MINEPOLPOLIS – When sophomore goalkeeper Eric Partilla got up to leave the podium after answering questions after the No. 4 hockey team’s victory in the Big Ten championship over Michigan’s No. 2 over Minnesota’s No. 2, Michigan coach Mel Pearson and next in line to answer questions – also got to his feet.

“I’m going to hug my big boy,” Pearson said, his clothes soaked with solemnity after the game, hugging Portillo.

These were hugs that had been prepared all season.

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