OXFORD – No. 1 vs. No. 2.

It was supposed to be a tightly-contested showdown – but Michigan made sure the first period was nothing but an embarrassment for Miami.

The end of the game, though, was anything but pretty for the Wolverines. After being outshot 11-0 for the first 16 minutes of the third period, Michigan tallied more penalties (8) than total shots for the stanza (2). Despite a 4-2 win, Michigan lost momentum it was hoping to take into tomorrow night’s game.

The Wolverines scored four goals in the last 11 minutes of the first period to secure a strong cushion early and quickly take the RedHawks out of the game.

Miami had the first shot on goal, but Michigan quickly took control of the game. The Wolverines scored two goals before the RedHawks could get another shot.

With 10:52 left in the first, freshman Louie Caporusso chipped in a rebound from a Travis Turnbull shot to put Michigan on the board for the first time.

Three minutes later, freshman Carl Hagelin’s saucer pass to freshman Aaron Palushaj gave Michigan a two-goal edge. Palushaj flung the pass over Zatkoff’s shoulder into the top corner of the net.

The Wolverines’ first-period dominance was sealed by Porter’s commanding goal less than 40 seconds later. At 12:55 of the first period, senior Chad Kolarik took the puck in the Michigan zone and sent a long pass to captain Kevin Porter. Porter took the puck past the RedHawks’ blue line and unleashed a blistering wrister that sailed into the top corner of the net to put the Wolverines up 3-0.

Michigan’s top three lines already had one goal each – but freshman Max Pacioretty added another one for the Wolverines’ first line with five minutes to go in the first period. Pacioretty got the puck on a centering attempt by Palushaj and missed the puck on his first shot. With Zatkoff off guard, Pacioretty spun around and swung at the puck again, this time backhanding it past the junior standout. The Wolverines’ fourth goal meant Michigan had its most prolific period since it scored five goals in the third period against Nebraska-Omaha in early November.

Zatkoff started for Miami in the second period despite previously allowing four goals on 11 shots. After one of Michigan’s best periods of the season, it had few scoring chances in the slow-paced second stanza. The RedHawks began to play with a more physical style and notched four penalties in the period to the Wolverines’ two, giving the game a choppier feel and making it hard for either team to get into an offensive rhythm.

Seven minutes into the second, defenseman Steve Kampfer crumpled to the ice after a hard check and lay unmoving and face first for about two minutes, but he skated off unassisted and was back on the ice for his next shift.

Michigan goalie Billy Sauer played solidly high up in the crease, meeting Miami’s shots before its usually-explosive offense had a chance to sneak a puck past the junior.

In the third period, though, Michigan took more penalties than shots. In a dramatic shift of momentum, the RedHawks held the Wolverines without a shot for the first 16 minutes of the period. In that span, Miami outshot Michigan 11-0 as the RedHawks nearly played themselves back into the game.

The teams combined for 26 penalty minutes in the first four-and-a-half minutes of the period. The RedHawks squandered a 5-on-3 opportunity about two minutes into the period by sending a man to the box for interference.

With 15:34 left in the period, defenseman Scooter Vaughan’s bruising hit on Miami forward Justin Mercier got Vaughan kicked out of the game with a 5-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct.

And with 3:45 left in Vaughan’s penalty, the RedHawks scored their first goal on a high shot from senior Ryan Jones. The goal – and forward Tim Miller’s penalty two minutes later, which gave Miami a minute and a half with the two-man advantage – brought the hostile Steve Cady Arena crowd back into the game for the first time since the Wolverines’ first goal.

Miami’s second goal also came on the power play, with a little less than seven minutes to play in the game. Miami forward Jarod Palmer skated in and beat Sauer on a high shot to the stick side to narrow the Wolverines’ lead to two.

After more Michigan penalties – a 2-minute call to defenseman Tristin Llewellyn and another 10-minute game misconduct, this one to defenseman Mark Mitera – the game ended with Michigan shorthanded, the way it had played nearly all of the third period.

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