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Buckeyes shootout win over Michigan lifts Gophers to sixth Big Ten title in a decade

Before they even dropped the puck on their series at Penn State, the Minnesota Gophers earned their conference's regular season title banner thanks to some help from the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ohio State players celebrated under a spotlight after Jake Wise scored the only goal of the shootout versus Michigan at the Schottenstien Center on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio.
Contributed / Ohio State Athletics

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When they revamp 3M Arena at Mariucci next summer to make the ice sheet smaller, they will also need to make room in the rafters for at least one new banner.

On Thursday night when Tate Singleton scored a pair of goals for Ohio State to force overtime in the Buckeyes game with Michigan, then the home team got the only goal of the post-overtime shootout, it clinched the Big Ten regular season title for the Minnesota Gophers for the second year in a row.

Michigan led 3-1 in the second period, only to have the Buckeyes storm back and tie the game 3-3 and snap the Wolverines’ seven-game winning streak.

For the Gophers, it is the third time in five seasons under coach Bob Motzko that they have won either the Big Ten regular season title or the conference tournament. It is the sixth time in the 10 seasons of Big Ten hockey that the Gophers have won the regular season crown. The other five titles have been won by Wisconsin (2021), Penn State (2020), Ohio State (2019), Notre Dame (2018).

Before the Ohio State game, Gophers defenseman Jackson LaCombe joked that he had several friends on the Buckeyes roster but hadn’t yet called any of them to offer encouragement. The Gophers close out their Big Ten road schedule with a pair of games at Penn State this weekend, then host Ohio State to finish the regular season on Feb. 24-25 in Minneapolis.


Western Michigan's Pat Ferschweiler, Michigan Tech's Joe Shawhan and Brandon Naurato of Michigan also up for Spencer Penrose Award.
Jess Myers, Brad Schlossman, Mick Hatten and Matt Wellens break down what they saw last weekend, the matchups for the national semifinals and look ahead at some roster challenges on this episode.
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Logan Cooley, Jackson LaCombe and Jaxon Nelson each had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 Gophers win in Fargo.
The Huskies (25-12-3) play the Golden Gophers (27-9-1) for a trip to the Frozen Four
Cory Portner is the director of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center at St. Cloud State University. This week, he's lending his talents to Scheels Arena and the NCAA tournament.
Hockey might be getting safer, thanks in part to better gear and smarter play, but also thanks to people like the Minnesota Gophers' trainer, who is a trusted member of the team in his 14th season.
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Thursday's sellout crowd of 5,061 was the third-largest Day 1 attendance in five regionals held at Scheels Arena and the largest since 2017.

By clinching the top seed, the Gophers will have a bye weekend to open March, then will host a Big Ten tournament semifinal game on March 11.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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