By Michael Laurila, Daily Sports Writer
Published November 2, 2012
MARQUETTE — Four second-period goals, three of which were surrendered on the Northern Michigan power play, appeared to be too much for the No. 8 Michigan hockey team to come back from on Friday night at the Berry Events Center.
More like this
But with six-tenths of a second left and with an extra attacker, senior forward A.J. Treais scored his sixth goal of the season to send the game to overtime.
Trailing 4-1 midway through the third period, Michigan (1-1 CCHA, 3-2 overall) managed to score three third-period goals of its own sending the game into a sudden-death overtime session. The Wildcats (0-2, 3-3), who had dominated the entire second period, looked flustered throughout the third.
“Going into the third, I didn’t think anyone thought we were down and out,” Treais said. “If they could score four goals in one period, I think we could too.”
The momentum the Wolverines gained from the last-second goal carried into the overtime period. But neither team could notch the clinching goal, sending the game into a shootout.
Treais — the last-second hero — became the shootout hero as well. He was the only of either team’s shooters who scored a goal. On the other end of the ice, freshman goalie Steve Racine didn’t allow a single goal during his first collegiate shootout.
“Racine battled,” Treais said. “Our shootout record historically is not very good. I think he did a really good job. He stayed calm, just made the saves he needed to make. He didn’t try to do anything out of his element.”
The night’s scoring started out with 4:22 remaining in the first period. Junior defenseman Mac Bennett’s wrist shot from just inside the blue line found its way past Northern Michigan goalie Jared Coreau. Bennett’s second goal of the season gave the Wolverines the 1-0 lead.
Instead of the penalty kill being a bright spot — the Wolverines had allowed just two goals on 10 attempts this season — it became the thorn in their side. The second period soon turned to misery.
Carrying a power play into the second period, the Wildcats scored to start the frame. At the 11:00 mark, Ryan Daughtery notched Northern Michigan’s second goal on a weak slapshot from the blue line. Racine appeared to have his vision blocked up front and couldn’t make the stop.
With 7:58 remaining, a tripping penalty on junior forward Luke Moffatt put Michigan on its second penalty kill of the night. And with nine seconds remaining on the penalty kill, the Wildcats tallied yet another goal to make the score 3-1 in their favor. Two minutes later, Michigan was back on the penalty kill and fourth and final Northern Michigan goal pushed the score to 4-1.
The last time the Wolverines had allowed three power-play goals in one period was Oct. 25, 2008. But after the fourth Wildcat goal, Michigan looked like it was just trying to get out of the period before the game turned into a rout.
“(The second period) was an issue,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “There’s no question. They scored early and gave them confidence and then they got a couple of goals that I was suspect of whether it was their penalty kill but they were getting sticks on pucks and deflecting them in and we were on our heels. We did not look good on our penalty kill during the second period.”
But the momentum soon shifted — again.
With 12:43 remaining in the game, senior forward Kevin Lynch scored a 5-on-3 power play goal, making the score 4-2. Before Michigan finished the 5-on-4, Moffatt was whistled for his second interference penalty, making it 4-on-4. Twenty seconds later, a Bennett penalty put the Wildcats on the advantage. Racine made multiple difficult saves to keep the puck out of the net, and the Wolverines killed off both penalties.
“(The momentum shift) was huge,” Lynch said. “We’re down 4-1. We took some penalties in the second we’d like to have back and the momentum was certainly in their favor.”
Carrying the momentum after the successful penalty kill, Michigan took advantage of another power play when sophomore defenseman Mike Chiasson knocked in a rebound goal to make the score 4-3 and give the Wolverines renewed hope.
But with just 5:17 remaining, freshman forward Jacob Trouba earned a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a contact-to-the-head hit on Wildcat forward Reed Seckel. Seckel stayed down on the ice for several minutes but was eventually helped off the ice. The ejection eliminated Trouba from the remainder of Friday game and for Saturday night’s finale. Michigan coach Red Berenson said after the game that senior forward Jeff Rohrkemper will likely be the sixth defenseman on Saturday.
That’s when Treais stepped in to play hero once again, sending the game into overtime and then, with the lone shootout score, securing the extra point for the Wolverines.