With a 7-4 victory Saturday at Yost Ice Arena, the Wolverines not only clinched a semifinal date with No. 6 Ohio State next week, but also all but punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament in coach Mel Pearson’s debut season.
DETROIT, Mich. — Over the last two months, Hayden Lavigne has asserted himself as Michigan’s starting goaltender, and has often had to stand on his head to bail out his team.
Saturday night, it was Joseph Cecconi’s turn.
With under three minutes to play and the Wolverines leading Michigan State, 3-2, Spartan forward Cody Milan jumped on a rebound after two Lavigne saves and sent the puck towards the net with the sophomore goaltender out of position.
The adage “three strikes and you’re out” may have originated with baseball, but it works fairly well in hockey too.
One minute into Saturday’s game, Michigan defenseman Sam Piazza motored around to the left circle, where his shot rebounded off of Kyle Hayton’s pads. The puck then bounced to a wide-open Cooper Marody with the Wisconsin goaltender nowhere near the play. Marody, a Hobey Baker Award nominee, normally puts away chances like those in his sleep. His attempt flew past Hayton — and the pipe.