The last time the № 2 Michigan and № 11 Ohio hockey teams crossed, the game was marred by a third period blood bathwith fights and big penalties.
In today’s meeting of the two sworn rivals antics of the third period once again emphasized the game. This time, however, not late punches and fist fights after the whistle defined the home part of the game. Instead, there was discipline on the ice.
And the Wolverines had more.
“You have to control what you can control,” Michigan coach Mel Pearson said. “You have to emotionally control the game and just focus on what you’re trying to do, on the task.”
At the start of the third period, however, it didn’t always seem that Michigan would be the team that would drive the emotional forces to victory. Three minutes later, first defender Luke Hughes dealt a big blow to forward Cam Teasing.
The blow was anything but emotional control. Although not outrageous – like the fighting in the December fights – it shows a lack of discipline on the ice. After the blow, Hughes wrapped his arm around Teasing, daring the judge to whistle.
Officials fined Hughes a two-minute fine for the rude action, and the parties quickly took advantage. Scoring the goal, Ohio used its speed to the advantage of the men to open the shooting range for forward Travis Treloir after a few sharp passes. Treloar bypassed him past second-rate goalkeeper Eric Portillo to equalize and take advantage of the momentum for the parties.
Wolverines learned a lesson. From then on, Michigan made smart decisions on the ice. Ohio began to falter, taking penalties at the wrong time, while Wolverine remained equal.
“It’s about staying here,” freshman Mark Estapa said, holding his hand in front of his chest. “Don’t get too high or too low, just be calm and collected.”
Indeed, while the Buckeyes began to lose control, Michigan made sure those penalties weren’t contagious by playing a clean game, leading in the third period.
The advantage in the discipline was reduced in favor of “Raamahi” in the moments after the draw. Ohio defender CJ Regula stumbled upon freshman defender Ethan Edwards, handing Michigan the game.
Even though the Buckeyes scored a penalty, it set the stage for what was to come.
Seven minutes later, second-year defender Jacob Trascot moved the puck into the attack zone and held it on a stick near the blue line. Forward Gustav Westlund challenged Trascot with his stick, but Trascot used his speed to quickly rebuild. Instead of killing the puck, he trimmed Trascot’s legs and was caused to stumble.
“(Trascot was) just trying to play hockey,” Pearson said when asked if Trascot had done anything special to test Ohio’s discipline in the game. “Instead of just throwing him into a corner, he’s trying to beat the guy up.”
Trascot’s game did more than just defeat her defender, she won the game in Wolverine. A moment after the penalty, senior defender Nick Blankenburg scored a puck into the net from his own rebound and scored the winning goal of the game.
Despite the fury that his goal at the Yost Ice Arena, the captain of the team admitted that the game is collected, disciplined play will make such moments possible.
“It’s just an attempt to control your emotions and understand what they’re trying to do with us,” Blankenburg said. “… Senior teams or more physical teams are trying to push us, and with our speed it’s okay. We will continue to work, and we just need to keep our heads down and just work. ”
As one of the most penalized teams in the country, discipline has always been a responsibility for Michigan. Large fines it cost several overtime losses, leaving a question mark as to whether Wolverines would interfere in the big games.
But in the first game of the seismic series against Ohio, Michigan proved it could stay aside and control.