MINNEAPOLIS — Adam Wilcox and No. 2 Minnesota completed a sweep of No. 10 Michigan, winning 4-1 on Saturday at Mariucci Arena.
Wilcox allowed a goal on the first shot he faced. Andrew Sinelli fired a long shot that beat Wilcox in the lower right corner and one wondered if it would be a long night for Wilcox.
The Gophers responded with four unanswered goals and Wilcox stopped the rest of the 28 shots he faced to put Minnesota in the driver’s seat to win the first Big Ten regular season title.
Similar to Friday night, the Wolverines actually controlled play early in the third, holding the Gophers without a shot until 8:37 of the period. The Gophers’ first shot was a goal by Hudson Fasching while on a five-minute power play for a 4-1 lead.
That was the backbreaker, allowing the Gophers to coast the rest of the game.
The Wolverines had more close-in chances in the second, including 10 attempts inside the circles, but Wilcox was up to the challenge.
But goals have been hard to come by of late for the Wolverines.
“We had good chances,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “We did not capitalize on our best chances. Goals are precious this weekend and we needed another one.”
After Sam Warning tied the game late in the first period for the Gophers, Connor Reilly gave them the lead on a slap shot from the top of the left circle that beat Steve Racine over the glove on a transition play.
At 15:20, Nate Condon made it 3-1 on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. Vinni Lettieri earned his second assist of the night working the puck off the boards and finding Condon with space.
Warning tied the game at 17:46 of the first on a redirect of a centering pass from Kyle Rau.
“I thought the important goal tonight was our first one,” Minnesota coach Don Lucia said. “Michigan came out and the first one goes in. We kind of righted the ship.”
Minnesota is off next weekend while Michigan plays host to Penn State.