It looked like just another Friday night blunder for the No. 7 Michigan hockey team.

Through 20 minutes of play, the Wolverines were outplayed, outshot and outscored by Ferris State, who held a 1-0 lead after the first period. The Bulldogs scored four minutes into the second period of play to take a two-goal lead. Against the top-ranked defense in the nation — allowing 1.96 goals per game — Michigan appeared headed to another Friday night defeat — carrying a 2-5-2 record on Fridays into the game.

But the Wolverines (11-4-1-0 CCHA, 14-6-4 overall) found their stride midway through the second frame and didn’t look back, taking the first half of the weekend home-and-home series, 3-2.

With an early 1-0 lead in the first period, Ferris State focused their efforts primarily on the defensive end of the ice. Michigan was unable to get many quality opportunities on goaltender Patrick Nagle because of the Bulldog’s stiff defense. The Wolverines had three consecutive power play opportunities in the opening period of play, but were unable to generate any goals.

But with the two-goal deficit, Michigan found its offensive spark from an unlikely scorer. Sophomore defenseman Lee Moffie got the Wolverines on the board off a faceoff deep in the Ferris State zone. Senior forward Matt Rust won the draw, junior defenseman Brandon Burlon slipped the puck across the top of the circle to Moffie, who flicked a wrist shot over the shoulder of Nagle.

Burlon followed with a goal of his own to tie up the game just three minutes later, at the 8:43 mark, sending a wrist shot from the point past Nagle.

With the game knotted at two, the period turned into a defensive dogfight.

But the stalemate was broken with less than two minutes remaining in the second frame, when another unlikely source — sophomore forward Chris Brown — chipped in his third goal of the year to complete the Wolverines’ eighth three-goal period of the season.

Holding a 3-2 lead heading into the third period, Michigan didn’t settle back and trap in the defensive zone, they pelted Nelson with 14 shots in the scoreless frame for a total of 40 shots.

The Wolverines and Bulldogs will meet tomorrow evening at Ewigleben Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. for the finale of the home-and-home series. Michigan holds a 2-0-1 record against Ferris State this season.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.