Michigan goaltender Bryan Hogan turned aside 18 shots, blanking sixth-ranked Miami in the Wolverines 4-0 victory over the RedHawks Sunday afternoon at Yost Arena.
The game was a makeup for the contest originally scheduled for Friday night, which was postponed because of structural damage to the outside of Yost Arena.
The win was Michigan’s second in as many days over Miami, and the series sweep enabled the Wolverines to stay within striking distance of their conference rival RedHawks in the conference standings, narrowing the gap between the two teams to five points. Michigan maintains two games in hand on Miami.
Michigan opened the weekend series with a 5-1 win over Miami in a game that was more closely played than the final result indicated.
Miami skated without forwards Carter Camper and Justin Mercier, two of its top three scorers this season. The pair were both injured in Saturday night’s contest with the Wolverines.
David Wohlberg set up an early goal for Michigan and added an insurance marker in the third period, continuing his strong freshman campaign.
“It was a good team effort this weekend and it starts with your defense and your penalty killing and your goalkeeping to keep the other team from getting a lot of momentum,” said Michigan head coach Red Berenson. “I thought that was a big factor in the weekend. And then to get goals from some unlikely sources like Luke [Glendening], who got his first career goal.
“From watching the game, you can see that he worked so hard that sooner or later he’d get a break. He deserves it. For me, it was a good defensive effort as well as finding ways to get the puck in the net.”
“These were huge wins, especially where we are at in the season, the first part of the second half,” said Michigan captain Chris Summers. “Some teams are second-half teams and hopefully we can be one of those teams. Obviously we didn’t have a great start to the season this year, but we are hoping to build off this weekend and build off each practice and just go from there.”
An evenly-played first period was highlighted by Michigan fourth-line right wing Glendening’s first career goal at 4:13. From the slot, Glendening converted Wohlberg’s pass from behind the RedHawk net with a one-time effort.
“It was cool,” said Glendening of his goal. “Wohlberg made a great pass and I just kind of went to the net. I didn’t really do much. Wohlberg put it right on my tape. It was nice, though.”
Hogan stymied the best Miami opportunity of the initial period with a stop on Tommy Wingels’ backhand from point-blank range with two minutes remaining in the period.
Quick to share credit for his shutout performance, Hogan said. “There were definitely a lot of blocked shots. The defense played very well in front of me. I couldn’t see anything with those [Miami] guys in front of me. [Michigan’s defenders] were all blocking shots and that really helped out.”
The teams continued their even play in the second period until RedHawk Cameron Schilling nailed Wolverine Aaron Palushaj into the boards and received a five-minute checking from behind major penalty as well as the automatic game misconduct. Because of the Miami shortened bench due to injury, Schilling was toiling on a forward line rather than his usual spot on defense.
The Wolverines took over three minutes to take advantage on the power play, but Matt Rust’s second whack at the puck just outside the crease finally beat Miami netminder Connor Knapp at 15:26. The goal, Rust’s third of the season and first in 14 games stretching back to October 18, was a backbreaker for Miami, increasing the Wolverine lead to 2-0 after two periods.
Goals on Wohlberg’s laser wrist shot from just inside the blue line and Steve Kampfer’s followup of his own shot iced the game for Michigan in the third period.
The RedHawks (12-7-3, 10-4-2-1 CCHA) are slated to host Michigan State next weekend for a conference two-game set. The Wolverines (15-7-0, 9-5-0 CCHA) next see the ice in a home-and-home series with Bowling Green next weekend.