Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 9:08pm

EAST LANSING — Kris Mayotte turned to Mel Pearson on the bench, and with a grim expression on his face, the assistant coach — in charge of goaltending — shouted one word, or rather, one name.


Pearson had presumed Mayotte wanted to discuss the goal Strauss Mann had just allowed, his third of the night. But when a second shout of Hayden Lavigne’s name came, without another thought, Pearson cued the switch of goaltenders — a “no-brainer” he later called the decision.

Monday, November 11, 2019 - 11:23pm
Michigan coach Mel Pearson believes Michigan is close to getting past its power play struggles.

Against Minnesota, the Wolverines went 0-for-9 on power plays, reflecting the pains of their overall lack of offensive production for the weekend. Four of the man-advantages went without a single shot on goal for Michigan. The team just couldn’t find a breakthrough on offensive special teams.

Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 7:21pm

Johnny Beecher’s body language said it all.

The freshman forward had a breakaway with senior forward Jake Slaker running the ice on the opposite side of the neutral zone in the first period. But Beecher swung the pass too early and Slaker crossed the blue line with the puck while Beecher was already in the offensive zone, causing an offsides call.

It was just one wasted chance in a game of many — ultimately leading to a 3-1 loss for the Wolverines (3-5-2, 0-3-1-0) against the Golden Gophers (4-4-1 overall, 1-1-2-2 Big Ten). 

Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 10:28pm
Minnesota goaltender Jack LaFontaine played at Michigan from 2016-18.

This weekend against Minnesota, the Michigan hockey team may see a familiar face in Jack LaFontaine.

The goalie played for the Wolverines from 2016-18 and has always envisioned himself coming back.

Friday, November 1, 2019 - 11:11pm

COLUMBUS — Halfway through the second period, the Michigan hockey team netted a goal to extend its lead to two. The first period saw a power-play goal from Nick Pastujov, and the second, a quick backdoor cut from Emil Orhvall.

But there was nothing about the precarious two-goal lead that indicated a strong offense and commanding play. Michigan was getting dominated by No. 13 Ohio State — and the aftermath was a 3-2 loss.

Monday, October 28, 2019 - 10:43pm

Instead of attacking the opposing net, Michigan players were blocking shots and taking hits, fending off attacks with their bodies. Instead of dominating the ice as they had done all night long, they had become mere spectators, watching along as the other team had its way with things. And so Pearson called timeout.

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 9:44pm
Senior forward Will Lockwood and the Michigan hockey team fell short against Western Michigan on Saturday, losing, 4-1.

KALAMAZOO All it took was five minutes for Western Michigan to dictate a game.

Five minutes to set the pace. Five to dominate the ice. Five minutes to create a lead the Michigan hockey team would spend the remaining 55 trying to overcome, ultimately to no avail.

“From faceoff to forecheck, to getting pucks out, to getting pucks to the net, to getting pucks through,” said Michigan coach Mel Pearson, “they put on a clinic in that first five minutes.”

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 7:21pm

Pearson drew up the intricacies of a play from last weekend’s matchup against Lake Superior State, breaking down where players went with the puck, what they were thinking with the play they made and how it all went down — with the X’s and O’s on a whiteboard.

Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 11:20pm

Last Saturday, you wouldn’t be able to find Jack Becker on the ice.

Instead, you would find him sitting on the fifth floor of Yost Ice Arena, in the press box, with the remaining players not dressed for the game against No. 10 Clarkson. 

He wasn’t injured. He wasn’t suspended. He just wasn’t what Michigan hockey coach Mel Pearson thought the team needed to win that game.

“You have to make tough decisions,” Pearson said. “We’ve got a lot of good players. He knows. 

“He knows.”

Saturday, October 12, 2019 - 11:45pm
Senior forward Nick Pastujov scored the Wolverines' lone power play goal against Clarkson.

The defense was there.

The offense was coming along.

The penalty kill was an underlying factor in Friday’s 1-1 tie for the Michigan hockey team, and a key in keeping Saturday’s game close.

The power play, however, was not.

The Wolverines struggled with the man advantage, unable to capitalize on any of the seven penalties they drew Friday, and converted only one of five Saturday. Michigan’s inability to convert haunted them with wasted opportunities in a tight 3-1 loss Saturday against Clarkson.