After a 4-0 shutout of fourth-ranked Boston University (4-3-1) on Friday, the No. 18 Michigan hockey team (5-3-1) returned to Yost Ice Arena on Saturday to finish its weekend series. In a much closer game than Friday’s, with the score knotted up 1-1 for the majority of the second period, the matchup boiled down to the third period to determine a winner.
In a flurry of late-game goals, Boston University managed to edge out the Wolverines after scoring three times in the last ten minutes, earning a weekend split with a 4-2 win.
“I think we got a little away from our game,” said junior forward Dexter Dancs. “In the first two periods, the first period especially, we were physical, we didn’t give them much. Then in the third period there were a couple defensive lapses, and they have a lot of skill, and they were able to capitalize.”
Like Friday’s game, the Wolverines capitalized on scoring opportunities quickly. Just two minutes and 11 seconds into the first period, senior defenseman Nolan De Jong was able to pass the puck between two Terriers to freshman forward James Sanchez. Sanchez fed it to the slot to sophomore Brendan Warren, who sniped it into the net for the first goal of the game.
Unlike Friday’s game, though, the Terriers retaliated. At the 14:32 mark in the second period, Boston University’s Dante Fabbro, off an assist from forward Patrick Harper, managed a shot directly over freshman goaltender Jack LaFontaine’s left shoulder to knot up the game, 1-1.
After Fabbro’s goal, both teams battled it out to break the tie in the second period. In a particularly close call — which had every Wolverine fan in Yost standing on their feet before they realized the puck hadn’t gone in — senior forward Alex Kile took a shot that drifted behind Boston goaltender Jake Oettinger. But with no Michigan player close enough to finish it off, the game remained settled at a tie.
The Terriers almost broke the stalemate at the end of the second period as well, as forward Bobo Carpenter managed to find the net behind LaFontaine. However, after review, the goal was waved off for high sticking, and the period ended still tied up, 1-1.
Ultimately, the Terriers were the ones to break the tie.
At the 10:56 mark, Boston University forward Jordan Greenway passed the puck straight to defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who found the net to put the Terriers up, 2-1. Junior forward Dexter Dancs, though, cancelled out the goal barely a minute after McAvoy’s, managing to slip the puck past Oettinger to tie up the game again, 2-2.
But two more goals from Boston University would ultimately seal Michigan’s fate in the last eight minutes of the game. The first was by Greenway at the 7:29 mark, a shot that went directly over LaFontaine’s right shoulder. The other was a tip by Harper at the 4:57 mark to seal the game, 4-2.
Despite the outcome of Saturday’s game, though, the Wolverines are viewing the weekend as a good opportunity to prepare for Big Ten play later in the season.
“It’s not all negative,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “In fact, there’s more positive than it is negative. But we’ve got to build on that positive part of our game and our team. We went through what we went through last week and we’ve got to have a good week this week and we’ve only got one game next week and then two against a tough Lake (Superior) State team, and then we’re in the Big Ten. So we’ve got three games to get ready for the Big Ten.”