ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan will be going to Joe Louis Arena for the CCHA semifinal round for 24th consecutive year after defeating Notre Dame 3-1 on Saturday night to clinch the best-of-three CCHA quarterfinal series at Yost Ice Arena.
Senior alternate captain David Wohlberg tallied two goals in the victory, while rookie forward Phil Di Giuseppe was responsible for the game-winning goal.
After scoring once in the first stanza and twice in the second frame, the Wolverines staved off the Fighting Irish throughout a scoreless third and maintained a two-goal lead from the middle of the second period until the final horn. Fifth-year senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick kept the Irish at bay through their desperate scramble to force a Sunday matchup and turned aside 25-of-26 shots on goal in the victory, his 23rd of the campaign — a single-season career high.
At 18:53 of the first, just after a Michigan penalty kill ticked to a close, Wohlberg capitalized on a feed from Di Giuseppe and netted a one-timer into the top center of Notre Dame’s net, giving Michigan a 1-0 lead entering the second stanza.
At 5:33 of the second, junior forward A.J. Treais forced a turnover deep in Notre Dame’s defensive zone and sent a lateral shot from the goal line near the left faceoff circle, where a waiting Di Giuseppe redirected the puck across the line behind Irish netminder Steven Summerhays. Several minutes later, the Wolverines extended the lead to three when freshman forward Alex Guptill (New Market, Ontario) brought the puck through the center of the offensive zone and sent a backhand pass to Wohlberg, who tallied his second goal of the night on a quick one-timer shot.
Notre Dame retaliated with its only goal of the night — a mere 19 seconds later — when Peter Schneider converted a one-timer.
The Wolverines held tight to their lead in the scoreless third period, surviving a penalty kill and an extra attacker in the final few minutes after the Irish pulled their goaltender. The win is the third victory in four contests against Notre Dame this season.
With his two goals, Wohlberg ties his single-season career high of 15 goals, as well as matches his career high for goals in a single game — a feat he has now accomplished four times. Di Giuseppe’s goal, his 11th of the season, extends his point streak to a career-long four games (2g, 3a).
Michigan will travel to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Friday (March 16) to compete in the CCHA semifinal contest against either Western Michigan University or Bowling Green State University.