Posted on Oct. 26
It took more than 30 minutes, but when Michigan finally got used to playing at home, it outworked Boston University and reaped the benefits.
A raucous crowd of 6,894, clad almost entirely in maize, with a smattering of Halloween apparel, saw the Wolverines skate away with a 4-2 win tonight at Yost Ice Arena.
Freshman Matt Rust scored the game’s first goal with just fewer than eight minutes to play in the second period. Rust outskated his former teammate on the U.S. National Team Development Program, Kevin Shattenkirk, through the neutral zone and beat Terrier goalie Brett Bennett through the five-hole.
Another Michigan freshman extended the lead just 62 seconds later. Aaron Palushaj collected the puck in the circle to Bennett’s right, skated into the slot and rifled a wrister top shelf. It was Palushaj’s first career goal.
Boston University’s best chance to respond to the two-goal lead came when it had a 37 second two-man advantage late in the second period. Terrier coach Jack Parker called a timeout to set up his attack, but the physical Wolverine penalty kill dispatched of the opportunity. With each clearance, the roar from the Yost faithful grew louder, finally shaking the structure as the power play came to an end.
Michigan goalie Billy Sauer put forth a monumental effort in the first two periods. His 27 saves on 27 shots marked the type of performance Michigan hockey fans dreamed of when Sauer arrived on campus two years ago.
Sauer didn’t just make easy saves; he made the spectacular ones, too.
In all Sauer stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced.
The teams traded goals in the final period.
The Terriers (0-3-1 overall) cut Michigan’s lead in half fewer than three minutes into the third period. Jason Lawrence scored a power-play goal on a backhand shot that fooled Sauer. Not to be outdone, the Wolverines picked up a man-advantage goal of their own eight minutes into the period. Rust deflected Mark Mitera’s point shot past Bennett for his second goal of the night. Michigan’s lead was back to two goals.
The Terriers wouldn’t go quietly. Dan McGoff scored Boston University’s second goal with just over eight minutes remaining in the game.
Michigan senior captain Kevin Porter scored Michigan’s fourth goal. Sliding head first toward the net, Porter tipped the puck up in the air. Terrier defenseman Colby Cohen did the rest of the work, knocking the puck out of the air and past Bennett.
Freshman Max Pacioretty collected his first career point with an assist on the Porter goal.
Michigan (4-1-0) won with relative ease, considering how uneven the effort was in the first half of the game.
The Terriers came out the hungrier team. Using a strong forecheck, Boston University managed a few excellent scoring chances in the opening minutes. If not for some outstanding saves by Sauer, Michigan surely would have found itself trailing in the first period.
Adding insult to injury, the student section broke into a “Let’s go, Rockies,” chant as the game ended.