ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Lee Moffie’s two goals paced Michigan to a 4-1 win over Bowling Green Saturday night at Yost Arena, clinching their quarterfinal round series with the Falcons and sending the Wolverines on to the CCHA championship semifinals.
Michigan will take on the lowest remaining seed in the tournament semifinals Friday at Joe Louis Arena.in Detroit.
The series loss ended Bowling Green’s season one week after they had upset Northern Michigan in the first round of the playoffs.
All four of Michigan’s goals were scored by sophomores. Moffie’s fifth and sixth goals of the season were supplemented by Lindsay Sparks’ third of the year and A.J. Treais’ ninth of the campaign.
“Well, I’m the glad the game is over,” said a relieved Michigan coach Red Berenson. “I’m glad the series is over. I’m glad our seniors don’t have to play another game here. I don’t think we scored on our best chances, but we played hard.
“We carried the play and we thought it would be a close game going in and one goal might hold up. It did for half the game. It was a huge goal, and then we finally got a second goal and that was a huge goal.”
Michigan entered the game without two of their leading offensive players. Louie Caporusso sat out the series with a leg injury and David Wohlberg suffered a broken collarbone in Friday night’s series opening game against the Falcons.
“You talk about a team with adversity,” said Bowling Green coach Chris Bergeron “They lose Wohlberg last night and have already lost Caporusso. They had guys step up. That’s what a veteran team does. They find a way for some other guy to step up and they did that today.”
“You need that,” Michigan captain Carl Hagelin said of the Wolverines’ team depth. “Obviously, when guys go down, all the guys have to step up. Today, Moffie stepped up with a great game, great performance, two goals, one assist. Sparks had a really good game as well and so did Treais. That is what you need and those guys are ready to play.”
After playing a sluggish first seven minutes, the slumbering Wolverines were awakened by Moffie’s short-handed goal at 7:28 of the opening period.
Luke Glendening stole the puck at this own blue line and fed Moffie, who was flying down the right wing. Moffie carried the puck to the top of the circle to Bowling Green netminder Andrew Hammond’s right and unleashed a blast which banked off the far goal post into the net.
Moffie’s short-handed effort was the eighth such goal of the year for Michigan, the most the Wolverines have posted since their 2007-08 campaign.
From that point on, Michigan took control of the play in the period, outshooting Bowling Green, 14-7, in the first stanza.
Michigan added another pair of goals late in the second period after pouring shots at the Bowling Green net unsuccessfully for a majority of the period.
Sparks finally connected for the Wolverines at 14:05 with the teams playing four-on-four.
A long lead pass from Mac Bennett carried into Falcons’ zone, and Sparks outraced everyone on the ice to the puck and one-timed a shot from the inner edge of the right circle over Hammond’s glove.
Moffie tallied his second goal of the game on a power play opportunity late in the period to lengthen the Michigan lead to 3-0.
At 18:27, Moffie perfectly timed a shot from the right half boards on a cross-ice pass from Chad Langlais. Moffie’s shot cleanly beat Hammond putting Michigan ahead by three.
Langlais was playing in his 167th consecutive game for the Wolverines, setting the record for consecutive games played. Tim Miller and Travis Turnbull, who previously were tied for the record, like Langlais played every scheduled game of their careers for the Wolverines.
Early in the the third period, A.J. Treais added to the Michigan lead with his ninth goal of the season from one knee just to Hammond’s right on a crisp pass from Sparks.
Bowling Green gained a measure of late revenge when Camde Wojtala beat Brian Hogan, who had replaced Hunwick at 13:46 of the final period, with a roof shot, spoiling the Michigan shutout bid.
“I think more of the progress that we’ve made is in the foundation of our culture rather than our play,” reflected Bergeron on his team’s journey from season’s beginning to season’s end.
“I still think we’re making the same poor, lack of execution plays now that we made at the beginning of the year. But, I do think our foundation is more solidified. I do think that the culture of this program is intact and, moving forward; you’re either on board or you’re not. You don’t have to talk about it as much anymore, because that’s what it is and that’s who we are. nSo, that way, we’re much further along than we were earlier in the year.”