WORCESTER, Mass. — Entering Northeast Regional play of the NCAA Tournament, few eyes were on the Michigan hockey team.
There was talk about No. 1 Cornell and its sterling 25-5-2 record. Northeastern’s lethal top line of two Hobey Baker finalists and a senior captain was emphasized all week. The deep roster of Boston University and its 12 players drafted by NHL teams was heavily discussed.
Entering the 1997-98 season, the Michigan hockey team was left without arguably the greatest class in program history. The offseason saw nine seniors — known as the “Michigan Nine” — graduate. The Wolverines were without six of their top eight scorers from the previous year.
COLUMBUS — Barring unforeseen circumstances, the No. 11 Michigan hockey team has punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The berth comes despite a 3-2 overtime loss to No. 6 Ohio State in Saturday’s Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Wolverines (20-14-3) fell just three spots to No. 10 in the PairWise rankings, still safely within the top 16 teams to receive at-large bids to the postseason tournament.