ST LOUIS — Earlier this week in practice, Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson told his team that in order to beat Nebraska-Omaha in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon, it would have to win a majority of the little battles and footraces all over the ice.
But in the first period against the Mavericks, the Wolverines didn’t put their coach’s words into practice, as they head into the first intermission down, 2-0.
In the first two minutes of the contest, Michigan received its first power play opportunity of the night, but it was Nebraska that took advantage of the Wolverines’ miscue.
Off a face-off in the Maverick zone, Nebraska forward Rich Purslow took a pass from a Maverick at his own blue line. He then beat the Wolverine defensemen down the ice and slipped a backhand five-hole on Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick at the 1:35 mark of the first period.
Five minutes later, the Mavericks added to their lead.
With Michigan caught circling in its own end, Nebraska set up a perfect passing play to go up, 2-0.
Maverick forward Alex Hudson beat his defender out of the corner and cut straight toward the net. Hudson received a cross-ice pass and one-timed it past an out-stretched Hunwick to give Nebraska-Omaha a two-goal lead.
The Wolverines were certainly plagued by defensive lapses and an inability to convert on the power play — 0-for-2 with the man-advantage.
The shots at the end of the period 11-8 in favor of Michigan.