Michigan hockey makes NCAA Tournament as No. 2 seed, will face Northeastern

ANN ARBOR — Michigan’s hockey team is back in the NCAA Tournament for the 37th time.

The Wolverines (20-14-3), who have won seven of their past eight games, are a No. 2 seed in the Northeast Region and will face No. 3 seed Northeastern on Saturday in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Huskies (23-9-5) rank fifth in the nation with 3.62 goals per game and sixth with 2.11 goal-against per game. They have two Hobey Baker Award finalist in forwards Adam Gaudette (30 goals, 30 assists) and Dylan Sikura (21 goals, 32 assists).

No. 11 Michigan was 8-10-2 on Jan. 7 and appeared to be headed in a similar direction as its 2016-17 season, when it finished 13-19-3.

But the team went on a tear in the second half under first-year head coach Mel Pearson. It moved up from sixth to third in the Big Ten and swept Wisconsin in the first round of the conference tournament before losing to Ohio State 3-2 in overtime in the semifinals on March 10.

The Wolverines also swept then-No. 1 Notre Dame on Feb. 16 and Feb. 18 to bolster their NCAA Tournament resume.

Michigan was left out of the NCAA Tournament in four of the previous five seasons after making it the previous 22. This season, it has been led by a mix of upper and underclassmen.

Senior captain Tony Calderone has a team-high 23 goals, which is tied for ninth in the nation. Junior forward Cooper Marody, a sixth-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, is tied for 10th in the NCAA with 46 points.

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Freshman defenseman Quinn Hughes, the youngest player in college hockey and a projected top-10 pick in this year’s NHL draft, is second among Big Ten defenseman with 28 points.

He has three goals and nine assists in his past nine games.

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