It took Michigan exactly eight seconds to start the process of reversing the negative effects of Friday night’s 4-2 loss to Nebraska-Omaha.
That ‘s how long it took Wolverines junior David Wohlberg to the score the quickest goal at the start of a game in Michigan’s recorded hockey history.
Michigan added three more goals in the second period and a pair in the third to salvage a standoff in the weekend series with the Mavericks, winning 6-1 Saturday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.
Michigan coach Red Berenson had sent a pre-game indication of his displeasure with the Wolverines squad’s Friday night performance, sitting out Jacob Fallon, Luke Moffatt, Lee Moffie and Mac Bennett, who all played in Friday night’s loss to Nebraska Omaha.
Berenson inserted A.J. Treais, Derek Deblois, Tristin Llewellyn and Kevin Clare, who all sat out Friday’s game, into the lineup.
“It’s tough to sweep any team in their own building,” said Berenson. “Our team had to make a better commitment to this game and I thought we did. I thought we played with more passion and more emotion.”
Bryan Hogan was strong in the Michigan net when challenged, finishing with 35 saves.
Scooter Vaughan scored his third and fourth goals of the season to pace the Wolverines offense.
“I have just been working hard and trying to get pucks to the net,” said Vaughan. “You don’t score if you don’t shoot.”
“You know that they’re going to come back, especially when they’ve got all the talent,” said Nebraska-Omaha coach Dean Blais. “They’re a talented team, but they played real hard tonight and they were the hungrier team tonight, too.
“From top to bottom tonight, Michigan was a better team. There wasn’t one position on the ice where they weren’t better than us tonight.”
Directly off the opening faceoff, Wohlberg chased the puck to the left half-boards in the Mavericks zone and flicked a shot that picked the upper corner of the net’s far side over Mavericks netminder John Faulkner’s glove only eight seconds into the game.
Wohlberg’s early goal was the only tally of the initial period. His record-setting effort was four seconds quicker than the previous record Michigan game-opening goal of 12 seconds by Mike Knuble in 1994.
“Right away, our most reliable line gets scored on,” said Blais. “The first goal, bad angle and all, set the tone for the game. Give them credit. They kept building on it. They played a 60-minute game. We played up and down, bits and pieces. We were due for a performance like that. It’s the first time we haven’t competed as hard as the other team.”
Michigan exploded with goals on their first three shots in the second period before Nebraska-Omaha finally replied with a power-play score of their own.
The outburst boosted the Wolverines to a 4-1 two-period edge.
Only 55 seconds into the second period, Carl Hagelin bagged his second goal of the season, picking up his own rebound and sliding it by Faulkner from the high slot.
Vaughan accounted for the next two Wolverines goals.
At 3:40, Vaughan snapped off a wrist shot high over Faulkner’s shoulder from the top of the left circle.
Blais pulled Faulkner and replaced him with sophomore backup netminder Fredrik Bergman.
Bergman, seeing his first game action as a Maverick, was victimized by a strange Wolverines fourth goal. Vaughan fired the puck into the crease with a shot parallel to the goal line. The puck appeared to bounce into the goal off Ben Winnett, standing in the crease. Originally disallowed as a goal, the play was reviewed and the goal credited to Vaughan at 10:00.
Alex Hudson finally got the Mavericks on the scoreboard at 15:35 of the second period with a twirling, sweeping shot past Hogan into the empty net on a four-on-three power play opportunity.
Luke Glendening and Ben Winnett added insurance goals for the Wolverines in the third period to ice the victory.
“More energy, we had more energy,” summarized Berenson. “We had more push and more conviction in our game tonight. I called it determination last night. I will call it conviction tonight.”
Michigan (3-1-2, 2-0-0-0 CCHA) faces off against Ferris State next weekend in a home-and-home pair of games. Nebraska-Omaha (5-1-0, 2-0-0 WCHA)) takes next weekend off before hosting Minnesota State on November 5-6.