A Look at the Michigan Wolverines Men’s Hockey Team

By Scott Kinville/315 Hockey.

Fans in Central New York have become quite familiar with the Colgate Raiders Men’s Hockey Team as they made their run through the ECAC Tournament and into the NCAA Tournament. ECAC opponents make one trip to Central New York per season to play the Raiders at the Class of 1965 Arena, meaning fans at least get a chance to see those teams in person. Now that Colgate is in the NCAA Tournament, they will be playing a team that many in the region may not be so familiar with – the Michigan Wolverines. That matchup is set to take place on Friday night at 8:30 pm EDT in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The Wolverines will enter Friday night’s NCAA Tournament first round game against the Raiders as the number two team in Division I in both the USCHO and USA Today polls. Like Colgate, Michigan is coming a conference title, as they defeated the number one team in Division I the Minnesota Golden Gophers last Saturday for their second consecutive Big Ten championship.

Michigan has an overall record of 24-11-3, and went 12-10-2 in a very difficult Big Ten Conference (the Big Ten and ECAC tied for most teams entered in the NCAA Tournament with four each). Out of the thirty-eight games they have played this season, twenty-eight of them have been against ranked opponents – the Wolverines went 15-10-3 in those matchups.

Ticket information for Friday night’s Colgate vs Michigan game: NCAA Ticket Information for Men’s Hockey.

Team Statistics

Team statistics for the Wolverines break down as follows, with their national ranks (where available) in parentheses.

  • Goals Per Game: 4.1 (1st).
  • Shots Per Game: 34.3.
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.2 (44th).
  • Shots Allowed Per Game: 33.8.
  • Power Play: 23.0% (16th).
  • Penalty Kill: 77.1% (50th).

Individual Leaders (Skaters)

Adam Fantilli. Fantilli is in his freshman season at Michigan and has already made a huge impact on not only his team but the national scoring ranks. The six feet, two inch 195 pounds forward leads the nation in points (61), is tied for second in goals (27) and assists (34), and is tied for fourth in power play goals (9). What makes these statistics even more impressive than they already are is that missed five games this season while playing at the World Junior Championships. Fantilli is projected to be a top five pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

Luke Hughes. Luke Hughes is a name that should be very familiar to Central New York hockey fans, as he was drafted fourth overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The offensively gifted defenseman has played in thirty-six of Michigan’s thirty-eight games this season and has a stat line of nine goals and thirty-three assists for forty-two points. His forty-two points are tied for ninth overall in Division I and he is tied for third nationally in assists.

If Michigan is going to win a national championship with Hughes, it will have to be this season. Tom Fitzgerald, the General Manager of the New Jersey Devils, has already announced that Hughes will joining the NHL team once Michigan’s season is ended.

A Wolverine teammate of Hughes is also a Devils draft pick. Defenseman Seamus Casey was drafted by the team in the second round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Erik Portillo. Erik Portillo is the undisputed starting goaltender for the Michigan Wolverines, starting thirty-five of thirty-eight games this season. He has a record of 23-10-2, with a GAA of 3.08, a 0.907 save percentage, and no shutouts. Portillo is in his junior season, and at six feet, six inches tall and 220 pounds takes up a lot of the net. Statistically, he is having a down season compared to his sophomore campaign, when he was a finalist for the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year and led his team to a Big Ten Tournament Championship – he was named the tournaments Most Outstanding Player.

Portillo was originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the third round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, but his signing rights were recently traded to the Los Angeles Kings.

A full statistical preview of the Michigan vs Colgate NCAA first round matchup will be upcoming on 315hockey.com. For more information about Michigan Wolverines hockey, visit https://mgoblue.com.

Joining us in this episode of 315 Hockey Live is the play-by-play voice of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire athletics and Utica native Scott Montesano! Scott grew up a big Utica Devils, Bulldogs, Blizzard, and Prowlers fan and still closely follows the Utica hockey scene! We’ll talk about Utica hockey in the ’90s and 2000s as well as Utica’s current teams! We also chat about his broadcasting career, which includes the perils of bus and plane travel, getting paid isn’t as easy as it seems, a unique job interview with Dave “The Hammer” Schultz, and much more! In segment 2, we’ll discuss the Final Four run of the Hamilton College Continentals Women’s Team, the Colgate Men’s Team trip to the Semifinals of the ECAC Tournament, the #1 Utica Pioneers taking on the University of New England on Saturday (revenge game!), and more! Also on YouTube and Apple Podcasts!

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