinnipiac in the ECAC semifinals. Michigan fans watching Gylander could be a bit conflicted on Friday, as he was a seventh-round pick by the Detroit Red Wings (at No. 191 overall) in 2019.
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Ryan Ford’s pick
The Raiders were one of the better defensive teams this season, with their 2.51 goals allowed per game ranking 14th. But they rarely faced an offense as strong as Michigan’s — at 4.11 goals per game, the Wolverines are No. 1 in the nation — in the ECAC. Figure on one of U-M’s fab freshmen (perhaps Gavin Brindley, who’s riding a four-game point streak) to finally brush off Colgate’s Cinderella run. The pick: U-M 5, Colgate 2.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: 2023 NCAA hockey tournament: What to know about Michigan vs. Colgate