Michigan fires 49 shots, only scores once in overtime loss to Notre Dame

Michigan dropped its regular-season finale on Saturday night in a tough 2-1 overtime loss at the hands of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Wolverines finish the regular season with a 20-11-3 overall record, and a 12-10-2 record in the Big Ten.

Michigan had already locked up the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament prior to Saturday night’s game, but Brandon Naurato’s team still had a lot to play for. Although it had already been determined that the Wolverines would host No. 7 seed Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals next weekend, PairWise rankings are still vitally important.

The Wolverines entered Saturday night’s game as the fourth-ranked team in the PairWise rankings, which would earn them a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if it started today. With the loss, Michigan now sits at fifth in the rankings, which would likely result in a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Neither team scored in the first period, but the first 20 minutes certainly weren’t void of excitement.

There were six combined penalties in the first period — three for each team — with the final one resulting in a game misconduct for Michigan’s Adam Fantilli. The freshman Hobey Baker Award candidate was disqualified from the regular-season finale with 32 seconds to play in the first period.

Fantilli’s exit marked the end of his 12-game point streak.

The second period didn’t feature as many penalties. Notre Dame also committed a five-minute major in the middle frame, but Michigan was unable to convert on the extended man advantage.

The teams were scoreless through two periods, but the tie was broken early on in the third.

Forty-three minutes into the game, the first goal was recorded as the Fighting Irish got the best of Michigan goaltender Erik Portillo for the first time of the night.

A few minutes later, freshman Rutger McGroarty evened the game as he punched through Michigan’s first goal of the game. It was McGroarty’s 11th goal of the season.

Neither team could score in the ensuing minutes of the third period, and Michigan headed to overtime for the fourth time in its last five games.

The Fighting Irish were the more desperate team, though, and it showed in overtime. Notre Dame formed a three-on-one rush, and it resulted in the game-winning goal. The Irish needed two points to secure home ice in the Big Ten Tournament, and they got it with the game-winner.

Michigan is set to host Wisconsin next weekend in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. It will be a best-of-three format between the Wolverines and Badgers.

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