In a battle between two of the top three teams in the nation, Michigan sophomore wing Brendan Brisson buried a feed by sophomore center Thomas Bordealeau to give the third-ranked Wolverines a 3-2 victory over No. 1 Minnesota State in the championship of the 2021 Ice Breaker Tournament in Duluth.
Brisson’s game-winning goal came on a rush with 4:20 remaining in regulation after Bordeleau tied the game 4:20 into the third period.
“We had a couple looks late, but an even-numbered rush coming back into our end late and we blow a little bit of coverage,” Mavericks coach Mike Hastings said, breaking down the Wolverines game-winning goal. “They’re good enough to take advantage of it. That’s one guy you don’t want on his off side coming into your zone uncovered. We had guys back, we just didn’t make the right read.”
Michigan senior captain and defenseman Nick Blankenburg gave the Wolverines a 1-0 lead 54 seconds into the second period with a power-play goal, but it was the Mavericks who took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission via goals by senior wing Julian Napravnik and junior wing Ryan Sandelin of Hermantown.
It was the second time this weekend that the Wolverines had to come from behind to beat a team that played in the NCAA Frozen Four six months ago. Michigan coach Mel Pearson said he was proud to see his team rally against Minnesota Duluth on Friday and the Mavericks on Saturday.
“We’ve got guys who can score,” said Pearson, whose team features seven first-round NHL draft picks and four of the top five picks in the 2021 draft. “If you give them some chances, we have guys that can put it away, like the winning goal. It’s a great pass, but Dryden McKay is a hell of a goalie. … To get three in him tonight is pretty darn good.”
Sandelin’s goal — his second of the season and weekend — came in the final minute of the second period. Parked in front of the Michigan net, he redirected a blast by teammate Akito Hirose, a sophomore defenseman.
Dryden McKay, the Mavericks' senior goaltender, stopped 16 shots after his team held Michigan to three shots on goal in the first period.
Wolverines sophomore goaltender Erik Portillo finished with 27 saves, including a diving blocker save late after initially getting caught behind the net. That stop kept the game tied at 2-2 with 8:49 to go in the third.
Minnesota State 0-2-0—2
Saves — Dryden McKay, MSU, 16; Erik Portillo, UM, 27
Power plays — MSU 1-5; UMD 1-2. Penalties — MSU 2-4; UM 5-10.