Mel Pearson and the Michigan hockey team failed to make the NCAA Tournament this season.

The Michigan hockey team’s season hasn’t ended before Mar. 10 in at least 19 years. Records on begin with the 2000-01 season and since then, the earliest the Wolverines have hung up their skates for the year was Mar. 16, 2017.
The Daily looks back at Michigan’s season by breaking down the performance of each unit and offering superlatives before looking ahead to next year.


It seemed inevitable all season long, and now it’s official.

Only one day after Michigan’s season ended in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, sophomore defenseman Quinn Hughes signed an NHL entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

Mel Pearson's second season as Michigan hockey coach ended with a loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament.

MINNEAPOLIS — Seven minutes into practice on Thursday afternoon, Michigan coach Mel Pearson gathered his team at center ice.


MINNEAPOLIS —  It was over before it even started. Rem Pitlick made sure of it.

Freshman goaltender Strauss Mann helped stop five power plays before giving up a goal on the sixth.

MINNEAPOLIS — Strauss Mann already killed five Minnesota power plays heading into overtime, but a sixth one reminded the Michigan hockey team that his magic in the net was exactly that — impressive, but in the end, not sustainable.

Though Mann and the Wolverines fought through those penalty kills, a multitude of Minnesota odd-man rushes and a third period that saw them outshot 14-5, the freshman goaltender carried the defense on his back — until Brannon McManus broke it in overtime when a dime from Rem Pitlick found its way to the top of the crease and through Mann’s five-hole.

Senior forward Brendan Warren may play his last Michigan game Saturday night after the Wolverines lost on Friday.

MINNEAPOLIS — Michigan knew that stopping Minnesota’s power play would be key to winning the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series.

Freshman forward Jimmy Lambert recorded a goal and an assist at Wisconsin last weekend.

Lambert’s own two-game sample might not be enough to point the needle definitively, but a plethora of productive freshmen suggests his success could carry over into the Big Ten Tournament.

Sophomore forward Dakota Raabe has been part of a steadily improving Michigan penalty kill.

Slowing down Minnesota’s power play will be key for the Wolverines this weekend, and their penalty kill has been steadily improving in recent weeks.

Junior forward Nick Pastujov knows that Michigan needs to play with desperation this weekend.

But even as he was discussing the emotional difficulty of back-to-back overtime losses, Pearson knew that his players didn’t have much time to feel sorry for themselves.

“But when we have home ice on the line and we lose that the way we did this weekend, it’s — we gotta get over it, though,” Pearson said. “We’ve gotta move forward and go on the road and find a way to win games at Minnesota.”

Junior goaltender Hayden Lavigne let in five goals on Saturday as Michigan lost at Wisconsin.

MADISON — In 148 days, October to March, the Michigan hockey team has played 34 games. In those 34 games, its two goaltenders — junior Hayden Lavigne and freshman Strauss Mann — started 19 and 15 games, respectively.