Hockey: No. 4 Wolverines Crush Fighting Irish

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament kicked off Friday night with the <b>No. 1 seeded Michigan Wolverines</b> hosting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. The Fighting Irish netted the first goal of the contest late in the first period, but Michigan answered with a scoring onslaught to claim a 10-1 victory in game one.

Notre Dame opened the scoring in tonight's contest, taking their first lead over the Wolverines in their five contests this season. With just under five-minutes remaining in the opening frame, Evan Rankin tucked the puck into the Wolverine net through the legs of Michigan goalie Al Montoya as he attempted to poke check the puck away from the oncoming forward.

Michigan was unable to beat Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Cey in the first period despite out shooting the Fighting Irish 11-6.

In the second period, Michigan took over. Eric Nystrom tied the game at one 1:48 into the period. Nystrom beat Cey from just outside of his crease, slamming home a centering pass from Mike Brown while on a two-on-one rush.

40-seconds later, Jeff Tambellini put the Wolverines on top 2-1 with a power-play goal. Eric Nystrom recorded his second point, setting Tambellini up with a pass to the point. Tambellini found his way between the circles with a hard slap shot beat Cey.

Michael Woodford, Jr. extended the Wolverine lead to two goals at 6:51. Taking a Jason Ryznar rebound he backhanded a shot over Cey's blocker as he lay sprawled on the ice.

At 7:41 Milan Gajic added his 18th goal of the season, rocketing a shot from the left circle that would beat Cey, and end his night.

Brandon Rogers pushed the Wolverine lead to 5-1 at 14:46, scoring again from near the left circle. Milan Gajic was credited with an assist after sending the puck through the crease to Rogers who quickly snapped the puck past new Irish goalie David Brown.

Chad Kolarik would add two goals for the Wolverines before the end of the period, the first coming on a power play at 16:21, and the second coming at 19:53 as the puck trickled across the Irish goal-line after deflecting off an Irish defender attempting to block Kolarik's shot.

The seven-goal outburst in a single period was a season high for the Wolverines, and gave Michigan a commanding lead after two-periods.

In the third, the Wolverines would score three times to make the final score 10-1. Brandon Rogers scored his second goal from just inside the slot, Kevin Porter scored his first goal of the night at 6:49, and Milan Gajic concluded the scoring with just under a minute left, beating Rory Walsh, the Irish's third string goalie, high to the glove side.

Michigan holds a 1-0 lead in the best of three first round series, with game two Saturday at 7:45 p.m. at Yost Ice Arena.

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