BIG RAPIDS — Usually, things don’t melt on ice.
But junior goalie Bryan Hogan did, faster than snow in the oven.
Less than a month ago in the Great Lakes Invitational, a puck bounced off his glove and into the net as Hogan’s mistake put the game nearly out of reach. In Saturday’s first period against Ferris State, Ewigleben Ice Arena was already preheating.
In a goal that was eerily similar to the one that got him pulled in the GLI, a manageable wristshot from the top of the circle found its way just above Hogan’s left pad and under his glove.
But despite his history, Hogan didn’t crumble in the heat created by the Ferris student section located behind his net.
He rebounded from the early goal Saturday to return to his Friday-night shutout form, making 29 stops and keeping Michigan within reach of the Bulldogs.
“He gave us a chance to win, that’s all you can ask for a goalie to do,” senior defenseman Chris Summers said.
After getting a lot of defensive help on Friday en route to his third shutout of the season, Hogan was forced to make two saves on breakaways to keep it tied at 1-1 midway through the game Saturday.
With eight minutes left, Ferris State’s Casey Haines drove around sophomore defensemen Brandon Burlon, only to meet Hogan’s poke check.
About three minutes later, a long pass out of the Bulldogs’ zone beat freshman Lee Moffie and left Hogan one-on-one with the shooter. Hogan got his left pad on the backhand shot, and after a late goal in the second that occurred when Hogan had to contend with traffic in front, the Wolverines escaped the period down by just one.
“Hogan kept us in the game,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “We got great chances and their goalie played well. Both goalies played well. I didn’t think we finished.”
The Wolverines finally capitalized on one of their many scoring opportunities with just over two minutes remaining. But Hogan’s work wasn’t finished as he was forced into the spotlight one final time as Michigan took a penalty 14 seconds later.
With just 24 seconds left, a one-timer from the high slot trickled through Hogan’s legs into the net for the final goal, winning the game and overshadowing Hogan’s stellar weekend in the net.
“It was heartbreaking for our team after battling back from a deficit and tying the game in the last minute and a half,” Berenson said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow because we’re right back in the game and we have the momentum.”
A day before, Hogan didn’t feel the heat, stopping 22 shots in a shutout of the top offense in the CCHA. It was the sixth of his career. In a low-scoring game, it was the defensive effort that made the difference.
“Hogie played outstanding tonight, stood on his head, made some big saves for us,” senior defensemen Steve Kampfer said after Friday’s game. “To shutdown that (Blair) Riley kid was a huge step for us. That was our goal all week.”
Even with the ‘oven ready’ light off, the red light behind the net ultimately stayed on, despite Hogan’s play in front of it.