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Tuesday Morning Brews: Frozen Four bound

Michigan hockey is back in the big show

Frozen Diamond Faceoff - Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. What a weekend we just had for Michigan sports! Basketball is in the Final Four, hockey is in the Frozen Four, and women’s gymnastics won yet another Big Ten title. This morning we’re talking hockey, gymnastics, baseball, and softball, so strap in.

Let’s get to it:

NCAA Men's Frozen Four - Michigan Wolverines v Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Hockey tops Northeastern and Boston, earns trip to Frozen Four

What a weekend it was for Michigan hockey. After beating Northeastern and Boston in the NCAA Regionals, Wolverine hockey is headed to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2011. This will be Michigan’s 25th trip to the Frozen Four, tying—perhaps ironically—Boston for the most Frozen Four appearances.

It all started on Saturday when the Wolverines emerged victorious, 3-2, against Northeastern. The two teams were locked in a back-and-forth battle all night. Michigan opened the scoring in the second period, before Northeastern tied it up just three minutes later. Michigan pulled ahead again in the third, but Northeastern again equalized. Late in the third, Cooper Marody found the net for the second time that night - this time putting the Wolverines up for good, 3-2.

On Sunday, the game against Boston looked a lot like Saturday. Michigan jumped out to a 1-0 lead, only to have BU equalize. Michigan then scored the next two, only to again have Boston equalize at 3-3 early in the third period. Then, however, things changed. Michigan turned on the jets and pulled away. The Wolverines scored three unanswered goals after Boston tied it up, turning what had been a closely contested game into a comfortable final score line for Michigan.

The Wolverines will face Big Ten Champion Notre Dame in the national semifinal, serving as the rubber match for the two teams after they split the season series 2-2. In fact, there’s a decidedly Big Ten flavor to this year’s Frozen Four as Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State all won their respective regionals. Michigan will take on Notre Dame this coming Thursday. The game will be televised on ESPN2 starting at 9:30 EDT.

Baseball stretched its win streak to eight games with a three-game sweep of Michigan State this past weekend. Michigan cruised for most of the weekend, winning 12-3, 3-1, and 11-0 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, respectively. The three wins put Michigan back over .500 on the year, as they now have a 12-11 record (3-0 in conference). The Wolverines again have a mid-week matchup against a directional school, as Central Michigan comes to town tomorrow afternoon for a one game set. Following that, Michigan will be back in action this weekend with a four-game series against Delaware.

Softball had its win streak come to an end against Iowa this past weekend in a rain-shortened series. All was well on Friday, as Michigan topped the Hawkeyes 4-1 for their 18th win in a row. But on Saturday, Michigan needed some magic as the Wolverines entered the final inning of what the box score describes as a “cold and blustery” game (seriously, that’s what the box score says) down 4-1. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Michigan scored two and had runners on second and third with two out, but a shot to left field was caught to end the game. The Wolverines are now 24-7 (1-1) on the season. They too have a mid-week matchup this week, at home against Detroit Mercy, before a three-game series against Purdue this weekend.

Women’s gymnastics rolled on in the Big Ten Tournament, earning their fifth consecutive and 24th total B1G Championship. Brianna Brown and Lauren Marinez won individual Big Ten titles on the uneven bars and balance beam, respectively. Senior Paige Zaziski won Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Year honors, sharing the award with Penn State’s Briannah Tsang. Michigan will head to the NCAA Regionals where they’ll face No. 6 Alabama (who Michigan beat earlier this year), No. 18 Georgia, No. 22 Missouri, No. 23 Illinois, and Central Michigan. That meet will take place on Saturday April 7th.