ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota-Duluth claimed its first national title 18 years after the last school to capture a first title, Maine in 1993. In doing so, Minnesota-Duluth became the 18th program to win at least one Division I hockey title.
Attendance for the championship games was 19,222, the seventh largest in Frozen Four history. Last year’s championships at Ford Field hold the top two spots (37, 592 and 34,954). The Scottrade Center in St. Louis holds the hockey arena record (19,327) , with the Xcel Energy Center owning the next four slots, including both games this week.
This was the second appearance for Minnesota-Duluth in the national finals, with both games needing extra time to decide things. In 1984, the Bulldogs lost to Bowling Green in four overtimes.
Michigan was making its 12th appearance in the title game. The Wolverines are now 9-3 in those contests.
The last time either team was in the finals, they faced the same coach. Jerry York coached Bowling Green in 1984 and Boston College in 1998.
The all-tournament team consisted of forwards J.T. Brown and Kyle Schmidt of Minnesota-Duluth and Ben Winnett of Michigan; defensemen Justin Faulk of Minnesota-Duluth and Jon Merrill of Michigan; and goaltender Shawn Hunwick of Michigan.
Brown was the most outstanding player.
Extra time in St. Paul
Four of the five national championship games played in St. Paul have gone to OT (1989, 1991, 2002, 2011); the 1994 final was a 9-1 win by Lake Superior State over Boston University. In all, 14 national championship games have gone to overtime.
Extra time for the Wolverines
Michigan’s last four appearances in the national championship game have gone to overtime. The Wolverines are 2-2 in those games.
Sung and unsung
Schmidt, who scored the game-winner, on Friday was named the fifth winner of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award for his efforts on and off the ice. The award is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the “spirit and relentless commitment” of Derek Hines, a former Army player who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2006.
Seen and heard
Seen: Jerseys from 54 of the 58 Division I teams (plus Penn State).
Heard: Boos when the PA announcer reminded the crowd that next year’s Frozen Four is in Tampa, Fla.