No. 2 Seed Wolverines to Host Spartans in B1G Tournament Quarterfinal Series

No. 2 Seed Wolverines to Host Spartans in B1G Tournament Quarterfinal Series

3/2/2022 9:05:00 AM

// Kristy McNeil

»The Wolverines have won nine of their last 10 games vs. Michigan State.
» Matty Beniers is the B1G scoring champion after collecting 27 points in league play.
»A Mike Richter Award semifinalist, Erik Portillo ranks third in the nation in saves with 932.

THIS WEEK: Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal Series
Tickets | UM Vaccination Policy
Friday, March 4 – vs. Michigan State (Yost Ice Arena), 7 p.m.
TV: FS2 | Live Stats | Live Audio (link coming soon) | Live Video
Saturday, March 5 – vs. Michigan State (Yost Ice Arena), 7 p.m.
TV: Bally Sports Detroit | Live Stats | Live Audio (link coming soon) | Live Video
Sunday, March 6 (if necessary) – vs. Michigan State (Yost Ice Arena), 7 p.m.
TV: FS2 | Live Stats | Live Audio (link coming soon) | Live Video

• Complete Game Notes (PDF)

Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tik Tok

The No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, the University of Michigan ice hockey team (25-9-1) will host No. 7 seed Michigan State in the best-of-three quarterfinal round this weekend at Yost Ice Arena. Games are set for 7 pm Friday (March 4) and Saturday (March 5) as well as Sunday (March 6), if necessary. All games will be aired on television, with Friday and Sunday’s games on FS2 nationally, while Saturday’s will air regionally on Bally Sports Detroit.

Notes: Effective Jan. 1, 2022, the University of Michigan has instituted a proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative-test protocol for indoor athletic events. Face masks continue to be required and must be worn during all home indoor athletic events. [ U-M Vaccination Policy ]

Wolverine Bites

• Michigan is 25-9-1 after being swept on the road at Notre Dame to close the regular season.

• UM checks in at No. 5 in the USCHO and No. 4 in the USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine polls.

• As the B1G’s No. 2 seed, Michigan would host a one-game semifinal next week if it advances.

Matty Beniers sits atop the UM stat sheet with 37 points (17g, 20a) and a B1G-leading nine power-play goals. Behind him is Brendan Brisson (17g, 16a) with 33 points and a team-leading five game-winning tallies. Freshman blueliner Luke Hughes is the nation’s top-scoring defenseman with 16 goals and 32 points. Kent Johnson enters the weekend with 30 points (6g, 24a), while last season’s leading scorer, Thomas Bordeleau, sits at 28 (9g, 19a) along with a stellar 57.1 percent track record in faceoffs. Sophomore stalwart Owen Power returns from Olympic play to anchor the blue line with 27 points (3g, 24a). Freshman Mackie Samoskevich (7g, 17a) has been excellent in the second half of the season to sit at 24 points in his first season, while fifth-year Michael Pastujov (9g, 13a) has posted a career-best 22 points.

• Power leads the Wolverines with 40 blocked shots, while captain Nick Blankenburg is second with 39. Blankenburg has also set career-highs offensively with 13 goals and 22 points.

• Sophomore Erik Portillo has started every game in net for the Wolverines this season. He has a 25-9-1 record including three shutouts, a .926 save percentage and a 2.14 goals-against average. The Swedish stalwart is third in the NCAA with 932 saves and second with 25 wins. He was recently named as one of 11 semifinalists for the Mike Richter Award.

Scouting the Spartans

• The Spartans finished the regular season in seventh place with 17 points.

• MSU was outscored 87-51 in 24 B1G games but snapped a 13-game losing streak in its last game vs. Penn State.

• Senior forward Mitchell Lewandowski paces the offense as a point-per-game player but missed significant time due to injury. He is set to return this weekend. MSU’s leading scorer is Jesse Tucker with a pair of goals and a team-leading 22 assists for 24 points. Erik Middendorf has a team-high 12 goals.

• Dennis Cesana has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points on the blue line, while Nash Nienhuis has 13 and David Gucciardi 11. Cesana and Cole Krygier each have 50 blocked shots.

• MSU has utilized both Drew DeRidder and Pierce Charleson on the net. DeRidder leads the duo with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage with a 9-13-1 record.

Up Next

Saturday, March 12 – Big Ten Tournament semifinal

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