Frozen Four 2011 Final: Michigan Hockey Leads Minnesota Duluth After 1st Period

If the score holds, the Michigan hockey team is 40 minutes away from capturing its 10th national championship in program history. After the first 20 minutes of action in the 2011 Frozen Four title game, Michigan leads Minnesota Duluth by a score of 1-0 thanks to Ben Winnett's second goal in as many games.

It looked like Michigan may have taken a 1-0 lead about five minutes into the first period. The puck was put on net and the Minnesota Duluth goaltender appeared to have some issues getting it covered. A couple maize jerseys converged on the net and one of them knocked it past the goal line. A referee blew his whistle just after it crossed the goal line, but he immediately waved the goal off. After a review, the call was upheld and the dreaded intent to blow the whistle rule struck again. (Michigan and the Red Wings have been on the wrong side of this rule so many times in the last few years.)

Shortly after play resumed, Michigan took an interference penalty and Minnesota Duluth almost made the Wolverines pay. A shot rang off the crossbar so powerfully that it deflected into the crowd. There were some other close calls on this penalty kill, but Shawn Hunwick stood tough in net and kept the Bulldogs off the board.

Michigan failed to score on its first power play of the game with around 10 minutes left in the period, and Minnesota Duluth was again kept off the board after Michigan killed off a charging penalty on Chris Brown. Hunwick made a few big saves to keep the score 0-0.

The first goal of the game, just like during Thursday's national semifinal against North Dakota, was scored by Ben Winnett. He received the puck in the middle of the zone off a faceoff and put it past Minnesota Duluth's Kenny Reiter. This was only Winnett's fifth goal of the season, and it's the first time in his career he's scored in back-to-back games. The timing couldn't have been better for Michigan, which is up 1-0 after the first period.

For more on the NCAA hockey tournament, check out SB Nation Detroit's StoryStream. SB Nation Detroit also has an NCAA hockey tournament bracket.

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