ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Early goals in both the first and third periods paced top ranked Miami, who held off a furious Michigan second period onslaught to post a 3-1 win Friday night at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor.
Its rare for a team to have a 28-to-13 shot disadvantage and still manage a two goal margin of victory. Equally rare was the multi-goal margin for Miami, who had their last five contests decided by a single goal.
RedHawk right wing Jarod Palmer notched two goals in the games first nine minutes to provide sufficient scoring for the Miami win. Brandon Smiths early third period goal dampened the Wolverine charge.
Theyre huge, obviously, said Miami head coach Rico Blasi of the early period Miami scores. Weve been a little bit snake bitten in the first period. For us to come out against a great team like Michigan and score early was a huge boost for our team.
Theyre a great team and theyre going to come after you. I thought our guys handled it fairly well in the first period. In the second, Michigan took it to us.
We got pretty much what we expected from Miami, said Michigan head coach Red Berenson. We had our chances and just did not capitalize on them.
We hit at least three (goal) posts and had a couple of the opportunities that just did not go in, continued Berenson. They are a stingy team and a good team. They played a good road game and we did not play a good home game.
Sophomore netminder Cody Reichard made 27 saves, 13 of them in the second period, to hold Miami in the game as Michigan stormed the RedHawk net during the second period.
Codys been doing that for us for the better part of a year now, said Blasi of Reichards hot second period. Its not a surprise to us.
In a first period that bore an urgency befitting the matchup, Palmers two quick goals, his fourth and fifth of the season, held up to give the RedHawks an early edge.
Even though both teams were nearly equal in offensive chances in the opening stanza, Palmers finishing ability resulted in a two goal difference.
At 3:42, a scramble in the Michigan goalmouth resulted in the puck bouncing off several bodies eventually landing on Palmers stick to Hogans right. The Miami senior beat Hogan to give the RedHawks an initial lead.
Palmer bumped the Red Hawk lead to two goals five minutes later.
Playing with a 4-on-3 man advantage, Palmer dragged the puck through the high slot and snapped a wicked screen shot by Hogan at 8:46.
Hes a senior and I know he spent two years here in Ann Arbor with the U.S. team, explained Blasi of Palmer. I know he was looking forward to playing tonight.
The second period was all Michigans.
Despite a hefty 14-2 shot advantage and numerous outstanding chances, the Wolverines were only able to solve Reichard once leaving the RedHawks a thin 2-1 lead after two.
Freshman Chris Browns fifth goal of the season on a 5-on-3 advantage was the only Wolverine tally in the second frame. Wolverine Carl Hagelin jammed the puck at Reichard from short range and the puck lay open in the crease till Brown spotted it and banged it home at 14:06.
We started whacking at it, said Brown of the loose puck. It was sitting on the goal line and it was an easy one, so I tapped it in.
During the second periods first eight minutes, Michigan failed to take advantage of three prime opportunities to narrow the Miami two goal lead.
Less than two minutes into the period on a power play, Michigan junior forward Matt Rust slapped a puck directly off the goalpost to Reichards left.
Just over three minutes into the period, Wolverine defenseman Chad Langlais took a pass at the blue line, skated in alone but couldnt beat Reichard. Langlais was sufficiently impeded, though, to earn a penalty shot for his effort.
On the penalty shot, Reichard skated far out of his crease initially. Langlais skated in deep, shifted the puck to his backhand and just barely failed to lift the disc over Reichards outstretched glove.
The Wolverines thought they had finally figured out their Reichard dilemma at 7:19 of the second. Freshman A.J. Treais broke in tight for a point blank shot. The rebound off Reichard banked off Treais skate, back off Reichard again and into the net.
The apparent goal was immediately waved off by the officials as being kicked into the net, a ruling that was substantiated by a video review.
Smith stymied any Michigan hopes of an easy comeback early in the third period, taking a pass from Dane Hetland at the top of the left circle and whistled the puck between the legs of Hogan at 3:23 to make Michigans hopes a much steeper climb.
Michigan (4-3-0 overall, 2-1-0-0 in the CCHA) will try to avoid their first home sweep since Northern Michigan turned the trick against them in early November 2001 when they return to the ice Saturday night against Miami (7-1-1, 4-1-0-0) in the two game series finale.