Posted on Oct. 19
MARQUETTE – Despite going down by a goal early on, the No. 6 Michigan hockey team (1-0-0 CCHA, 2-1-0 overall) bounced back with the help of 10 Northern Michigan penalties and two third-period scores to win 3-1.
The Wolverines were led by the top line, which had struggled to score in last weekend’s season-opening tournament, with seniors Kevin Porter (two goals) and Chad Kolarik (two assists) accounting for just under half of Michigan’s points in the weekend series opener.
The goals were the Wolverines’ first and second power play scores this season. Freshman Aaron Palushaj also notched two assists – his first career points.
The first goal came 16 minutes into the first period when a puck became loose behind Michigan’s net in a clear attempt. Northern Michigan’s Nick Sirota recovered the puck, skated from Sauer’s left to right and deposited the puck for the Wildcats’ first and final goal.
In the second period, the Wolverines outshot the Wildcats 9-2 and had 10 minutes with a man advantage, but the stats don’t tell the story well.
Michigan struggled on offense as Northern Michigan dominated on the penalty kill. After a tripping call halfway into theperiod, the Wildcats (0-1-0, 1-2-0) stuffed Michigan four consecutive times between the blue lines when the Wolverines were bringing the puck up ice.
But eventually, the calls caught up with a tiring Northern Michigan. Two consecutive hooking calls led to a 5-on-3 for 30 seconds and with five seconds remaining in the two-man advantage, Porter notched his first goal of the season – and Michigan’s first power play goal this year – off a rebound from Kolarik’s shot.
Porter then gave the Wolverines their first lead of the game halfway through the third period with his second goal. Kolarik hit the crossbar after curling high around the left circle and the rebound went right to Porter, who bulleted the wrist shot above the Wildcat goalie sprawled on the ice.
And with just over three minutes remaining in the game, Carl Hagelin sealed the deal for the Wolverines. Louie Caporusso fed the freshman, who wristed the puck top shelf to become the second freshman with two goals this year.
The series will conclude Saturday night at 7:35 at the Berry Events Center.
For more comprehensive coverage of this weekend’s action, check out the Daily’s SportsMonday edition.