COLUMBUS, Ohio — They say in rivalry games, “You can throw all the numbers out the window.” Red Berenson’s Michigan Wolverines took this mantra into Columbus to earn just their second road victory on the season by beating Ohio State, 5-3, Friday evening.
Michigan held a 2-0 advantage through two and dominated the Buckeyes. Ohio State tried to rally in the third period, but fell short.
“I think getting the lead in the game was important for either team,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “They have been a good team at home and been a good team in recent games, and tonight I thought our first goal was an important goal.”
Ohio State had its six-game home point streak snapped with the loss. Michigan has a four-game winning streak over the Buckeyes in Ohio.
Winnipeg Jets prospect Jacob Trouba had a three-point effort for Michigan, and teammate Alex Guptill, a Dallas Stars draftee, scored a pair of goals in a winning effort. Coming off a bye week gave Michigan a chance to rest after getting swept by Notre Dame two weeks ago.
“It gave us some time to regroup after the Notre Dame series,” Trouba said. “We still have a shot this season, and we’re going to make the most of it. Do whatever we can to keep it going and bring everything back.”
Michigan’s special teams were quite special, converting twice on the power play and killing off all six Ohio State power plays. Michigan managed a pair of breakaway opportunities while short-handed that Hjelle had to turn away. Michigan’s first two goals came on the power play, the eighth-straight contest the Wolverines have converted on the man-advantage.
“Power play and penalty kill, obviously two areas that was the difference in the game,” Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki said. “Michigan is a (darn) good hockey club, no doubt about it. They have a lot of top-end talent on that squad, they have four defenders that will have the opportunity to play a long time in the NHL, and they showed their skill in the first two periods.”
Michigan took a 1-0 lead with 4:38 remaining in the first period when Guptill scored his ninth of the season, as he beat Ohio State goalie Brady Hjelle. Guptill disguised himself nicely coming down the slot and Hjelle did not see the puck until it went into the net.
Michigan carried the momentum into the second, forcing Osiecki to call his timeout midway through the period after one of his lines got stuck on the ice for over two minutes. The timeout did not work.
After Krogh was called for an interference penalty, Michigan capitalized. The Wolverines took a 2-0 lead after A.J. Treais found freshman Trouba, whose one-time attempt beat the glove of Hjelle.
Ohio State got on the board 57 seconds into the third when Max McCormick’s snap shot from the left circle beat the glove of goaltender Steve Racine.
Then a flurry of scoring took place, as the Buckeyes and Wolverines exchanged goals.
The Buckeyes had nine of the third period’s first 10 shots, but could not sustain that momentum. Michigan forward Luke Moffatt scored 11:48 into the third, as he took a shot off his own rebound and used his stick to push the puck past Hjelle to give Michigan a 3-1 lead.
Ohio State’s Tanner Fritz responded short-handed on a breakaway with 4:52 left to cut Michigan’s lead to 3-2. Michigan regained its two-goal edge when Guptill added his 10th of the campaign moments later.
Forward Ryan Dzingel got the Buckeyes within one after Hjelle was pulled for an extra attacker with 75 seconds left, but Derek DeBlois notched an empty-netter just 25 seconds later.
“You are not going to get five goals against that team often,” Berenson said. “Maybe we got lucky; the power play connected and one is an empty-net goal, but I am sure both goalies and both coaches think that they had a couple they would have liked to get back.”
Osiecki said players had to battle the emotions of playing a rival, final home series, and having their parents in the arena Friday evening.
“There was a lot of outside influences coming into this week,” Osiecki said. “I think that affected us a bit. We spent a lot of energy and emotion before the game, and when we had the opportunity to step on the gas, we didn’t have any gas left in our tank.”