Michigan Hockey Rallies to Victory

The No. 4 University of Michigan hockey team had the weekend off from Central Collegiate Hockey Association play this week, so the U.S. National Team Developmental Program's under-18 team made the trip across town Saturday night to take on the Wolverines.

One of the five soon-to-be Wolverines on the U.S. NTDP team opened the scoring only 23 seconds into the contest. A misplayed puck in front of the Wolverine net found its way to the stick of winger Dan Fardig who easily flipped the puck up into the net past Wolverine goaltender Noah Ruden.

Jeff Tambellini would answer for the Wolverines at 6:02 of the period, banking the puck into the net off the back of Team USA goalie Jeff Frazee to tie the game 1-1.

Team USA added one more goal before the end of play when a shot by Jack Johnson found its way from the point to the back of the net and the Wolverines trailed 2-1 after the first period.

Michigan would rally to take their first lead of the game five minutes into the second period of play. Nick Martens beat Frazee on a blast from just inside the blue line and 1:53 later Milan Gajic added a power play goal to put the Wolverines on top 3-2.

Nathan Gerbe of Team USA would knot the score 3-3 at 5:35 slicing through two Wolverine defenders and sliding the puck around Ruden's outstretched pad as he skated across the front of the Wolverine net.

Phil Kessel, the nation's top recruit, took over for Team USA for the last 10 minutes of the second period scoring his 35th goal of the season on a shot from the left circle followed by his 36th goal of the season to capitalize on a five-on-three power play. Kessel's two goals gave USA a 5-3 lead heading into the second intermission.

In the third period, however, the Wolverines began to dominate. At 5:04 Jeff Tambellini added his second goal of the contest, taking a pass from T.J. Hensick and skating around his defender before pulling the trigger and beating Frazee high on the glove side.

Former U.S. National Team Development Programmer Kevin Porter tied the score 5-5 for Michigan with just under 10 minutes remaining in the contest, riffling the puck past Frazee from just inside the slot on the Wolverine power play.

With the score tied 5-5, the teams exchanged scoring opportunities with neither side being able to tally the go ahead goal until the Wolverines Jeff Tambellini struck for the third time of the night from just outside the left post with just six seconds remaining. Tambellini sent the puck into the open net after a pass from Kevin Porter on the left boards trickled through the crease with Frazee unable to get a stick on it.

The win extends the Wolverines win streak to five games as Michigan gets set for the final weekend of CCHA play where they will take on Bowling Green in a home-and-home series this weekend. One win by the Wolverines will clinch a regular season championship.

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