No. 5 Michigan collects weekend sweep

The No. 5 Michigan hockey team was back in Ann Arbor Saturday to conclude their regular season series versus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Yost Ice Arena. Jeff Tambellini and David Moss would each score twice for the Wolverines en route to a 6-3 victory.

Just like last night, Kevin Porter scored less than five minutes into the game to put the Wolverines on the scoreboard first. The goal, Porter's 10th of the season, beat Notre Dame goalie David Brown to the top shelf of the net at 4:55 of the first period.

Jeff Tambellini notched his 15th goal of the season on the power play minutes later at 12:24, blasting a shot towards the net from just inside the left circle. The shot found its way through a swarm of Irish players and through the legs of Brown to extend the lead to 2-0.

The Wolverines out shot the Irish 12-4 in the period and went to the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.

Notre Dame cut the lead in half :33 into the second period of play, taking advantage of the extra ice as the teams skated four-on-four. The Irish's Cory McLean controlled the puck through the neutral zone before dumping it along the left boards in the Wolverine zone. T.J. Jindra chased the puck down for Notre Dame and a quick horizontal move from left to right in front of the Wolverine net tricked Wolverine goalie Al Montoya, allowing him to snap a shot sending the puck into the goal.

David Moss would answer that goal with 5:23 remaining in the second period, scoring his first of two goals on the night. David Rohlfs provided the opportunity for Moss, getting credited with an assist when he found teammate Michael Woodford Jr. who found Moss fighting in front of the net. Moss flung the puck high over the shoulder of Brown to make the score 3-1.

Note Dame would add one more goal in the closing seconds of the second period to bring it back to a one goal game 3-2. Victor Oreskovich beat Montoya high over his right shoulder from the left circle with a shot that clanged off the inside crossbar on the goal with :19 remaining.

The Irish had plenty of opportunities to tie the score early in the third period after the Wolverines were hammered by penalty after penalty. Michigan sophomore Mike Brown was given a five minute major penalty for a high sticking contact to the head penalty, and apparently something Brown said on his way to the box that earned him a game misconduct.

The Wolverine penalty kill successfully ran three minutes of time off the clock before the officials spotted a violation on the Wolverines again. Eric Werner was caught this time using his hand to push the face of an Irish forward into the ice to try and waste time. The Werner penalty gave the Irish a five-on-three advantage for 1:55.

Al Montoya made save after save for the Wolverines during the penalty kill, highlighted by a save from just outside the left end of the crease to hold onto the one goal lead.

After killing the penalties, the Wolverine offense started to click again, scoring their fourth goal of the night at 12:59. Andrew Ebbett capitalized on the rebound from a powerful Jeff Tambellini shot to send the puck into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season.

Jeff Tambellini would add his second goal of the night, again from around the left circle, to increase the lead to 5-2 with 1:50 remaining on the clock.

Notre Dame scored one more goal at 18:29 followed by an empty net goal by the Wolverines David Moss with :15 remaining in the contest.

The win completed a regular season sweep of the Fighting Irish and moved the Wolverines one step closer to a second consecutive regular season Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship. One win in the final two conference games will lock up the title for the Maize and Blue.

Michigan steps out of CCHA play next weekend for one game against the U.S. National Team Developmental Program Under-18 team, which features future Wolverines Jack Johnson, Zach MacVoy, Jason Bailey, and Mark Mitera.

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