ST. LOUIS — Just minutes after defeating Nebraska-Omaha 3-2 in overtime on Friday, the No. 6 Michigan hockey team was already back to work.
This time the players were each dressed in suit and tie, sitting 30 rows from the ice at Scottrade Center. It was the first period between top seed Boston College and Colorado College, and the Wolverines had seen the brink of elimination and survived, only to return to scouting.
What they saw was nothing short of terrifying. The Mavericks rebounded from an early one-goal deficit to rip the game away from the Eagles, 8-4.
It wasn’t just dominance — it was taking the No. 2 team behind the woodshed for an old-fashioned slugfest. But the matchup turned into a barnburner late, as Boston College erased much of a five-goal deficit.
As Michigan has the next 24 hours to prepare for the Tigers, it has got plenty of material to work with. And the Wolverines also have vital experience, since they topped Colorado College 6-5 in the finals of the Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit in late December.
Though Michigan’s crux against Nebraska-Omaha was its penalty kill unit — a perfect 6-for-6 against the Mavericks, including an early-overtime kill — it was torched by the Tigers in the GLI final for four goals on five power-play opportunities.
With the Wolverines (20-7-1-0 CCHA, 27-10-4 overall) watching from the stands on Friday evening, Colorado College knocked in a pair of power-play goals and two shorthanded goals in the first two periods alone.
Senior Stephen Schultz, sophomore Rylan Schwartz and freshman Jaden Schwartz led the Tigers (13-13-2 WCHA, 22-18-3 overall) with four goals and six assists against the Eagles.
Regardless, Michigan will have its hand full with a dangerous Colorado College offense in St. Louis.
But Colorado College isn’t bulletproof, as it surrendered four goals on 43 shots to Boston College. And Michigan coach Red Berenson cautioned all week that his team would not focus only on Nebraska, but on every team in the West Regional.
The Wolverines and Tigers square off at 8:00 PM CT on Saturday, with the winner punching its ticket to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn.
“We have to put this game behind us between now and when we go to bed, and start refocusing,” Berenson said. “The whole weekend comes down to tomorrow night. We want to be a Saturday night team.”