Senior Tim Cook is a huge Elton John fan.
Well, at least that’s all he wants to hear after Saturday games at Yost Ice Arena.
The Michigan hockey team has a tradition to listening to Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and singing “The Victors” in the locker room following each home sweep.
That’s exactly what the Maize and Blue did this weekend after dispatching Ferris State 9-4 on Friday and 6-2 on Saturday to complete its second weekend home sweep in five chances this season.
Saturday nights haven’t been all right at home for the 11th-ranked Wolverines this season. They have lost Saturday night contests to a pair of unranked teams (Northern Michigan and Northeastern) that kept Elton John on the shelf.
Michigan (14-6-0 CCHA, 19-9-0 overall) turned in the type of performance Saturday that many have come to expect. But it has been its inability to demonstrate this dominance, even against some of the CCHA’s bottom feeders, that makes the wins over Ferris State (4-14-2, 7-18-3) noteworthy.
“(Senior Matt Hunwick) pulled me aside and said, ‘Let’s make sure that everybody knows that we expect to win these games,’ ” Cook said. “We’re not happy, we’re satisfied.”
The Wolverines, especially sophomore Jack Johnson, simply overpowered the Bulldogs over the weekend.
The ferocity of Johnson’s shot and his physical play inspired the student section, which had one of its loudest games of the season, to cheer “Kill, Jack, kill” when he took the ice.
The Ann Arbor native tallied eight points on the weekend, including his first career hat trick on Friday and first career short-handed goals (two). Three of his five tallies were the product of his menacing slapshot.
“It’s great to see the puck go in (for him),” Berenson said. “Our defense can be dangerous, and obviously Jack can be.”
Hunwick, Johnson’s partner on the top defensive pairing, also showed how potent the defense could be in the offensive zone. He notched five points this weekend, including a career-high tying three assists on Friday night.
Although the scoreboard read a convincing Michigan triumph on Friday, the play on the ice told a different story. After jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first period, the Bulldogs controlled play in the second, outshooting the Wolverines 24-6.
“They came out in the second period and put on a clinic,” Berenson said. “We are lucky we survived the period. . I can’t tell you it was in doubt, but it was in doubt the way we were playing.”
If not for a few fortuitous bounces that led to breakaway chances for Michigan, Friday night’s contest could have been much closer than the final score would indicate. In fact, Ferris State outshot Michigan 40-30 on the night, and Berenson considered pulling sophomore goalie Billy Sauer after the second period to give him some rest.
But a sweep-hungry Michigan squad controlled play for the onset on Saturday, jumping out to a 2-0 first-period lead with the aid of a 12-4 advantage in shots.
This weekend’s games mark the team’s final home weekend series of the season. The next time the Wolverines will have the opportunity to rock out to Elton John in the locker room to mark a home weekend sweep would be after a CCHA playoff win.