ST. LOUIS (AP) — Red Berenson produced another Frozen Four for Michigan on the same slab of ice where he was honored by the St. Louis Blues earlier this month.
Scooter Vaughan’s end-to-end rush gave Michigan the lead on the game’s first shot and the Wolverines bottled up Colorado College throughout, earning a spot in the Frozen Four with a 2-1 victory in the NCAA West Regional final Saturday night.
Lee Moffie had a goal and an assist in the first period for Michigan (28-10-4), which has won 11 of 12 and will face Denver or North Dakota in the national semifinals April 7 in St. Paul, Minn. It’s the 24th Frozen Four and first since 2008 for a school that leads the nation with nine national titles and has made 21 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances under Berenson.
The Blues paid tribute to Berenson, Joe Mullen, Garry Unger and Keith Tkachuk for wearing No. 7 with distinction on March 7. Berenson, who scored a franchise-record six goals in a game in 1968 and later coached the Blues, acknowledged winning in St. Louis was special.
“And yet this was about our team and the University of Michigan, putting our best foot forward,” Berenson said. “My history here is really irrelevant in terms of this building and this event.”
Michigan had to erase an early two-goal deficit to beat Nebraska-Omaha in overtime in the regional semifinals, but grabbed a two-goal lead in the first period and kept the pressure on despite leaning heavily on the penalty kill for the second straight night. The Wolverines outshot Colorado College 43-21.
“You’re playing against one of the best power plays in the country,” Berenson said. “And we survived it.”
Rylan Schwartz scored a power-play goal with 3:35 to go for Colorado College (23-19-3), which failed to follow up an eight-goal outburst in its semifinal upset of top regional seed Boston College. Colorado College was 1 for 7 on the power play, and opponents were 1 for 13 in the tournament.
Jaden Schwartz, a freshman who was the Blues’ first-round draft pick in 2010, assisted on his older brother’s goal and totaled two goals and three assists in the tournament.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” Schwartz said. “You kind of sit back and imagine what it would be like playing in the NHL here.”
Copyright Associated Press