The Michigan hockey team hasn’t had too many negative trends this season. But in all three previous games against Lake Superior State, the Wolverines have found themselves down a goal in the first period.
Michigan reversed that trend in tonight’s 4-2 win over the Lakers, building a two-goal cushion in the first twenty minutes that cemented its second sweep of Lake Superior State this year.
With just over five minutes to play in the first frame, freshman Louie Caporusso took the puck on a power play. He crossed Laker goalie Pat Inglis’s face, pump faked and punched in an easy shot for the first score of the game.
Forty seconds later, freshman Matt Rust added to the Wolverines’ lead, pumping one through Inglis’s five hole to extend the lead to two.
Both goalies were seeing their first action of the weekend. Inglis, who rode the bench last night in favor of freshman Brian Mahoney-Wilson, looked much less comfortable in the net than Michigan netminder Bryan Hogan.
In his fourth start – all Saturday night home games – Hogan showed why Michigan coach Red Berenson came into this season with questions about whether he or proven-starter Billy Sauer would see more playing time.
Lake Superior State tallied 23 shots on goal, Hogan was stout for the majority of the game, deflecting 21 of them. He showed a keen knack for glove-side saves and catches, arguably the weakest part of Sauer’s game.
Even with Hogan’s presence in net, the Lakers made things interesting halfway through the second period.
With just ten seconds left on a power play opportunity, Zac MacVoy, who transferred from Michigan to Lake Superior State, made a picture-perfect pass across the crease to senior Dan Eves. Hogan had no chance to rotate fast enough to block Eves’s easy shot, and the Lakers pulled with a goal.
The man-advantage goal was as close as Lake Superior State got. Michigan picked up the intensity, showcasing its superior speed and puck-handling abilities to regain momentum late in the second period.
Caporusso notched his second goal of the night with just over 20 seconds remaining in the second frame.
The scariest moment of the contest for the Wolverines came midway through the final period, when senior alternate captain Chad Kolarik had to be helped off the ice by junior Mark Mitera and sophomore Steve Kampfer.
On a 3-on-2 penalty kill, Kolarik appeared to take a puck to the ankle, and he remained down on the ice until the referees blew the play dead several tense seconds later. In last night’s 4-2 win, Kolarik tallied all four goals, pulling him within one score of captain Kevin Porter.
With 15 seconds left in the game, sophomore Travis Turnbull notched an empty netter to cap off the sweep.
Check Monday’s edition of the Michigan Daily for more comprehensive coverage.