COLUMBUS — This weekend, the Michigan hockey team reached a low it has visited just four other times in program history.

After a 5-3 loss to Ohio State on Friday, the Wolverines sat in last place in the conference, a position it hasn’t finished in since the 1978 season — three years before the Wolverines joined the CCHA

To come out of the cellar, Michigan was forced with to do something it has done just two times before this season — win the Saturday game after a loss in a weekend series. The Wolverines managed to win 2-1.

The weekend started out like many others this season, with Michigan falling behind early. But unlike games earlier in the season against Miami (Ohio) and Michigan State, Michigan showed signs of life instead of laying down.

In Friday’s second period, sophomore Luke Glendening picked up a turnover at the Wolverine blue line and beat an Ohio State defensemen to the outside. As Glendening was about to go behind the net, his backhand beat Ohio State goaltender Cal Heeter over the left shoulder.

“We stayed pretty positive on the bench,” Glendening said. “We’re confident. We were down 2-0, but it didn’t seem to faze us much.”

Michigan scored again to tie the game, but two quick Buckeye goals to start the third period sealed the loss. Even though Michigan couldn’t pull out the win, Glendening’s goal jumpstarted the team’s the offensive momentum for the rest of the weekend. The Wolverines launched 81 shots combined in the two games. To climb out of the CCHA cellar, the team looked to their senior captain Chris Summers to pull them out of the hole on Saturday. And he responded.

Halfway through Saturday’s first period, Michigan won a faceoff in the offensive zone and set the faceoff play in motion. Two passes later, Summers took the puck and wristed it into the left corner of the net.

“Any time you get the first goal of the game, especially in the first period, the momentum is going your way,” Summers said. “That’s what we’ve talked about all year … make sure we go out and get that first goal that changes the entire game.”

Summers’ goal was the only marker until junior Matt Rust put in the eventual game-winner on a power play goal early in the third. The win pulled Michigan up to tenth of 12 teams in the conference.

Third to last in the CCHA isn’t where the talented Wolverines (4-6-0- CCHA,8-8-0 overall), who have 11 players on the team drafted by the NHL, want to be. But it is one spot higher than they were coming into the weekend.

“(The standings are) a reminder,” Berenson said. “We found ourselves in last place (Saturday) morning in the conference. … Our team has high expectations. We’re trying to get better every game, and today was the day and tonight was the game.”

Getting better every game doesn’t always mean wins. Michigan still stands 16 points behind CCHA leader Miami and was swept by the RedHawks in the teams’ only series this season.

If the Wolverines want to find themselves in more familiar territory at the top of the standings, continuing to split with teams like the Buckeyes (5-6-1-1, 7-10-1) will make it impossible for the Wolverines to catch up.

“As far as the standings are concerned, I think that’s kind of in the back of our mind,” Summers said. “Some guys might use that as motivation, but I think as a team, we’re going to work to improve for every game.”

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