But even as he was discussing the emotional difficulty of back-to-back overtime losses, Pearson knew that his players didn’t have much time to feel sorry for themselves.
“But when we have home ice on the line and we lose that the way we did this weekend, it’s — we gotta get over it, though,” Pearson said. “We’ve gotta move forward and go on the road and find a way to win games at Minnesota.”
MADISON — In 148 days, October to March, the Michigan hockey team has played 34 games. In those 34 games, its two goaltenders — junior Hayden Lavigne and freshman Strauss Mann — started 19 and 15 games, respectively.
The Wolverines spent the regular season waiting for one of the two netminders to assert himself as the go-to starter. Neither one did.
But in Saturday night’s game against Wisconsin (13-16-5 overall, 9-10-5-2 Big Ten), the Wolverines fell short of that goal and lost in overtime — for the second-straight night — 4-3. Now, instead of playing at home next weekend in the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan (13-14-7, 9-10-5-2) will head to Minnesota.
“It’s beyond frustrating,” said Michigan coach Mel Pearson. “I feel bad for the team. I feel bad for our fans and everyone that supports us, not to get home ice and to lose in overtime. Last night was tough, and this one is equally as tough.”
The myriad of drills coach Mel Pearson puts the Wolverines through every day in practice largely focus on getting to the top of the crease. With four of his seven goals on the season coming from that area, Moyle is clearly figuring out that the system works.
Nolan Moyle hesitated before taking his seat in the press conference. Sophomore defenseman Quinn Hughes had taken the seat on the far left, and it was clear that Moyle preferred to sit on the right rather than in the middle.
But his linemate, freshman forward Garrett Van Wyhe, quickly pushed him to take the middle seat, front and center.
Even before his first organized hockey experience, Cecconi gravitated toward the game. He always picked the hockey stick over the basketball as a child and could always be found on skates in the winter and rollerblades in the summer — when he wasn’t playing soccer.
One minute and 44 seconds later, forward Dylan Malmquist fired a shot from the right circle that went over junior goaltender Hayden Lavigne’s shoulder. After taking a penalty so early in the game, the Wolverines (12-12-6, 8-8-4-2) found themselves in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.
The Fighting Irish added two goals in under a minute in the second period to put the game firmly out of reach for Michigan, who lost, 5-2.