ANN ARBOR, Mich. — After several weeks of the Mike Cammalleri and Andy Hilbert show, the rest of the Michigan team decided they needed to earn a starring role themselves Friday night.
Boosted by a goal from each line, the Wolverines defeated St. Lawrence 5-1 in front of 6,370 fans at Yost Ice Arena.
“I thought it was a good team effort,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “I liked all the lines.”
After senior winger Alan Fyfe scored to give the Saints a 1-0 lead, the Wolverines (12-3-3, 7-3-1 CCHA) tallied five unanswered goals to extend their unbeaten streak to five games. St. Lawrence dropped to 3-6-3 (2-1-2 ECAC).
Michigan’s balanced win came after several weeks of little scoring from anyone but its top three.
At least one member of the Wolverines’ top line of Hilbert, Cammalleri and Geoff Koch was on the ice for seven of Michigan’s eight goals the past weekend against Northern Michigan. Meanwhile, several seniors, including Josh Langfeld and Scott Matzka fell into scoring slumps.
But for the first time in the past few weekends, Michigan had each line tally a goal — topliners Cammalleri and Hilbert got their two goals, but Scott Matzka, John Shouneyia and Craig Murray chipped in with a score for their respective lines as well.
Matzka’s notched his game-winner in the second period off a cross-ice pass from defenseman Mike Komisarek. At the blue line, Matzka scooped up the feed and stormed the St. Lawrence net, getting shellacked by a defender before poking in his own rebound.
“I thought I was offside by a little; I guess I wasn’t — it was kind of a lucky break,” Matzka said on just his fourth goal of the season. “I’ve just been going out there, making a conscious effort to hit more and be more involved in the game. I’ve had my chances in the last few games, but they just haven’t been going in. It feels good to get a goal tonight.”
Josh Blackbrun continued his strong goaltending as of late, stopping 25 of 26 shots. St. Lawrence goaltender Jeremy Symington stopped 34 of 39.
Michigan can also credit its penalty kill in the victory. The Wolverines stopped the nation’s best power play, limiting the Saints to just Fyfe’s goal on the first power play and then halting St. Lawrence on its next seven chances with the man advantage.
“Our penalty kill had to be solid, and after the first power play, it was,” said Berenson, who said his team watched extensive tape of the St. Lawrence special teams.
“We really cut off their lanes,” senior Scott Matzka said. “They’re going to be lazy out there some of the time so you have to take advantage of them.”
Both teams face off Saturday night at 7 p.m. Eastern. The Wolverines have lost or tied in their last three out of four Saturday games.
“I don’t know what it is about Saturdays,” Matzka said. “We’ve struggled and we have to realize that teams are going to get off to a good start.”
Mark Francescutti is a sports editor for the Michigan Daily.