Late Goal Salvages Tie for Michigan

<p>After getting the season underway last weekend at the Lefty McFadden Tournament in Dayton, Ohio, the No. 3/4 Michigan hockey team was back in Ann Arbor to drop the puck last night in the home opener against the No. 7/8 New Hampshire Wildcats.</p>

The action got underway early on in this one as the Wolverines struck first in a back and forth contest that had four ties and four lead changes.

With less then two minutes run off the clock, Michigan forward Jeff Tambellini was able to net the first goal of the night for the Wolverines. With the puck deep in the Wildcat zone, Michigan strung together multiple passes until they found Wolverine forward David Rohlfs in the corner. Rohlfs spotted Tambellini alone on the opposite side of the crease and a crisp pass followed. Tambellini tucked the puck past New Hampshire goaltender Jeff Pietrasiak and Michigan was on top 1-0.

New Hampshire evened the score on a power play goal from Sean Collins, but the momentum swing would be short lived.

On the ensuing face off, Michigan took possession of the puck. Once again forward David Rohlfs spotted the open player. After taking a pass from Rohlfs, Rzynar skated into the Wildcat zone and blasted the puck past Pietrasiak for the second Wolverine goal of the night at the 17:36 mark. Michigan would enter the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.

The second period saw a change in tempo with New Hampshire controlling the pace of the game. A shot by UNH’s Josh Ciocco trickled through the legs of Wolverine goaltender Al Montoya at the 3:33 mark and the game was once again tied.

New Hampshire continued to apply pressure throughout the second period, and UNH took the lead for the first time at the 7:42 mark when Daniel Winnik tucked away a rebound off the shot of teammate Brett Hemingway. The second period would come to an end with Michigan trailing 3-2.

Faced with the possibility of losing the home opener, the Wolverines came out firing again in the final period of play. Eric Nystrom scored the tying goal for Michigan at the 4:46 mark of the final period, but once again UNH would answer.

Minutes later Josh Ciocco beat Montoya for his second goal of the night after a giveaway inside the Michigan zone. UNH continued to apply pressure on Michigan, but Montoya made two beautiful breakaway saves to keep the Wolverines in the game long enough to strike one last time.

With the puck inside the Wildcat zone, the Wolverines were able to take advantage of their final power play of the night when freshman Kevin Porter slipped a rebound past Pietrasiak in the middle of a crowd.

The game would go to overtime, which was controlled by the Wolverines, but neither team was able to tally the game winning goal and the game would end a 4-4 tie.

The tie evens Michigan’s record at 1-1-1 on the year with the final game of the weekend home stand coming tomorrow night against St. Lawrence at 7:35.

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