Sometimes, one team’s trash is another team’s treasure. In beating the Ohio State Buckeyes 6-1 tonight after squeaking by them 4-3 Friday, the Michigan Wolverines found a few gems.
Sophomore goaltender Bryan Hogan played 50:35 minutes of scoreless hockey. His classmate, Louie Caporusso, netted two power-play goals. Senior Travis Turnbull scored his first of the season, and the Wolverines swept the Buckeyes for the first time since January 2004.
“We worked harder,” said Michigan Coach Red Berenson. “We forechecked. We put more pressure on their defense and eventually got an important first goal.
“As a team, I just felt we were more into the game; not that they weren’t, but we started better tonight and we built on that and that was probably our best team effort of the season thus far.”
In losing 6-1 to Michigan, Ohio State served up a mix that should be left at the nearest dump. Four shots on goal in the first period. A second period in which the Bucks outshot the Wolverines 14-7 but in which OSU allowed three unanswered goals. A behind-the-net turnover that resulted in a Michigan shorthanded goal. Scoreless with a two-man advantage for over a minute.
All one night after making a top-10 hockey team work hard for a home ice victory.
“I would have liked to come in here and have our top line score some goals, but they didn’t,” said OSU Coach John Markell. “I know that last night’s game was a hard game on us, but it can’t be that tough. They [OSU players] should build some confidence from that. They competed hard and the effort was there.”
For the Wolverines, Hogan had very little work to do, but when he did he was solid, like the point-blank stop he made on Matt Bartkowski at the end of a successful Michigan penalty kill in the second period.
For the Buckeyes, starting freshman goaltender Cal Heeter had absolutely no help in the 30:45 minutes he played before being replaced by sophomore Dustin Carlson. Carlson also had little support; the Wolverines scored a power-play goal 1:15 after Carlson took the ice.
“With the young team we’ve got, they’re going to think they’re world-beaters one night, and the next night you’re going to be pulling your hair out, and this was one of those nights I was pulling my hair out and it started with the first goal,” said Markell.
The Wolverines capitalized on their first power play of the night to gain the early 1-0 lead at 4:13, a textbook tally with Chad Langlais feeding Brian Lebler, who fed Caporusso, whose shot through traffic from the bottom of the right circle beat Heeter five-hole.
Michigan led 2-0 after one when Caporusso flew down the right wing and threw a shot on net and the rebound landed on Tim Miller’s stick for Miller’s third of the season at 17:32.
It was 5-0 at the end of two on goals by David Wohlberg, Turnbull, and Aaron Palushaj. Wohlberg’s goal at 8:23, the first of his collegiate career, was a short-handed wrap-around with two Buckeyes between him and the net. At 10:45, Turnbull got his first of the season, breaking in two-on-two with Chad Langlais, a rocket from the top of the slot.
Turnbull’s goal was the end of Heeter’s night, and the Wolverines made quick work of Carlson, another tic-tac-toe affair with Palushaj scoring from Brandon Naurato and Greg Pateryn.
“I don’t think we got a flow [to the game],” said Berenson.
In that second period, the Wolverines were in the penalty box a total of 16 minutes, the Buckeyes 14.
“We were outshot in the second period dramatically,” said Berenson, “Yet we scored three goals. It was just isolated chances, but it wasn’t like the game was taking any shape. The score was, but the game wasn’t.”
In the third, Caporusso’s second power-play goal of the night and eighth goal of the season put Michigan up 6-0 at 6:27, and Zac Dalpe spoiled Hogan’s shutout with a power-play shot from the goal line at 10:35.
“I wanted to win the third period and we tied it,” said Markell.
Hogan had 25 saves on 26 shots to give him a record of 4-0-0 on the season. Heeter had 12 saves on 16 shots, while Carlson stopped seven of the eight he saw. UM was 3-for-8 on the power play, OSU went 1-for-9, and the teams combined for 72 penalties, all minors except for Wolverine Tristan Llewellyn’s third-period 10-minute misconduct, which accompanied his roughing after the whistle call during one of the game’s many extracurricular skirmishes.
Next up for Michigan (6-2-0, 3-1-0-0 CCHA) is a two-game set against the Nanooks in Alaska, Nov. 7-8. The Buckeyes (2-5-1, 1-4-1-1 CCHA) return to Columbus next weekend to host Michigan State.