Badgers get two wins, Spartans drop one and that’s all

Very light weekend in terms of games in the Big Ten, but here are three things I saw in the three games.

Kerdiles makes up for mistake in a big way 

At the end of a very long shift on the power play, Wisconsin sophomore Nic Kerdiles attempted a long cross-ice pass. Instead of finding the stick of a Wisconsin teammate, the puck was picked off and soon found itself in the back of Wisconsin’s net.

“I made a bonehead play there,” Kerdiles said. “I was tired and usually you make more mistakes when you’re tired, so I’d definitely credit that to not getting off the ice and it was definitely my fault.”

Kerdiles made up for the play late in the in the second. He scored the eventual game-winning goal in the Badgers 4-1 victory with two seconds left in the second period.

“When you make a bonehead play like that you real owe one to the team,” Kerdiles said. “That’s what I focused on and Coach [Mike] Eaves gave me that opportunity to go out there and play with my line.”

Wisconsin starts slow on Saturday, but finishes with a bang

The Badgers’ game on Saturday wasn’t an easy one. Wisconsin fell behind 2-0 after the first period and battled back to take a 3-2 lead in the third period before giving up a game-tying goal with less than two minutes left in the third.

“We put the onus on the players,” Eaves said. “It was not the start that we talked about and we found ourselves behind. This is an upperclassmen team and we said ,’you gentlemen need to take the reins and you know what to do and they went out and did that.’”

Tyler Barnes scored the game-winning goal less than two minutes into overtime.

“It was a good [break] out from the defenseman and Brad [Navin] got the puck, got it to the net and it came off the back wall to me and I just threw it towards the net,” Barnes said.

Michigan State’s offense doesn’t show up against Ferris State 

Michigan State managed to hold Ferris State to two goals and 22 shots on Saturday night, problem was that the Spartans only mustered 16 shots and none of them found the back of the net. The Bulldogs are now unbeaten in in their last 15 games.

“It was a really tough game to play,”  head coach Tom Anastos said. ”There wasn’t a lot of room out there. We made a couple big mistakes and they ended up in our net and we weren’t able to create anything to change the momentum, offensively.”

Pickin’ the Big Ten: Dec. 13-14, 2013

What a show Ferris State and Michigan put on Wednesday night! It was exactly what a match between Nos. 3 and 4 should be — and contained exactly the kind of passion befitting a longstanding rivalry.

So, Drew picked Ferris State and I picked Michigan … and they tied. Here’s how we’re doing so far, including Wednesday’s game.

Last week
Drew: 3-0-2 (.800)
Paula: 3-0-2 (.800)

Drew: 46-20-6 (.681)
Paula: 48-19-6 (.699)

This week

The first half of the season comes down to this weekend, a single nonconference game and one nonconference series.

Colorado College at Wisconsin

Drew: With the amount of experience on Wisconsin’s roster, you have to believe that the Badgers will get on a roll eventually. Before last weekend’s win and tie with Omaha, the Tigers weren’t playing well, and that’s putting it nicely. CC went 12 games without getting a victory; the Tigers were 0-10-2 during that run. They have been struggling to put the puck in the back of the net all season and are 0-6-1 on the road this year. Advantage Bucky.

Paula: When these teams were WCHA rivals last year, the Tigers took two regular-season games from the Badgers while Wisconsin had the last laugh, eliminating Colorado College from the WCHA Final Five en route to the WCHA postseason championship. The teams have met a total of 184 times and the Badgers lead the series 109-66-9. Friday’s game begins at 6:30 p.m., Saturday’s at 7:00.

Drew’s picks: Wisconsin 3-0, 5-1.
Paula’s picks: Wisconsin, 3-1, 3-2.

Ferris State at Michigan State

Drew: On Wednesday Paula picked Michigan over Ferris State. I picked Ferris State over Michigan. Of course, we both managed to be wrong. The Spartans hung with Minnesota last weekend, but only because their goaltender was a brick wall. Unfortunately, I don’t see lightning striking in consecutive weekends for Jake Hildebrand and Michigan State.

Paula: I don’t think it was Hildebrand that was the issue last weekend for the Spartans, who — by the way — finished the weekend on a high note. Their last-second goal against Minnesota in Saturday’s 3-2 loss buoyed them in ways that should carry through to a spirited game against their old CCHA rival, Ferris State. Last season, FSU was 3-1 against MSU. The Bulldogs are for real, for sure. The Spartans play hard, for sure. This should be a great contest. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, and I will be there. Merry Christmas to me!

Drew’s pick: Ferris State 3-1.
Paula’s pick: Bulldogs 4-2.

Pickin’ the Big Ten: No. 4 Ferris State at No. 3 Michigan, Dec. 11, 2013

Hey! There’s a game tonight! And it’s a doozy!

Ferris State at Michigan

Paula: That the Bulldogs are tearing up the new WCHA makes my heart very happy. Very.

Undefeated in the WCHA (10-0-2), Ferris State is riding a 13-game undefeated streak into Yost Ice Arena. Last weekend, FSU swept former CCHA and current WCHA rival Lake Superior State, 5-3 and 3-1. Most recently, Michigan dropped a 5-4 overtime exhibition game to the U.S. Developmental Team (Dec. 5), but previous to that had swept Ohio State (Nov. 29, Dec. 2) in a home-and-home series.

These former CCHA rivals are meeting for the 104th time, so if you’re new to this you should realize that there is a lot of history here — and a whole lot of love. Last season, the teams went 1-1-2, each winning a game in its own arena and with Michigan taking the extra shootout point in each of the overtime games. The last time the Bulldogs and Wolverines met was in Yost (Mar. 1-2) in the last-ever regular-season weekend of CCHA play. Michigan won 4-1 and the teams tied 1-1.

Drew: Paula is the expert on the former CCHA teams, so I’m not going to even try to out analyze her on this one. It should be a great game. I wish BTN was carrying it so I could watch it from the frozen tundra of Southern Minnesota. Maybe it’s time I finally figure out how to work BTN2Go.

Paula’s Pick: This game begins at 7:05 p.m. and I’m grateful that it’s being carried by Fox Sports Detroit, because I cannot attend. (I am also grateful that the Bulldogs play the Spartans Saturday, because I am so there.) I hate to call against a streak, but I’m going with the odds; Michigan is 41-11-1 versus Ferris State in Yost. Michigan 4-3.

Drew’s Pick: I hate to call against a streak, so  won’t. Ferris State 4-3.

Three things as we slide into the end of the first half of Big Ten play

It is strange to be talking about the end of the first half of Big Ten play when Big Ten play has barely begun, but the fact remains that the next league games are scheduled for the second week in January.

Three things from the weekend:

1. Hey! There was a shootout! I still hate the shootout!

Okay, so that’s not really what you want to read — and it’s not news to anyone — but I seriously hate the shootout and its carryover to Big Ten play does nothing to change my mind. Kudos to Michigan State for playing Minnesota to a tie and “winning” the first-ever Big Ten shootout, and against no less than Adam Wilcox. And for the record, winning the shootout does not mean winning the game. Got it?

Last week, my partner-in-writing insisted that the Minnesota-Michigan State series would come down to goaltending. I poo-pooed that idea, but it turns out he was right … but only because of the shootout. The Spartans got the better of it and earned two points to the Gophers’ one Friday night, and Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand looked outstanding in both the shootout and the series, making 79 saves on the weekend.

2. Hey! Michigan State scored last in each of its games against Minnesota!

The second effort of the Spartans in each game was impressive. Freshman Villiam Haag had the game-tying goal in the 2-2 Friday contest at 5:56 in the third, five minutes after the Gophers took a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Michael Ferrantino scored with one second left in regulation in Minnesota’s 3-2 win Saturday, with Hildebrand pulled for the extra attacker. Sure, that goal was meaningless in the greater scheme of things, but it did give the Spartans a boost at the end of the series and they were upbeat in the locker room after the loss.

Equally impressive was the way in which Minnesota came out in Saturday’s game and owned the first 10 minutes of play. The Gophers made sure that they didn’t underestimate their opponent, didn’t miss an opportunity and didn’t waste any time.

3. Hey! Any Badger can score!

Okay, so maybe that’s not entirely true, but nine different Badgers scored in Wisconsin’s two-game sweep of Penn State, a series in which the Badgers outscored the Nittany Lions 11-4. The goalscorers included a pair of defensemen, sophomore Kevin Schulze and senior Joe Faust, each with his first goal of the season and fifth of his career — and each in the third period, Schulze’s in Friday’s 7-1 win and Faust’s in Saturday’s 4-3 game.

It should be noted, too, that the Badgers are a much steadier team with Joel Rumpel in net.

It should be noted, too, that Penn State has more than a little work to do.

Pickin’ the Big Ten: Dec. 6-7, 2013

Last week
Drew: 6-2-0 (.750)
Paula: 7-1-0 (.778)

Drew: 43-20-4 (.672)
Paula: 45-19-4 (.691)

This week

There are only eight games remaining for Big Ten teams in the first half of the season, including these two conference series this weekend — which are the last league games until after the holiday break.

Penn State at Wisconsin

Drew: Both of these teams got swept last weekend, so they obviously will both be looking to get back on track. Wisconsin was victimized by the goal-scoring machine that is Seth Ambroz in its two losses to Minnesota. Penn State kept things a lot closer than I expected in its two losses to Union, but still showed off its shaky-at-best defense in giving up nine goals on the weekend. I say that Wisconsin’s experienced forwards and solid goaltending are the difference this weekend; Penn State won’t be able to get enough pucks past Joel Rumpel or Landon Peterson to keep up.

Paula: I’m with Drew on this one. The goaltending is the key.

Drew’s picks: Wisconsin 6-3, 3-0.
Paula’s picks: Wisconsin 4-2, 3-2.

Minnesota at Michigan State

Drew: The Gophers lead the Big Ten in goals per game with just more than four; Michigan State is averaging about 2.5 goals per game. I think that will be the main factor this weekend, that Minnesota will be able to get more pucks past Jake Hildebrand or Will Yanakeff than the Spartans will be able to get past Adam Wilcox. The Gophers are banged up; Tom Serratore, Vinni Lettieri and Taylor Cammarata are out this weekend. Minnesota also has a history of coming out with a clunker on the road from time to time, but I still see them prevailing this weekend with relative ease.

Paula: I don’t know how easy it will be, but everything on paper indicates that Minnesota should sweep. The Spartans’ offensive numbers are a bit inflated after last weekend’s 12-goal output in two games against Princeton. In its four previous games, Michigan State had been shut out twice and netted three total goals. I don’t see this so much as a goaltending dual as much as I do a match between the No. 2 offense in the country and the No. 26 defense.

Drew’s picks: Gophers 4-1, 4-2.
Paula’s picks: Minnesota 4-2, 4-2.

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Gophers and Michigan State sweep, Michigan spreads the wealth in OT win

The Big Ten officially opened up conference play this weekend, and the three conference contests provided a ton of entertainment.

Here are three things I saw.

Seth Ambroz is apparently a goal scorer now

The fact that Minnesota swept Wisconsin this weekend isn’t that shocking. The fact that Seth Ambroz netted four goals is.

Ambroz lit the lamp twice in the Gophers’ 4-1 victory on Friday night , the second was an empty netter. On Saturday he had two more, including the game-winning goal with 26 seconds left in the third period.

“I was a little surprised. They were just skating out when the turnover happened, and I just went right to the net,” Ambroz said of the game-winning goal. “I was a little surprised, but our line has been creating turnovers all weekend. So it was nice to have another one, right there at the end.”

Ambroz has seven goals and five assists this season. He had nine goals and seven assists last year and five goals and three assists during his freshman campaign.

Michigan downs Ohio State in OT 

The Wolverines and Buckeyes provided an interesting nightcap to the Big Ten doubleheader on Friday.

Andrew Copp scored on a breakaway in overtime to give Michigan the 4-3 victory. Nine different Michigan players tallied a point in Friday’s game.

“I thought we were playing well at times, and I thought we were sloppy at times,” Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. “Let’s face it, you have a-one goal lead in the third period at home, that’s pretty disappointing when you give it up, and especially in the way we gave it up.”

Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik saw the close loss as a good learning experience for his team. The two teams will face off again in Columbus on Monday.

“Our kids emptied the tank, we played hard and there were some chances on both sides,” Rohlik said. “We just came out on the short end. You always have to learn from things and we’re going to learn from this and get better.”

Michigan State gets much needed sweep 

With its inaugural Big Ten series with Minnesota looming, Michigan State desperately needed a sweep of Princeton this weekend.

The Spartans won 4-1 on Friday and opened up the offense in Saturday’s 8-2 victory.

Seven Michigan State skaters had multiple points on Saturday.

“It was nice to see the puck go in the net,” head coach Tom Anastos said. “”It was also nice to see the puck movement as well as having four lines and all six defensemen involved. The game gave us an opportunity to give some guys some experience as well.”

Michigan State scored four power play goals this weekend, and it didn’t allow a power play goal.

“We seemed to find some chemistry and some pretty good puck-movement on the power play today,” Anastos said after Saturday’s game.


Pickin’ the Big Ten: Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Sure, the day itself is over and we’re all the worse for it — okay, so I am the worse for it — and everyone who celebrates Christmas is rushing right into that, but there is still plenty for which to be thankful today. Here in the States, we can be doubly thankful that Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving, a holiday mashup that last occurred 125 years ago.

What better way to celebrate everything this season has to offer than with the start of Big Ten conference play?

Last week
Drew: 3-2-0 (.600)
Paula: 3-2-0 (.600)

Drew: 37-18-4 (.661)
Paula: 38-18-4 (.666)

This week

There are four series this week and two of those series kick off the first-ever weekend of Big Ten conference play. That this begins with two traditional rivalries makes it all the better.

Ohio State vs. Michigan

Drew: Hey, Ohio State is finally playing a real team! Yes the Buckeyes’ winning streak has come against some softer teams, but I still think the confidence gained will help them out in the long run this season. Is it enough confidence to pick up a win over Michigan this weekend? Probably not.

Paula: While I respectfully disagree with my partner-in-writing about Ohio State’s previous schedule, this will be a big challenge for the Buckeyes — and not just because Michigan is a the No. 3 team in the country. This rivalry is huge and is heightened emotionally this week by that Ohio State-Michigan gridiron game. The rivalry is as old as I am (hint: 1964) and the Wolverines have pretty much owned the Buckeyes, going 72-33-11 all-time in the series. Michigan is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings and the Wolverines swept the Buckeyes Feb. 22-23, 2013, 5-3 and 6-3. Ohio State swept Canisius two weeks ago and had last weekend off; Michigan beat Niagara, 6-0, Nov. 22. This is a Friday-Monday, home-and-home series. Friday’s game begins at 7:00 p.m. in Ann Arbor with Monday’s contest starting at 7:05 p.m. in Columbus.

Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-2, 3-1.
Paula’s picks: I don’t see the Buckeyes winning, either. Michigan 4-2, 4-2.

Princeton at Michigan State

Drew: The Spartans are probably just happy not to be playing another team from Michigan this weekend. This is a matchup of three-win teams, each with one impressive victory this season; Princeton’s 4-3 victory over No.4 Quinnipiac came last weekend.

Paula: Last weekend, the Spartans dropped a home-and-home series to former CCHA rival, Western Michigan, 2-0 and 4-1. The Tigers and Spartans last met in 1980, so the history between these teams is less than meaningful. The young Spartans look to me like a team still transitioning, still looking for its collective identity. Friday’s game begins at 7:00 p.m.; Sunday’s game begins at 1:00 p.m.

Drew’s picks: Michigan State 3-2, Princeton 2-1.
Paula’s picks: I think they’ll split, too, but I have no idea how to call it. Michigan State 3-2, Princeton 3-2.

Union at Penn State

Drew: Union seems to be in a good place, winning four of its last five, and I haven’t seen nearly enough out of Penn State to pick them over any ranked team yet. So I don’t have much to say about his one.

Paula: Each team comes to this game well rested, each having last played two weekends ago. Union rides a three-game win streak into this weekend, having beaten Cornell Nov. 9 and swept Rensselaer Nov. 15-16. Penn State hopes to break a two-game losing streak after dropping a series to Massachusetts-Lowell Nov. 14-15. One year ago, the Dutchmen beat the Nittany Lions in Schenectady, 2-0 and 4-1. This is a Saturday-Sunday series, with games beginning at 7:00 p.m. each night — and there’s a teddy bear toss during Saturday’s game! I do so love a teddy bear toss.

Drew’s picks: Union 3-0, 5-2.
Paula’s picks: Union 3-1, 4-1.

Wisconsin at Minnesota

Drew: Minnesota looked mortal for pretty much the first time this season last Sunday against UMD, and Wisconsin just straight up hasn’t been playing that much lately. I think the Badgers’ experienced players will help them this weekend and the games will be close, but I don’t think they’ll be able to grab a win.

Paula: This is the other storied rivalry of the weekend, dating back to 1922. The Gophers are 157-87-21 all-time against the Badgers, including a mark of 91-27-8 at home against Wisconsin. As Drew mentioned, the Gophers actually lost last weekend (gasp!), splitting with Duluth with a 6-1 win and 6-2 loss. I suspect that that specific loss was a great motivator in practice this week. The Badgers last played Nov. 15-16, a road split with Miami (2-0 loss, 3-2 win). Minnesota was 2-1-1 against Wisconsin last season. Friday’s game begins at 4:00 p.m., Saturday’s game at 5:00 p.m.

Drew’s picks: Minnesota 3-2, 3-3 tie.
Paula’s picks: Minnesota 3-2, 3-2.

Say hello

I’m not sure where Drew is this week. I am the proverbial star-crossed hockey lover: I am in Columbus, Ohio, visiting friends for the Thanksgiving holiday while the Buckeyes are playing in Ann Arbor — an hour from where I live in Michigan — Friday night.

Tweet us: Drew, me.

Three teams, three things

1. Perhaps Minnesota needs to work on that penalty kill. After beating Minnesota-Duluth 6-1 Friday, Minnesota lost 6-2 Sunday, and four of those Duluth goals came on the power play, including Justin Crandall’s game-winning, five-on-three marker at 14:27 in the first period. The Bulldogs began their scoring at 7:47 in the first with a shorthanded goal, so perhaps the Gophers will be looking at special teams overall in practice this week. The Gophers took 10 penalties to the Bulldogs’ 13 in the contest. Wow.

2. Perhaps Michigan State is still looking for some offense. The Spartans were swept by Western Michigan in a home-and-home series this weekend, outscored by the Broncos 6-1 in two games. In Friday’s 2-0 shutout, two nearly identical goals were scored on Western Michigan breakaways in a game that looked otherwise evenly matched. In Saturday’s game, two of the Broncos’ four goals were scored on the power play and another scored four-on-four … so perhaps the Spartans will be working on special teams this week as well. Freshman Mackenzie MacEachern’s fourth goal of the season in the third period of Saturday’s loss was the only Michigan State goal of the weekend, and that goal was four-on-four as well.

3. Perhaps Michigan should just keep on keeping on. The Wolverines rolled past visiting Niagara, 6-0, giving freshman Zach Nagelvoort his second shutout of the season; Nagelvoort made 38 saves in the contest. Sophomore Andrew Copp had two goals in the contest, bringing his season total to seven goals in 11 games — four goals short of his output in 38 games during his freshman season. Copp now leads the Wolverines in scoring with 12 points.

Pickin’ the Big Ten: Nov. 22-24, 2013

Last week
Drew: 6-2-0 (.750)
Paula: 6-2-0 (.750)

Drew: 34-16-4 (.666)
Paula: 35-16-4 (.672)

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I mean, it’s not surprising that Drew’s doing so well, but why am I still above .500?

This week

Half the Big Ten plays in this final weekend of nonconference-only action. Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin sit this one out.

Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota

Drew: A week after sweeping an in-state rival and former conference foe, the Gophers will get the opportunity to perform an encore in front of their home fans. This series was changed to a Friday-Sunday series because of the Gophers’ football game against Wisconsin on Saturday; Friday’s game will begin at 7:10 p.m. and faceoff is set for 4:10 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The Gophers played well last weekend, but the scary thing — for other teams — is that they showed some of their youth and still handled Mankato with ease. This series has been close in its last 10 games. Minnesota holds the 5-2-3 advantage. With the way Minnesota is playing right now, I think the Gophers will roll through UMD and ride a wave of momentum into conference play next weekend.

Paula: That about covers it.

Drew’s picks: Minnesota 3-1, 4-1.
Paula’s picks: That about covers it. Minnesota 3-1, 4-1.

Niagara at Michigan

Drew: One game against a team with a 3-7-1 record, whose wins came over Army and Canisius. I don’t have much to say about this game. Michigan shouldn’t have any problems.

Paula: The Wolverines return to Yost Ice Arena after splitting with Nebraska-Omaha on the road last weekend, losing 3-2 and winning 4-3. After the loss, Michigan coach Berenson said, “I thought we were ready to play, and that wasn’t the case.” It’s never good for visiting teams after the Wolverines return from what they consider to be at least a semi-disappointing road trip. Michigan last hosted the Purple Eagles Oct. 4, 2011, a 5-0 win for Michigan. This is a single Friday night game that begins at 7:05 p.m.

Drew’s pick: Michigan 5-2.
Paula’s pick: Michigan 4-1.

Western Michigan vs. Michigan State

Drew: After a weekend off, Michigan State will get a chance to rebound after being swept at Michigan Tech when the Spartans face another in-state school and former CCHA foe. Western Michigan has been hit or miss so far this season; the Broncos split two games between the Alaska schools after starting the season off by getting swept in a home-and-home series with Notre Dame. They then went on to sweep Colorado College at home before losing three out of their next four games. The Spartans’ season has been less like a roller coaster — well, maybe it’s been like a really boring roller coaster with one high point, their win over Boston University.

Paula: For pure nostalgia, I’m so freaking excited about this series. Home-and-home between two former CCHA rivals? Swoon! As Drew said, the Spartans last played two weeks ago, a road series against Michigan Tech that coach Tom Anastos said was disappointing. The Spartans are 35-6-6 against the Broncos in Munn Ice Arena; the Broncos are 25-22-3 versus Michigan State in Lawson Arena. Anastos is 3-1-1 over WMU in the Andy Murray era. Last season, the teams went 1-1-1, with the tie coming at the Great Lakes Invitational Tournament. Friday’s game in East Lansing begins at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday’s rematch in Kalamazoo begins at 7:05 p.m.

Drew’s picks: Michigan State 2-1, Western Michigan 4-1.
Paula’s picks: Michigan State 3-2, Western Michigan 3-2.

Keep in touch, right?

Drew’s at Mariucci this weekend. I am going to be in one of my happiest of happy places, Munn Ice Arena, in what will likely feel like old times. Say hello, please.

Follow us on Twitter: Drew and me.

Gophers sweep, Wisconsin and Michigan split

Five of the six Big Ten teams were in action this weekend. Minnesota swept Minnesota State-Mankato, Wisconsin split with Miami, Michigan split with Nebraska-Omaha, Ohio State swept Canisius and Penn State was swept by Massachusetts-Lowell.

Here are three things I saw.

Minnesota uses two goaltenders to sweep Mankato

Adam Wilcox starting between the pipes for Minnesota had became almost as certain as death and taxes. However, when lineups were announced on Saturday night it was senior Michael Shibrowski in goal. Shibrowski made sure that head coach Don Lucia didn’t regret the decision to start him for the first time in more than a year by pitching a 25-save shutout against the Mavericks.

What made the story even more cool is that the start came a day after Shibrowski’s birthday. It would have been neat if he got the call on Friday night (on his actual birthday), but I can see why Lucia wanted to start Wilcox in the series’ first game.

“You can’t say enough about what Adam has done for us and how well he has played,” Shibrowski said. “I was kind of waiting and seeing and it worked out that I played tonight, so I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

Badgers split road series with Miami

In other goaltender news, Joel Rumpel was back in net for one of Wisconsin’s games this weekend, and the junior made an immediate impact in his first game back. Rumpel gave up two goals on 34 shots Saturday, and led the Badgers to a 3-2 victory over the RedHawks. Joseph LaBate scored the game-winning goal with about five minutes left in Saturday’s game. Miami shutout Wisconsin 2-0 on Friday night.

Having a healthy Rumpel back will obviously help Wisconsin. Mike Eaves loves to platoon his goaltenders, at least early to midway through the season.

Michigan rebounds from a disappointing Friday game to split with Nebraska-Omaha 

After giving up two goals to Omaha in the third period of Friday’s game and falling 3-2, Michigan found itself in another tightly-contested game on Saturday. The Wolverines fared better in the series’ second game. Sophomore Steve Racine made his first start in net in almost a month for Michigan and posted 40 saves in Michigan’s 4-3 victory. Senior Derek DeBlois scored the game-winning goal for Michigan, which made up for him taking a penalty earlier in the game that allowed for Omaha to tie things up.

“Taking that penalty, you never want to hurt the team like that,” DeBlois said. “It was a good shot by [Nolan] De Jong, good pass by  [Alex] Guptill and luckily it was a tap-in goal. Anyone could have done it.”


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