COLUMBUS, Ohio — After staking a dominating Ohio State team to a 1-1 tie in the first, the Michigan Wolverines exploded for three second-period goals, taking advantage of every Buckeye breakdown and going on to win the two-game-series capper 6-2 on Saturday.
Six different Wolverines registered goals. Andy Hilbert, Mike Cammalleri, and Scott Matzka each had two points, while Geoff Koch had a goal and two assists. Jeff Jillson, who was plus-4 on the night, had the game winner at 8:32 in the second. Josh Blackburn had 27 saves for his 15th win of the season.
“I think our team came out more in tonight’s game like we played in the third period [last night],” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “We were aggressive, tried to put more pressure on Ohio State and on their defense, trying to create more opportunities.
“Our power play played much better tonight. It was zero for eight last night. We put our chances in. It was a combination of those things.
“Did we play a lot better? No, but we played enough better to make a difference.”
OSU head coach John Markell said the Wolverines “worked for their breaks and they got them.”
The Buckeyes were all over the Wolverines in the first stanza, doubling up on Michigan’s shots on goal 12-6, and responding to Hilbert’s opening goal at 10:34 less than a minute later, with Scott May’s fourth of the season at 11:32.
But the Wolverines capitalized on three key Buckeye mistakes in the second period to take a commanding 4-1 lead by the end of two. At 4:26 on the power play, Josh Langfeld took advantage of the confusion in front of the Buckeye net to force the loose puck underneath Buckeye goaltender Mike Betz’s outstretch leg.
Jillson made it 3-1 at 8:32 right from a faceoff in the OSU end, banking the puck in off the crossbar from the top of the slot, and Koch gave Michigan its first three-goal lead just after the Buckeyes successfully killed off a minor holding penalty to Nick Ganga.
R.J. Umberger brought Ohio State to within two again when he picked up J.F. Dufour’s power-play rebound at 5:20 in the third, but Scott Matzka made it 5-2 at 10:59, breaking in and going five-hole on Betz, and Jed Ortmeyer notched his 10th of the season at 14:45 to take away any doubt about overtime.
After losing to Ohio State 3-1 Friday night, the win gave the Wolverines two points on the weekend, boosting their record to 16-6-3 (10-4-1 CCHA) and tying them with Western Michigan for second in the league standings.
For Ohio State (11-10-1, 8-7-1 CCHA), the Saturday loss followed a familiar pattern. The Buckeyes are 1-6-1 on Saturday nights after winning the opening Friday game of a two-match series.
Each team went 1-for-5 on the power play, and each team was called for eight penalties totaling 16 minutes. Markell said Ohio State’s lack of discipline, especially in the second period, factored into the final outcome of the game.
“I’m sick and tired of losing games in the penalty box,” he said. “It has to stop.”
Next up for Michigan is a home-and-home series against Western Michigan on Jan. 19 and 20, while Ohio State travels to Notre Dame for two the same weekend.