- Patrick Barron/Daily
By Erin Lennon, Daily Sports Writer
Published November 1, 2013
On Wednesday, the No. 4 Michigan hockey team closed out practice with a basic penalty-shot drill. With goaltenders awaiting at both ends, each player had the opportunity to take the puck to net from center ice — a drill for skaters and goalies alike.
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On Friday night against Michigan Tech, the Wolverines showed practice makes perfect, winning in overtime 3-2.
With 1:34 remaining in overtime, sophomore forward Andrew Copp did exactly what he had done on Wednesday, slapping an open look into the top-left corner to secure a second overtime victory of the season.
“We worked on it the last couple days in practice,” Copp said. “There’s definitely a learning curve there.”
The third period featured traffic mimicking that of last weekend. On its fourth power play of the night, the Wolverines found themselves without a goal despite several opportunities. Later in traffic, freshman goaltender Zach Negelvoort was forced to make several consecutive saves without the defense clearing the puck down ice.
Nagelvoort — who tallied 36 saves on the night — would make nine more saves before the end of the game to secure the Wolverines’ fifth victory of the season.
Friday night’s matchup was the first time the Huskies (1-4-1) have made the trip to Ann Arbor since 1984, the first season under Michigan coach Red Berenson/
In a game of firsts, Michigan (5-1-1) came out on top.
Senior forward Luke Moffatt added Michigan’s second goal of the night off a dual assist from senior defenseman Mac Bennett and junior forward Phil Di Giuseppe. Moffatt’s shot hit the left crossbar before deflecting in off of the Huskies goaltender, giving the Wolverines a 2-0 lead for the first time since a 7-4 victory over Rochester Institute of Technology.
The game saw six penalties through two periods, with Michigan taking three, including one from junior defenseman Brennan Serville that left a Huskie on his stomach before being assisted off the ice. With 38 second remaining in the Wolverines’ first five-on-three penalty kill situation this season, Michigan Tech’s Alex Petan found the right-top corner of the net to cut Michigan’s lead to one.
It looked as if Michigan would escape the penalty-filled game relatively unscathed until Michigan Tech scored a man-down goal from sophomore forward C.J. Eick . Like he had in practice, Nagelvoort faced a one-man rush down center ice. This time, though, he was outmatched as the Huskies tied the game.
“The penalties when you take them one on top of the other, that really hurts,” Berenson said. “But again, this was a hard-fought game on both sides.
Added Di Giuseppe: “It happens. I took that dumb penalty last game, but you have to work through them.”
With 11:47 remaining in the first period, freshman defenseman Michael Downing started a breakaway with a pass to senior forward Derek DeBlois, who punched a nifty pass to Di Giuseppe for the open-lane opportunity — the first Michigan goal allowed by Michigan Tech goalie Pheonix Copely, who shut out the Wolverines last season. It was the first time since game one against New Hampshire where the Wolverines scored in the first period.
Michigan’s second man-up advantage came with a minute left, but a still-weak power play was unable to convert. In net again after a blue-line penalty, freshman goaltender Zach Nagelvoort — who 14 had saves, and seven in the first five minutes — repeated “plenty of time left,” as the defense cased down puck after rejected puck, to no avail.
Though the Huskies appeared to out-hustle Michigan through much of the first two periods, it was ultimately a calmer offense that scored goals. Whereas Michigan needed upwards of 30 shots to score against both Boston University and UMass-Lowell, the Wolverines took just seven before finding the back of the net Friday. This time, with quality rather than quantity, Michigan prevailed.
Note: Freshman defenseman Kevin Lohan left the game early with what Berenson called a lower-body injury and was seen on crutches thereafter. Lohan will head to the hospital tonight to undergo tests.