Michigan shuts out Dartmouth, wins 7-0

Friday, November 27, 2015 - 9:48pm

Sixty-seven years ago, then-Michigan hockey coach Vic Heyliger led the Wolverines to an 8-4 win over Dartmouth in the first-ever NCAA Hockey Championship.

While the result didn’t carry the same weight when the teams played again Friday, the Wolverines certainly left Yost Ice Arena with a good taste in their mouths after crushing Dartmouth, 7-0.

Five minutes into the game, junior defenseman Michael Downing fired a shot from the blue line that netminder Charles Grant couldn’t control, and junior forward Tyler Motte ultimately banged home the rebound.

And just three minutes after that, freshman forward Cooper Marody scored on Michigan’s first power-play chance. Marody found twine after receiving a cross-ice pass from junior forward JT Compher that he put past a scurrying Grant.

With all the momentum, the Wolverines (7-2-1) wasted no time scoring their third goal. Motte netted his second tally on a tic-tac-toe play after Compher brought the puck through the slot and passed it to sophomore forward Alex Kile, who fed Motte for the score. Compher registered three assists in the first period alone.

“There were a lot of things we wanted to build on,” Motte said, “and we took it to that team right away.”

With those three first-period goals, Michigan has now held at least a two-goal lead in its last four games — a positive sight for coach Red Berenson, who has wanted to see it from the start of the season.

It was interesting to see how the Wolverines would come out in the second period, considering how they played with a lead against Boston University. Skating a week ago with a lead in Boston, Michigan started to take its foot off the gas, which ultimately cost them last Friday’s contest.

But against Dartmouth (2-5-0), it was clear the Wolverines weren’t just going to coast. Controlling the pace for the entire second period, Michigan found twine when sophomore forward Zach Werenski took a cross-ice pass from freshman forward Kyle Connor and sniped it past Grant.

And like the period before, it didn’t take Michigan long to add to its lead when junior Evan Allen scored only a minute later.

Senior goaltender Steve Racine made his fourth straight start in net for the Wolverines, and he didn’t disappoint. Racine stopped all 33 shots he faced on the night, and recorded his first shutout of the season. Aside from nearly getting burned on a funky bounce in the first period, Racine looked sharp the entire game, and it appears he has finally secured the starting job. 

He looked especially solid in the third period when Dartmouth had a 5-on-3 man advantage for just over a minute. Racine made a few superb kick and blocker saves in that time.

“He was solid,” Berenson said. “I don’t put a lot of stock into a shutout, but it’s great for our goalies and our defensemen take pride in that. Steve played great. How could you say anything bad?”

Added Motte: “It’s no secret that our goalies have battled back and forth, and I think it’s huge for our team confidence as well, knowing we have a guy back there who battled today like he did.”

Werenski and senior forward Boo Nieves rounded out the Wolverines’ scoring. But by then, because of Racine’s sharpness in net combined with Michigan’s offensive prowess, the game was more than over.