Posted Nov. 10
The No. 2 Michigan hockey team completed its sweep of Alaska with a 4-2 win tonight and a 4-0 victory on Friday. The Wolverines continued their hot start to the season by absolutely dominating the Nanooks with an overwhelming advantage in the shot column coupled with strong play from goalie Billy Sauer once again.
Unlike Friday night’s game, when Michigan didn’t register its second goal until late in the third period, the Wolverines got off to a quick start.
In the first frame, the Wolverines had twice as many shots on goal and 22 more attempted shots than the Nanooks, and unlike Friday, Michigan had the scoreboard tallies to show for it.
The first goal of the game came just five minutes in, when Max Pacioretty beat an Alaska defender to the goalie-stopped puck behind the net. Pacioretty took the puck to the left before finding senior Chad Kolarik streaking down the ice between the circles. Kolarik found the upper-right corner with a backhand shot for his second consecutive game-opening score.
A little under 10 minutes later, Kolairk missed an open-net opportunity off the rebound from a Pacioretty wrist shot. But just when it looked like Michigan would have a one-goal lead going into the second like Friday, junior Brandon Naurato scored the first Wolverine power-play goal of the weekend off a Steve Kampfer pass with just over a minute remaining. Sauer helped his own cause on the play, notching his third career assist and second of the season.
And at the start of the middle frame, Michigan picked up where it left off. Kolarik wristed a shot from the inside of the upper-right circle and got the puck past the Nanook goalie’s bright yellow pads for the second man-advantage Wolverine goal of the night.
But nearly 100 minutes into the Alaska series, Sauer gave up his first goal to Nanook Dion Knelsen high glove side. The junior hadn’t been scored on since halfway through last weekend’s game at Nebraska-Omaha.
Coming out of the period break, Michigan got on the board early once again. The puck deflected off of freshman Aaron Palushaj’s skate as he crashed the crease to put the Wolverines up 4-1.
Late in the third period, however, the penalties piled on and Sauer let up his second goal of the night off of a wrist shot from the circle to his left. The goal came on a four-on-three situation that resulted from Pacioretty retaliating against Nanook alternate captain Tyler Eckford after he lit up Kolarik in the open ice. Both Pacioretty and Eckford were sent off the ice.
But despite the sloppy end to the game, Michigan still managed to hang on and sweep their fourth consecutive weekend series.