OMAHA, NEB. — Six different Wolverines scored as No. 5 Michigan doubled up on No. 6 Providence, 6-3, in the opening game of the Second Annual Maverick Stampede.
The Wolverines nearly doubled the Friars in shots on goal as well. Senior Michigan netminder Josh Blackburn faced just 17 shots, saving 14. Providence goaltender Nolan Schaefer stopped 25 of 31 Michigan shots on goal.
Friar Jon DiSalvatore had two goals in the effort.
Michigan rookies scored twice within the first five minutes of the contest, a power-play goal by Jason Ryznar at 3:21 and a four-on-four tally by David Moss at 4:45. Jed Ortmeyer set up Ryznar’s goal, feeding a cross-ice pass to Mike Komisarek, whose initial shot was deflected by a Providence defender. Ryznar skated in from the left corner, grabbed the rebound, circled and fired from the slot to take the early one-goal lead.
Moss set his own scoring play in motion just over a minute later, feeding Milan Gajic at the right edge of the crease. Gajic’s shot was high on Schaefer, and the puck caromed off the netminder’s glove to the left side, where Moss picked it up and flipped it into an empty net for his first career goal.
DiSalvatore answered for the Friars, technically shorthanded, just past the midway mark in the first. With both teams skating four aside, DiSalvatore won a faceoff in Michigan’s offensive zone and fed the puck back to Jason Platt, who chipped it up along the boards to Doug Wright. With Ortmeyer getting ready to take the ice to begin a Wolverine power play, Wright banked the puck up the boards, avoiding a hit by Komisarek, and found DiSalvatore on the breakaway. DiSalvatore beat Blackburn on the glove side along the ice to make it a 2-1 game.
The Wolverines regained their two-goal lead when John Shouneyia tipped Joe Kautz’s shot at 17:59. Kautz picked up the puck in the right faceoff circle from Michael Woodford; Kautz’s blast from the faceoff dot was tipped in on the right side by Shouneyia, and Michigan led 3-1 at the end of one.
Providence came within one goal again at 5:42 in the second, when Stephen Wood’s shot from the right point beat Blackburn low to the ice, but goals by Dwight Helminen, Eric Nystrom, and Jay Vancik would give the Wolverines a 6-2 lead after two.
DiSalvatore’s netted his second of the game at 4:54 in the third to make the final score 6-3.
Michigan converted 2-of-8 power plays, while Providence was scoreless for six opportunities.
With the win, the Wolverines will meet Minnesota-Duluth at 8:05 p.m. CT Saturday in the Omaha Civic Auditorium to compete for the Omaha Cup, awarded annually to the winner of the Maverick Stampeded. Minnesota-Duluth defeated host Nebraska-Omaha 5-2 in the second semifinal game.
Providence and Nebraska-Omaha play at 5:05 p.m. Saturday in the third-place game.