Posted Dec. 8.
In Friday night’s matchup with Bowling Green, the Michigan hockey team didn’t manage its game-winning two-goal margin until the Falcons went with an empty net in a last-ditch effort to tie the game.
But even though Saturday’s game had a completely different start for Michigan when it took an early two-goal lead, the result was more of the same. Led by freshman Bryan Hogan (20 saves) making his second start between the pipes, the Wolverines’ won 3-2 and completed the weekend sweep.
Just under four minutes in, freshman Matt Rust showed off great anticipation and speed to notch the shorthanded goal. Rust knocked a cross-ice pass high into the air with the tip of his stick, beat the Bowling Green defender to the puck and closed nicely with a backhanded shot top right from the edge of the crease.
The second Wolverine score of the period came from the stick of the nation leader in goals, captain Kevin Porter. In a 4-on-3 man advantage, freshman Chad Langlais fed the senior at the top of the right circle, who nailed a beautiful wrist shot top shelf to put Michigan up by a pair of scores. The score was Porter’s second of the weekend.
Though Michigan jumped out to an early lead, the period was marred by penalties. Falcon Kyle Page was penalized for obstruction in the game’s first minute and the referee’s whistle didn’t stop blowing from then on. In the first period, eight penalties were called between the two teams.
If goals scored and penalties called were the measuring stick, the middle stanza looked eerily similar to the opening period – except Bowling Green was the high scoring team.
Minutes into the second, defensemen Tristin Llewellyn and Mark Mitera were each called for penalties within seven seconds. Michigan fought off the 5-on-3 disadvantage with two quick clears, but was unable to stop the vaunted Bowling Green power-play unit from scoring the first Falcon goal of the night.
And in similar fashion to the Michigan’s second goal of the opening period, Bowling Green notched its second a little over 12 minutes in. Falcon Jacob Cepis deposited the rebound score into the top netting of the goal from just a few feet away to tie the game.
Yet Michigan still went into the break with a goal advantage. On the power play from a final-minute Falcon penalty, junior Brandon Naurato found the back of the net for the second time this year with six seconds remaining.
And that’s how the score remained the rest of the third. Bowling Green pulled its goalie with 90 seconds remaining while on the power play for a 6-on-4 advantage, but was unable to muster the game-tying score. The Wolverines missed three open-net shots, including a ice-long shot by goalie Bryan Hogan that deflected off the post. But even though Michigan didn’t repeat its 4-2 showing from Friday, it came away with the win and series sweep to close out 2007 conference play.