Ice Hockey

The Pastujov brothers, Mike (left) and Nick (right), grew up playing hockey in Florida before both joining the Michigan hockey team.

Nick is set to graduate this semester, which means his days on campus and his games dressed in a maize and blue sweater are fleeting. But that means the clock’s running out on something else, too — the brothers’ time together. This is likely the last year the Pastujovs will be on the ice, on the same line, together.
And through all the hockey, dance recitals and fashion advice there’s something glaringly obvious about the brothers’ bond. Mike and Nick are much more than brothers.

Freshman forward Johnny Beecher formerly played for the National Team Development Program.

For Michigan, Saturday’s exhibition has the makings of a classic trap game, albeit a slightly non-traditional one. It’s a meaningless matchup, sandwiched in the heart of the Wolverines’ conference schedule. Michigan has started to build momentum in recent weeks, and now, they’re faced with a game that could be a serious stumbling block to that momentum.
The Wolverines’ recent run came after a disappointing first half, in which the Michigan went 7-11-2 overall and just 2-7-1 in the Big Ten. And despite the success the last two weeks, Pearson knows his team still has a lot to improve upon.
In Saturday’s exhibition, he’s looking for the Wolverines to continue to build and grow into a team that can be competitive across the Big Ten.

Mel Pearson's positivity throughout the Michigan hockey team's early-season rut appears to be paying off.

Looking back, though, brings the necessary clarity. And it’s now crystal clear that there was truth behind Mel Pearson’s optimism during the Michigan hockey team’s early season struggles.

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The seniors were chatting at the back of the bus.

Nick Granowicz scored two goals on Saturday to help Michigan past Penn State.

Michigan Men’s Hockey rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Penn State 5-4 in 2OT this Saturday, but freshman forward Nick Granowicz’s two goals offered added significance to the comeback victory.

Saturday would have been Granowicz’s mother’s 53rd birthday. Despite a slow start to the season, Granowicz has used adversity to motivate him, leading to his first goal last season and his two-goal performance on Saturday.

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But with 12 seconds left in three-on-three double overtime, sophomore forward Garrett Van Wyhe found the puck on his stick with no one in front of him.

His wrister flipped up over Autio’s shoulder, and while the rest of the building went silent, there was an explosion on Michigan’s bench. The goal exorcised the demons of close but not quite, of being right there and just missing.

Johnny Beecher scored Michigan's third goal in a win over Penn State on Friday.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Waiting all alone in the slot, Johnny Beecher tapped the blade of his stick against the ice to get Will Lockwood’s attention.

Jake Slaker scored Michigan's first goal in a 6-0 win over Penn State.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Johnny Beecher lifted his arms and opened them in celebration. 

Sophomore forward Jimmy Lambert focused on his defensive game in the first half of the year when his offensive production dipped.

During the middle of November, Lambert switched positions from right wing to center. While not a transition he’d been anticipating, the Michigan coaches make sure their forwards are prepared to play in whatever role the team calls upon them to play. Despite this expectation, having the trust of the coaches to fill a gap in the lineup gave Lambert a confidence boost he’d been in search of.

Due to his recent lack of success, junior forward Dakota Raabe was kept out of last weekend’s lineup against Notre Dame.

There was no jersey embroidered with the number 12 left to greet Dakota Raabe, the then-freshman forward. Bags filled with his equipment laid to the side. There were no helmet or pads hanging in the top-shelf bins.