COLUMBUS – Michigan’s 6-5 loss to Ohio State on Feb. 24 was the bizarro version of the Wolverines’ 4-3 win the previous night.
Everything was opposite.
In the first game, Michigan fought back and scored the game-winning goal with 68 seconds remaining. The next night, Ohio State erased two separate two-goal deficits and tallied the game winner with 90 seconds remaining.
Nearly four minutes after Michigan sophomore Tim Miller magically tied the game at five with a tally from behind the goal line, Ohio State’s Mathieu Beaudoin ripped the game-winning slapshot from just inside Michigan’s blue line.
Beaudoin shouldn’t have had the chance to take the shot, but Michigan sophomore Andrew Cogliano whiffed on his clearing attempt.
Michigan played with a 6-on-4 advantage for the game’s final 40 seconds but failed to capitalize.
The emotions of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry boiled over at the final horn with a partial melee near the Buckeye goal.
Though multiple players received minor penalties, Buckeye Zach Pelletier was the lone player awarded a game disqualification. The Wolverines left the rink without engaging in customary post-game handshakes.
“A couple guys started shoving (Kevin Porter),” sophomore Brandon Naurato said. “Their bench was already off to celebrate, so we just tried to get everyone out of there so we have everyone for the playoffs.”
For a game with 11 total goals, it was surprising the first didn’t come for nearly 14 minutes. Predictably, however, was the Michigan duo concocting the offense: senior T.J. Hensick and junior Kevin Porter.
Off a lengthy Hensick pass, Porter received the puck at the Ohio State blue line. Skating in alone on Ohio State goalie Joseph Palmer, Porter wristed the puck into the net on the blocker side.
Hensick’s assist was his 42nd point in conference play this season and was the crown on his second CCHA scoring title.
Michigan (18-9-1 CCHA, 23-12-1 overall) controlled the early pace, registering the first 10 shots of the game. The Wolverines’ dominance was so complete that Ohio State (12-12-4, 15-16-5) didn’t put a shot on Michigan goalie Billy Sauer until late in the first period.
Unfortunately for Sauer, Ohio State’s first attempt lit the lamp. Beaudoin grabbed the puck in a seemingly innocent scramble in front of the crease and stuffed it past Sauer to tie the game.
Sauer gave up nine goals on the weekend.
“It was a coach’s nightmare,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson of the Wolverines’ defensive collapse. “It was a goalie’s nightmare – too many goals against.”
Naurato factored in each of Michigan’s next two goals, assisting on Travis Turnbull’s tally and then deflecting Mark Mitera’s point shot past Palmer during a 5-on-3 power play.
From that point on, the goals came at a frenetic pace, with four in the first half of the second period and six total during the frame.
Michigan had a 4-2 lead with just over two minutes to go until the second intermission, but Ohio State scored twice in twenty seconds, setting up the wild final stanza.
Despite the loss, Michigan backed into second-place of the CCHA standings because of Miami (Ohio)’s 4-1 loss at Northern Michigan.
But the Wolverines found little solace in the RedHawks’ gift.
“I heard Miami lost, so we still got second place,” Naurato said after the game. “But we wanted to win. We wanted to get some momentum going into the playoffs. We’ve got to start over again in practice.”
The Wolverines took three days off before returning to the ice this past Wednesday.
Michigan’s next opponent will be Northern Michigan, which secured its first-round playoff victory by beating Ohio State 3-2 last night.

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