ANN ARBOR, Mich. — On the strength of third period goals by Chris Brown and Louie Caporusso, Michigan held off a late surge by Ohio State to take a 3-2 victory Friday night at Yost Ice Arena.
Frantically-paced from start to finish, the contest concluded with two minutes of Ohio State pressure in the Michigan zone with Buckeye netminder Cal Heeter pulled for an extra attacker.
Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick held off the Ohio State late charge and secured the victory for the Wolverines.
Entering the third period tied at 1-1, Michigan scored quickly to turn the momentum in their direction.
Brown took a feed from Carl Hagelin and beat Heeter from the top of the right circle to give the Wolverines a lead they wouldn’t reliquish at 1:21 of the third period.
“It was a great play by Carl and it was a really great play by (Brandon) Burlon driving the net,” Brown said. “He took both the defenseman to the net and left me open.”
Caporusso extended the Wolverine lead to 3-1 with Hagelin again making the play. Hagelin controlled the puck in the Buckeye zone, dropping a pass to Caporusso who found the back of the net from Heeter’s left at 7:26.
Ohio State roared back at 13:25 of the closing stanza.
Peter Boyd broke free down the middle of the Wolverine zone and beat Hunwick with a backhand to pull the Buckeyes within one goal. Boyd’s goal was scored on a delayed penalty call, giving Ohio State a prime chance to know the score.
With the help of Michigan’s penalty killers, Hunwick held the Buckeyes off the scoreboard both during the Ohio State power play and in the game’s ensuing final minutes to ice the Michigan win.
“I haven’t seen a team pull the goalie with two minutes left in awhile,” noted Brown. “It was pretty frantic, but Hunwick stood on his head for us amd made some key saves.”
“You’re goalie’s got to be a factor and Hunwick definitely was a factor in the third period,” said Michigan head coach Red Berenson.
“It was huge,” continued Berenson regarding the penatly kill that followed the Ohio State goal . “That’s a new rule. When you take a delayed penalty and the other team scores, you still have to serve the penalty. That can be a double whammy. had we not killed that penalty, it’s a tie game.”
Hunwick made 14 of his 33 saves in the third period, backstopping the win, the Wolverine’s eighth straight at Yost Arena, the longest winning streak at the venerable Michigan home ice sheet since the ’04-’05 season.
“It’s good to see the puck go in the net, at one end anyway,” said Berenson. “It’s good to see Louie (Caporusso) and Brownie (Chris Brown) capitalize. Scooter (Vaughan) scored a big for us to get the first goal of the game.
“Overall, I thought our team was sluggish in the first period and then late in the game. Ohio State put too much pressure on us; a couple of shifts we couldn’t get the puck out for over a minute. We’ve got to play better than that.”
Both teams entered the game trying to generate some late-season success.
Michigan dropped a pair of games at Miami last weekend after losing to Michigan State in their only contest from the prior weekend.
The Buckeyes topped Michigan State in their most recent outing, but had lost four straight before that victory.
Although Ohio State held the edge in play in the quick-paced first period, Michigan had the best scoring opportunity.
Wolverine forward Matt Rust picked up a teammate’s clearing pass off the glass and skated in alone on Heeter from the red line. The Wolverine senior picked an opening high above the Buckeye netminder’s glove, but clanked the puck off the crossbar, narrowly missing the game’s first score.
At the start of the second period, Michigan only took 40 seconds to rectify Rust’s missed opportunity.
Luke Glendening carried the puck over the Ohio State blue line and chipped a pass to Scooter Vaughan in the slot. Vaughan picked the corner high over Heeter’s glove to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead.
Vaughan’s goal was Michigan’s first in 107 minutes of play, stretching back to the previous Friday at Miami, the longest goal drought of Michigan’s season.
On a play similar to the Michigan goal, Ohio State evened the score at 14:08 of the middle period.
From his off-wing, Buckeye John Albert set up linemate Sergio Somma in the slot. Somma’s shot found an opening between Hunwick’s pads and slithered home to knot the game, 1-1.
After Brown and Caporusso scored in the third period, Ohio State almost pulled off their game comeback attempt in the third period, but Hunwick closed the door on them.
Ohio State (14-14-2 overall, 9-12-2-2 in the CCHA) and Michigan (18-9-4, 15-7-1-0) jump right back into action at Yost Arena Saturday night in the series finale.