Michigan cruises to 4-0 win over Union

Saturday, October 8, 2016 - 7:51pm

In a desperate final attempt to score in the third period, the Union hockey team’s offense began to pepper Michigan freshman goaltender Hayden Lavigne with shots. But with no luck and no goals, the Dutchmen left Yost scoreless, and No. 11 Michigan recorded its first win of the season.

The matchup was the second of a two-game series hosted by the Wolverines to kick off their regular season. After dropping the first match on Friday, 4-3, Michigan rallied for a 4-0 win on Saturday.

For the majority of the first period, both teams were similar in shots, and neither was able to put itself in good position to score. The scoreboard notwithstanding, it was a mostly even game.

The first goal of the game came from junior forward Niko Porikos, who was able to control a loose puck on the Dutchmen’s side and send a shot straight over Union goaltender Jake Kupsky’s right shoulder. The goal boosted Michigan to a 1-0 lead with just over four minutes left in the first period.

And almost four minutes later — with only 15 seconds left in the first period — junior defenseman Sam Piazza sniped a shot from the left side of the rink directly past Kupsky for the second goal of the period.

The Dutchmen’s offense matched the Wolverines’ shots for the first period with 20 each, but wasn’t able to replicate the results. Freshman Hayden Lavigne made his season debut as goaltender, saving 12 of the 20 shots. He remained in front of the net for the rest of the game, and Union wasn’t able to get a single shot past him.

Michigan was able to keep up the offensive initiative in the second period, as well. After Lockwood was called for a penalty for holding, the Wolverines had penalty time to kill. But despite being down on the ice, freshman forward James Sanchez was able to breakaway and score with a wrister past Kupsky, granting Michigan a 3-0 lead a little over halfway into the game. The Wolverine offense began to bombard Kupsky with shots, but he held strong for the rest of the period.

Leading 3-0, Michigan went into the third period just as strong as it did in the second — and it didn’t disappoint.

Senior forward Max Shuart snagged the puck away from the Dutchmen and sent a pass straight to Sanchez, who then scored his second goal of the game with a shot behind Kupsky.

“They kind of stepped on us last night, so we had to step on them tonight,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “You can tell how mental the game is, and I thought we were a completely different team tonight. We played with more conviction, we played stronger, and we played harder and we played with a little desperation. We played defensively, our goalie gave us a great game and the puck went in for us at important times.

“It was a good game for us tonight. Not a good weekend necessarily, but a good game tonight.”