SOUTH BEND A– Freshman wing Andrew Cogliano made his presence felt late and early this weekend, leading the Wolverines to a sweep of Notre Dame.

On Friday night, with the Wolverines clinging to a 6-5 lead, Cogliano scored two goals to put away the host Irish in Michigan’s 8-5 victory.

Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena Cogliano started the scoring with a goal five minutes into the game, launching Michigan to a 4-2 win.

With the score deadlocked at zero, Cogliano received the puck at the top of the right circle. He shot it down the boards to senior captain Andrew Ebbett who immediately passed the puck back. Cogliano shot from the right wing and beat Notre Dame goalie Jordan Pearce stick side.

For the night, the Wolverines were three for six on the power play, and killed off all of its own penalties.

“I think we’re getting the semblance of a real good power play,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “But we all know that can sputter from time to time. But right now that’s a big part of our game.”

Michigan’s home-and-home set with Notre Dame this weekend was not pretty, but it got the job done. The bounces seemed to go Michigan’s way all weekend. The play was sloppy, but the Wolverines were able to piece things together when they needed to.

“We have to play better hockey as a team,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “I can’t make excuses, whether it’s a lot of new players or it’s just not gelling.”

Despite the sloppy play, Michigan was able to finish off the Irish in the second period. Freshman wing Jason Bailey and a Notre Dame defenseman stabbed at the puck at the same moment, sending it flying into the air. Amidst the chaos, alternate captain T.J. Hensick was the only one who saw where the puck was headed.

As the rest of the players on the ice went in one direction, Hensick went the other. He corralled the puck behind the net and saw a forward’s dream – the goalie all alone.

As he wrapped around the net, Hensick unleashed a shot that went five-hole for the Wolverines’ fourth goal of the evening.

That score essentially put the nail in the coffin for Michigan as they cruised in the third period.

“I think I was the only one who saw where it ended up,” Hensick said. “Everyone was going one way on the ice, and I was going the other. Luckily I picked it up, and that left pretty much a clear wrap around. The goalie didn’t really know where I was coming from.”

Notre Dame responded to Cogliano’s first-period tally a minute and a half later in the period, converting a Michigan turnover on its own blue line and sneaking a shot past freshman goaltender Billy Sauer.

Notre Dame was able to take the lead at the 11-minute mark, when junior wing Michael Bartlett beat Sauer top shelf with a wrist shot. At this point, it looked as though Michigan was in trouble, with the Irish gaining confidence by the second.

But the Wolverines were once again saved by their power play at the end of the first period. Defenseman Jack Johnson let go with a wrist shot from the point that somehow made its way through traffic in front of the net. The shot bounced off Pearce’s pads right into the waiting stick of sophomore Chad Kolarik who punched it in for his second goal of the season with just 47 seconds remaining.

That goal tied the game at two apiece going into the first intermission.

“I think Notre Dame is a much improved team,” Berenson said. “They are hard working, they play a good system and they are hard to play against. They had their chances to win this weekend. Even though they were behind most of the time, they played hard and they are going to be a team down the stretch. I think that’s a good team and it’s a good win for us.”

On Friday night, the Wolverines imposed their offensive will on the Irish, but were marred by some defensive breakdowns.

The Wolverines were enjoying a comfortable 6-3 lead with five minutes remaining when all hell broke loose.

Notre Dame freshman Garrett Regan scored a controversial goal in which he ran into both goalie Noah Ruden and the goalpost. The goal came unhinged from its bearings, as the puck slid across the goal line.

Just 23 seconds later, Notre Dame freshman Erik Condra got free on a breakaway, and as he was being fouled by Johnson, he was somehow able to shoot the puck past Ruden. Suddenly, the Irish had pulled within one goal.

After the Condra goal, Cogliano took over. With three and a half minutes remaining and Michigan clinging to its 6-5 lead, Cogliano came streaking down the right wing and let loose a slap shot cross ice that beat Notre Dame goalie David Brown top shelf. About a minute and a half later Cogliano padded his stats with an empty net goal.

Cogliano stepped to the forefront against Notre Dame. For the weekend he had three goals and three assists. He consistently created chances for the Wolverines with his blazing speed and deceptive shot. After starting the season slowly, he now has points in six straight games.

“For a young player to step up and score a huge goal and make a play, that’s huge,” Berenson said. “He’s got the speed, he’s an opportunist, and it paid off for us.”

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