Michigan Netminder Turco Named NCAA Tourney MOP

On Saturday, the winningest goaltender in NCAA tournament history was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 1998 tournament at the FleetCenter in Boston. Michigan senior Marty Turco turned in a 28-save performance in a 3-2 overtime win over Boston College in the title game after making 19 saves to earn a shutout against New Hampshire in Thursday’s semifinal.

The two victories give the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native a total of nine in NCAA tournament games, moving him past Wisconsin’s Marc Behrend (1981-83) and Duane Derksen (1990-92) and Lake Superior State’s Darrin Madeley (1990-92), each of whom have seven.

Michigan coach Red Berenson heaped praise on the man who also backstopped Michigan to the national title in 1996.

“This season was his biggest test — he had four freshman on defense. This was the true test of Marty Turco. Has he passed the test? I would say, ‘No question.’ I think he is a great college goalie.”

Turco was both brilliant and lucky in facing 13 Boston College attempted shots in overtime. Just 30 seconds in, Turco made a great pad save on Brian Gionta, who broke in through two defenders, and eight minutes later he survived a scare when Jamie O’Leary broke through. O’Leary’s shot hit the underside of the crossbar and landed in the crease under Turco.

Turco, who also holds the NCAA record for career victories with 127, said of his selection by members of the media, “It’s a great honor. But I’d trade [the award] in order to play another year at Michigan. I didn’t do anything spectacular. My defense played unbelievable.”

He was joined on the all-tournament team by Michigan’s Mark Kosick, Josh Langfeld and Bubba Berenzweig, and Boston College’s Marty Reasoner and Mike Mottau.