Bolts Prospect Connor Kurth Falls Short in Frozen Four Championship

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 08: Connor Kurth #10 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers shoots past Michael Lombardi #4 of the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the second period during the championship game of the 2023 Frozen Four at Amalie Arena on April 08, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 08: Connor Kurth #10 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers shoots past Michael Lombardi #4 of the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the second period during the championship game of the 2023 Frozen Four at Amalie Arena on April 08, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Connor Kurth fell short of winning the Gophers’ sixth NCAA championship in school history Saturday night at Amalie Arena as Quinnipiac took home their school’s first national title in a thrilling 3-2 overtime game.

Kurth made his presence felt early-on with the primary assist on the opening goal of the game and would later record two shots on goal in an overall impressive performance.

Kurth concluded his freshman season with seven goals and 11 points in 38 games with an additional goal and two assists in his three tournament games. After mostly being deployed in a depth role, he should see greater opportunities next season as some players ahead on the depth chart graduate or sign pro contracts.

Dylan Duke and Michigan exit in Frozen Four semifinals (again)

Dylan Duke and Michigan came up short of reaching the championship game of Frozen Four for the second consecutive year, this time losing to the eventual champions, Quinnipiac, in a 2-5 game Thursday night.

Duke was held off the scoresheet, and his line struggled as they finished with a minus-3 rating. Overall, he ended his sophomore season with 18 goals and 32 points in 41 games and an additional goal and 2 assists in his three tournament games.

With Duke now at the age where players begin to make the jump to pros, I do wonder if there have been any discussions of offering to sign him to an entry-level contract. In the past, we saw Ross Colton leave Vermont and sign with the Lightning after his sophomore season.

However, Michigan remains a great spot for Duke to continue developing. Even with the loss of Luke Hughes to the NHL and Adam Fantilli’s uncertain future after this summer’s draft, Michigan has a young team that should be just as good next year, and Duke figures to continue play a key role. So, we will wait and see what the Lightning and Duke plan to do.

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