In the decisive match at the end of the season, the hockey team № 2 Michigan (24-7-1, 15-6-0 Big Ten) won one of the toughest games of the year.
It took 60 minutes of emotional, physical hockey to beat Ohio No. 11 (21-10-2, 13-8-2), 5-3 on Friday night.
“The crowd was great,” Michigan coach Mel Pearson said. “They make a difference. I thought the roof would break. “
The first period brought some surprises. Both teams came out with intense energy and played at lightning pace. For the first few minutes there were almost no stops for hours as the Wolverines retained possession due to the fierce foreplay. The “parties” were unsuccessful in leaving their zone and could hardly threaten second-year goalkeeper Eric Partil. But 20 seconds before the break, Ohio broke a zero draw. Forward Queen Preston collected the puck on the side of the blocking Portillo, approached the net with a wrap around the left, and forward Camille Sadlocha buried the weak puck.
Despite falling behind by one, Michigan’s spirit was far from broken.
He opened the period with the same fire and was soon rewarded for his efforts. Sophomore forward Thomas Bordella collected the puck near the left circle, made a cunning move toward the goal and buried one nearby.
“I mean, it’s just staying here,” freshman forward Mark Estapa said. “Don’t get too high or too low. Just be calm. ”
If the game is now equal, it’s time for Michigan to take advantage of its momentum. Less than two minutes later, freshman defender Luke Hughes began his historic campaign of newcomers. His goal-scoring goal electrified the crowd at the Yost Ice Arena and broke Wolverine’s record for goals scored by freshman defenders. His 14th number further demonstrated his offensive skills and explosive strike.
Despite taking the lead, Michigan had no desire to take its foot off the gas. Immediately after the Parties scored penalties, they were blamed for too many people on the ice.
This time the power gaming unit Wolverine did not waste the opportunity to lift the man.
Junior forward Johnny Beecher took the draw and returned it to freshman Ethan Edwards at left. Edwards lost his balance and seemed inevitably allowed to break away. But the New Jersey Devils recruit somehow held on to the puck and played it ahead of fifth-year forward Michael Pastuzhev. Pastuzhov found freshman forward Dylan Duke at the back for an easy one-time finish.
Now with a score of 3-1, Michigan looked as if it had finally moved away from Ohio. Then this two-goal advantage proved to be the most unreliable leader in hockey.
The Buckeyes immediately responded with their own two-on-one goals.
Entering the third period, Ohio remained hungry. When Hughes was called up for rough training, the Parties quickly set to work, and forward Travis Treloir flew past Portillo in a blue line.
As the game progressed, the intensity increased. After the whistle, each team exchanged big hits on the open ice and extracurricular activities. He had all the makings of prime time Big Ten Tilt.
“She just preached all week knowing it was going to be an emotional game,” said senior defender Nick Blankenburg. “Just trying to stay calm and I thought the guys worked great at it.”
Gifted with another power game, Michigan had a chance to regain the lead less than seven minutes before the end. Estapa found Blankenburg behind, and his initial shot didn’t pass, but the next rebound reached the twine.
He festively ran around the net and down the sidewall, pounding his fist under the shouts of the faithful of Josta.
It was a moment that forever stuck in Blankenburg’s memory.
“I will have a chill for the rest of my life that lasts two minutes,” Blankenburg said. “What about that crowd. I don’t think I’ve heard it so loud before. “
Now Raamahi will need to refocus and step up for a potential clean-up tomorrow night – three points that will have a big way in their quest for the regular season championship.