Michigan Defeats Maine in Low Scoring Thriller

The University of Michigan Hockey team defeated Maine 2-1 in the Midwest Regional Semifinal of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The Wolverines will face No. 1 seed Colorado College at 3pm on Sunday (March 30): the winner to advance to the Frozen Four.<br><br> Read on for complete coverage of Michigan's victory over Maine, including photos from the game.

Both goaltenders delivered stellar performances in the first round match up between the Wolverines and Black Bears. Michigan's Al Montoya stopped 34 shots, while Maine's Frank Doyle had 25 saves. Their respective efforts were evident as the game remained scoreless after two periods.

AP Photo/Paul Warner

The third period would not only see an end to the stalemate, but all three of the contests' goals were scored in the period. At the 6:47 mark, forward Michael Woodford fired a shot that was blocked by a Maine defender. However, sophomore Eric Nystrom followed the shot, knocking the bouncing puck into the net, and giving the Wolverines their first lead of the game.

Michigan held on to their lead for almost ten minutes, but the Black Bears persevered. With just under four minutes remaining in the game, Maine's Colin Shields tipped the puck past Montoya, tying the game at the 16:06 mark.

With time running out in regulation, Michigan earned a power play, and acted quickly. Senior Jed Ortmeyer picked up a deflection, and scored the game winner at the 18:29 mark. The Wolverines will advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament, where they will face Colorado College at 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, in Yost Ice Arena.

AP Photo/Paul Warner

AP Photo/Paul Warner

AP Photo/Paul Warner

Michigan...0 0 2 : 2
Maine.......0 0 1 : 1

1st period

PENALTIES - Brandon Rogers, MICH (obstruction-holding) 9:24; Prestin Ryan, MAINE (checking from behind) 12:06

2nd period

PENALTIES - Jed Ortmeyer, MICH (tripping) 8:12; Travis Wight, MAINE (elbowing) 8:12; Prestin Ryan, MAINE (cross-checking) 13:11; Brandon Rogers, MICH (holding) 17:31

3rd period

-MICH, Eric Nystrom/14 (Michael Woodford) 6:47
-MAINE, Colin Shields/14 (Martin, Kariya, Lucas Lawson) 16:06
-MICH, Jed Ortmeyer/17 (Jeff Tambellini, Eric Nystrom) 18:29 (pp)

PENALTIES - Brandon Rogers, MICH (tripping) 4:44; Danny Richmond, MICH (obstruction-holding) 13:09; Travis Wight, MAINE (holding) 17:58; Prestin Ryan, MAINE (cross-checking) 18:29; John Shouneyia, MICH (cross-checking) 18:29

Shots on Goal: Michigan 27; Maine 35

Power Plays: Michigan 1 of 3; Maine 0 of 4

Attendance: 6798

Post-Game Quotes:

Head Coach Red Berenson

Opening statement:

"The game was what everyone expected -- hard fought, close, right down to the wire. I'm surprised it didn't go into overtime like most of our other games with Maine. They've got a great team. They probably deserved to win the game if you look at the scoring chances, particularly in the third period. I thought that was the difference in the game at that point. The penalty killing did a good job and the power play ended up making the difference to win. So when you talk about the game, it's goalkeeping and special teams."

On playing Maine:

"All of the speculation about how the rest would affect them, and I think it helped them. I think they had the legs in the second half of the game more than we did. And they started to take over the game. Every game has been a little different. Their best players were their best players. Our best players were our best players. As Jed (Ortmeyer) said, I think home ice was a factor. No question the crowd was unbelievable. For us to be able to come back and score that late goal, it was just about fitting because we've seen it go the other way in previous games."

On Eric Nystrom scoring Michigan's first goal:

"We talked about, before the game, playing strong and that was a great example of a player who just would not be denied the puck. He fought his man off all the way from the red line to inside the blue line and finally came up with the puck and stayed there when (Michael) Woodford got his chance and ended up outbattling his man again. You talk about one-on-one or strength or determination or will. Whatever it was, Eric Nystrom had it."

On facing Colorado College in the regional final:

"We're up against a very tough opponent. I don't know how much the difference in rest will be a factor. I know our team is tired after this game and it was a big, emotional win. We need to get refocused and start thinking about an opponent, in terms of the polls, who is maybe the best team in the country."

Jed Ortmeyer

On the emotions of this game:

"It's been amazing. The crowd has been behind us all year and it's a good feeling to know when the game gets tight that we have an extra guy in our crowd to give us an extra boost. Monty (goaltender Al Montoya) kept us in the game and our crowd was able to give us another boost towards the end."

On scoring clutch playoff goals:

"I felt like I owed our team a goal. I let my man get to the net and he was able to tie the game up. I was a little upset at myself and the shot was there and I was able to just poke it through. It was nothing special."

Al Montoya

On Maine's scoring chances and having to stay focused:

"I came into the game just with the thought of making my stops I had to make, and then maybe make one or two. I knew our team could come through and help us win the game. I didn't really think of the shots, I just stayed composed, stayed focused and didn't worry about what else was going on besides stopping the puck."

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