ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Hockey 101. Forecheck hard. Force the turnover. Score.
The Wolverines were the ones teaching that lesson Friday night, as Ohio State got schooled for the first ten minutes of Michigan’s 4-0 win, allowing three goals on four shots, two from turnovers in its own zone.
John Shouneyia had a hand in three of the Wolverines’ four goals, including Jed Ortmeyer’s game-winner at 2:21 of the first.
David Moss, Eric Nystrom, and Charlie Henderson accounted for the other three goals, as Josh Blackburn made 28 saves in his 14th career shutout.
Michigan head coach Red Berenson said that starting fast has “not been a strength” of the Wolverines in recent games, and that it’s been emphasized in practice. “You can’t always manufacture that, but I thought our team really did what they needed to do in the first ten minutes of the game, and that may have been the difference in the game.
“After that, as much as we outshot them in the first period … in the second period I thought they outplayed us and Blackburn kept the score the way it was. The third period was pretty even.”
On the first goal, Shouneyia dug the puck out from the corner and shot on OSU netminder Mike Betz, who made the initial save. But Betz couldn’t recover in time to block Ortmeyer’s rebound, which the Michigan junior winger tucked between the goaltender’s extended left leg and the right post.
Less than two minutes later, Eric Werner intercepted Chris Olsgard’s clearing attempt at the top of the OSU slot. Werner’s shot was blocked by a sprawling Buckeye defender in front of the net, but the puck popped right back to Moss’ stick. From close in, Moss beat Betz five-hole to give Michigan a 2-0 lead at 4:11.
At 9:03, it was Shouneyia forcing a turnover, stripping the puck from R.J. Umberger in the left circle. Shouneyia then chased the puck into the corner and fired a quick backhanded pass to Ortmeyer, stationed at the left of the OSU crease. Ortmeyer spun and hit Nystrom with a perfect feed, and Nystrom one-timed it through Betz’s legs.
Charlie Henderson added insult to injury scoring on Shouneyia’s across-the-slot pass on a shorthanded two-on-one breakaway at 4:04 in the third.
OSU head coach John Markell called a time out after the second goal to attempt to settle his troops and prepare them for a potential Wolverine offensive explosion. “I probably should have taken it after the first goal because I know what they [the Wolverines] are like. We are going to have to be a better team tomorrow.”
Mike Betz made 20 saves in the loss. OSU was 0-for-6 on the power play, while Michigan went 0-for-3.
The Buckeyes (16-13-4, 10-10-4 CCHA) meet the Wolverines (19-9-5, 16- 5-4 CCHA) again Saturday night in Yost Arena. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m.
“They’ve got some good forwards,” said Berenson. “The weekend’s not over. We’d like to feel good about the game, but we have another game tomorrow night.”