Younger Brown comes through for Bulldogs

  • Article by: CHRIS MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 10, 2011 - 12:12 AM

J.T. Brown, the son of former Vikings running back Ted Brown, was named the Frozen Four's Most Oustanding Player.

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Before Saturday night, J.T. Brown was probably best known as the son of former Vikings running back Ted Brown.

Not anymore.

Brown was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four after Minnesota Duluth beat Michigan 3-2 in overtime to win the NCAA men's hockey title at the Xcel Energy Center.

Brown was a physical force in the title game and easily the most impressive player on the ice. He had an assist after scoring a goal in a 4-3 semifinal victory over Notre Dame on Thursday.

"It's kind of hard not to get up and play 100 percent in front of 19,000 people," said Brown, a former Rosemount High School player who is a freshman winger for the Bulldogs. "I just played off the crowd."

The all-tournament included forwards Brown and Kyle Schmidt of UMD and Ben Winnett of Michigan; freshman defenseman Justin Faulk of UMD and Jon Merrill of Michigan; and Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick.

First one, big one

Max Tardy's power-play goal for UMD was his first career goal. He replaced Schmidt on the Bulldogs' second power-play unit after Schmidt suffered a second broken hand in the NCAA regionals.

"I was just trying to stay calm," said Tardy, a freshman center. "I pretended like I was playing shinny hockey. It worked out."

WCHA in a better spot

WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod said his conference is a lot farther along toward reaching a scheduling agreement with the two teams leaving its conference (the Gophers and Wisconsin) for a Big Ten hockey conference than the CCHA is with its three departing teams (Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State).

Those five teams, and Penn State, a new program, are forming the Big Ten for the 2013-14 season. McLeod said there could be some more conference changes in the CCHA.

Etc.

• Michigan had a goal disallowed in the first period. Captain Carl Hagelin poked in a puck under UMD goalie Kenny Reiter, but the whistle blew before the puck went into the net.

• Winnett came into the Frozen Four with three goals all season for the Wolverines, but he scored one in each game.

• The announced crowd of 19,222 on Saturday night was the fourth-largest crowd in Frozen Four championship game history.

• Michigan's two NCAA titles under coach Red Berenson were both 3-2 overtime victories. The Wolverines still have the record with nine championships, but they haven't won one since 1998.

• The Bulldogs were the first team to win their first title since Maine turned the trick in 1993. They are one of four teams -- Northern Michigan (1991), Harvard (1989) and Bowling Green (1984) are the others -- who have one title since the tournament started in 1948. UMD, Northern Michigan and Harvard all won their championships in St. Paul.

• North Dakota center Brock Nelson, who left Thursday's semifinal loss to Michigan on a stretcher after falling into the end wall, has a fractured tailbone.

• North Dakota forward Matt Frattin, the WCHA Player of the Year, signed with the Maple Leafs on Friday and flew to Toronto on Saturday to make his NHL debut against Montreal.

• This was the 20th time a team played a title game in its home state. In 1970, both final teams, Clarkson and Cornell, were playing in their home state of New York. Teams in such situations are 10-11.

• Saturday's game was the 14th overtime national title game since the tournament started in 1948 and the 23rd time the game was decided by one goal.

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