Two points behind Michigan State in the CCHA standings heading into this past weekend, the No. 9 Michigan hockey team seemed to have served notice that it would be a major thorn in the Spartans” side in the race for the conference title after dominating its arch-rivals in a 1-1 tie on Jan. 19.

With four consecutive games on the schedule against Bowling Green and Lake Superior State the 11th and 12th-place teams in the CCHA the Wolverines were ready to lock up four easy wins.

But Bowling Green (5-11-2 CCHA, 7-16-5 overall) decided to make things a lot more difficult for Michigan (11-5-4, 14-8-5).

On Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena, defenseman Mike Komisarek scored his second goal of the night with 3:28 left to play in the third period, giving Michigan a 3-2 win to salvage a split with the Falcons on the weekend.

The rescue mission for Saturday night was necessary because by the time the complacent Wolverines realized what was happening on Friday, the Falcons had stolen a 4-2 upset win.

“(Friday) was a huge let up,” said Michigan forward Michael Woodford. “It was embarrassing. You look at the guys in our lockerroom, and they didn”t know what to do they didn”t what to say.”

Said Michigan coach Red Berenson: “I can”t tell you we”re healthy, but there”s not a lot of positives when you lose at home to the 11th-place team.”

Fresh off of Friday”s stunning win, Bowling Green continued to outplay Michigan early in Saturday”s game. Just 6:43 into the first period on Saturday, forward Ryan Wetterberg redirected a pass past Michigan goalie Josh Blackburn for a 1-0 lead.

Komisarek scored his first goal seven minutes later, when he deposited a rebound off his own shot past Bowling Green goalie Tyler Masters. Michigan took its first lead of the weekend with 14:50 remaining in the second period on an Eric Nystrom goal during a 5-on-3 Michigan man-advantage.

The Wolverines held the lead for less than two minutes though, as D”Arcy McConvery one-timed a shot over Blackburn to send the game into the third period tied at two.

After the teams battled through 16 minutes of scoreless play in the final period, Komisarek took the puck at center ice, crossed into the Bowling Green slot and snapped a shot past Masters to give Michigan playing without forward Mike Cammalleri and captain Jed Ortmeyer the 3-2 win.

“He made a nice play, cut to the middle, got me going one way as he was going the other way and basically put the puck in perfect position,” Masters said. “It”s a nice play and I almost had it but, unfortunately, that”s how it goes.”

The goal by Komisarek allowed Michigan to avoid an embarrassing two-game sweep at home by a Bowling Green team that entered this weekend with just six wins on the year.

Friday night”s game featured a lethargic Michigan team that permitted a smaller, slower Bowling Green team to run-and-gun like an all-star team.

“We made poor decisions,” Berenson said. “Our defense wasn”t playing defense, our forwards weren”t giving them any support, and it was just a poor hockey game in terms of how we like to play and how we played (Friday).”

Early in Friday”s game, Bowling Green killed off a Michigan powerplay and promptly went on the attack. Defenseman Grady Moore came out of the penalty box and broke in alone on Blackburn, only to fire the puck wide. Marc Barlow recovered the rebound and rang a shot off the goal post. Bowling Green forward Steve Brudzewski missed another breakaway opportunity just seconds later, but the tone had been set for the game.

“We”ve come (to Yost) before and have just been blown out of the building if I knew (what the difference was Friday) I”d bottle it and keep a supply of it,” Bowling Green coach Buddy Powers said. “I told the guys if we bring this energy and emotion to the table every night, we”ll win our share of games down the last 10 here.”

The Falcons finally broke through with 1:18 left in the first period on a goal by Denis White. The lead grew to two just over a minute into the second period when Scott Hewson beat Blackburn with a one-timer.

Michigan”s best stretch in the game also led to its first goal. Shorthanded and down 2-0, the Wolverines got a huge shift from forward Mark Mink who set up Michigan”s first goal by freshmen Eric Werner.

It was a brief glimmer in an otherwise miserable game for Michigan.

Barlow answered Werner”s goal 1:02 into the third period to put Bowling Green back up by two, 3-1. A late Michigan goal by Andy Burnes pulled the Wolverines within 3-2, but an empty net tally by Tyler Knight finished off any comeback hopes. The win guaranteed Bowling Green a successful, two-point weekend and sent Michigan back to the drawing board.

“I think we just have to regroup and reevaluate what we need to do every night,” Burnes said. “We have to look at the big picture, it”s not just getting up for one night. First place is on the line every night, and we have to get that message across to our team because every point from here on out is huge.”

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