OXFORD — When Michigan captain and senior forward Luke Glendening emerged from the locker room after dropping Friday night’s game to Miami (Ohio), 2-1, the loss wasn’t the only thing weighing on his mind.

Instead, his thoughts turned to the ‘C’ patch that he wears on his jersey every game.

“Some of (the loss) falls on my shoulders,” Glendening said. “I need to help get the guys motivated for Friday nights.”

It was a harsh self-critique considering that Glendening gave the Wolverines their only goal of the night, but it was still something he took to heart.

Michigan relies on leadership from its seniors each game. Since the Wolverines haven’t had much experience on the road this season, a little direction was needed.

The captains — Glendening, forward David Wohlberg, defenseman Greg Pateryn and goaltender Shawn Hunwick — set up meetings with the team on Saturday morning before the conclusion of the series. Every unit got together, and the seniors made their point very clear.

“Our seniors spoke up about what we had to do and how important this game was,” said junior forward A.J. Treais. “Just telling us how ready we have to be, how we gotta come out, how we gotta play.”

Despite the meetings, Michigan couldn’t avoid a sweep by the RedHawks, falling 3-3 on Saturday after a shootout. But in their own way, the presence of the captains on the ice kept the Wolverines alive on Saturday night.

Pateryn forms the core of the young defensive unit that had to play physically against a fast Miami offense. Several times throughout Saturday’s game, he was the difference in stopping the RedHawks from getting dangerously close to the net.

He cleared pucks left and right. He once even cleared the puck away from Hunwick and out of Michigan’s defensive zone while laid out on the ice.

So when Pateryn took an interference penalty midway through the second period, things got tricky for the shorthanded Wolverines. Miami took no time in capitalizing on his absence, scoring on the power play.

Hunwick also stepped his game up. The RedHawks took 41 shots on goal to the Wolverines’ 28, and Hunwick stopped all but three before the shootout.

He made a variety of saves. When the game went into the shootout, Hunwick was the only thing standing between Miami and its potential weekend sweep.

The RedHawks scored. But his presence in between the pipes, according to Michigan coach Red Berenson, “has given (Michigan) a chance every night.”

But just because the captains make statements on the ice each night, that doesn’t mean the younger players always follow suit.

Berenson characterized Saturday’s matchup as a “game of mistakes,” where Michigan’s shots hit the posts, its leading scorers like Treais stayed relatively quiet and Miami capitalized on some lucky opportunities.

“(The seniors have) got to set the tone, but they’ve got to have the guys following too,” Berenson said. “You can be the best player on the ice, but if other players don’t elevate their games because of that, then it doesn’t matter.”

Getting every player on the same page is difficult for the captains. Glendening and Hunwick noted that a loss on the first night is great motivation to take into the second. But this time, the energy didn’t translate into a win.

“You think you’re ready as a player, and then you get out there and maybe the puck doesn’t go your way,” Berenson said. “You just aren’t having your best game, and we’re not the same team.”

The captains now have an unfamiliar task in front of them: consoling the team after being swept for the first time this season.

“You’ve obviously got to move on,” Hunwick said. “You can’t dwell on it. It’s early in the season. We’ve got to start putting together some wins. We’ve got to get past it, work harder and be motivated.”

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