In 2016, Nick Blankenburg — then 18 years old and now a freshman at Michigan — was a forward on that team, but he had a hard time scoring. Burke decided to try Blankenburg at defense for the first time in his life.
Entering the new year, compared to the first half of the season, there was a new Lavigne. A goaltender who practiced hard, competed hard and gave Michigan the opportunity to win. But for Lavigne and the coaching staff, it was more of the same.
For a moment, it looked like Jimmy Lambert’s first goal of his Michigan hockey career might be a game-winner. But just 28 seconds later, the Buckeyes (13-5-4, 6-3-3-2) tied it up at the other end of the ice when defenseman Wyatt Ege found twine for his first tally of the season.
The Buckeyes added an empty-netter with 24.1 seconds remaining to ice the game and win, 4-2.
With their backs to the wall, against a team that beat them four times last year, the Wolverines did more than fight back.
Michigan killed the penalty, and after junior forward Jake Slaker scored minutes later to tie the game, it never looked back. At the end of the day, Slaker and the Wolverines walked off the ice with a 2-1 win over the Buckeyes.