Ice Hockey: No. 7 Michigan Routs Merrimack

On Sunday, the No. 7-ranked Michigan hockey team played host to the Merrimack Warriors in one final tune up before opening play in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Michigan came out strong in the first period netting 7 goals on 21 shots, and from that point on, the Wolverines coasted over the Warriors to a 9-2 win.

If there's one thing a coach worries about following an emotional win, it's a let down the following night. Although the Wolverines were off on Saturday, on Sunday, the Merrimack Warriors made their way to Yost Ice Arena looking for an upset following an emotional weekend in regards to University of Michigan athletics.

"I was worried about the emotions from the football game," said the Wolverines head coach Red Berenson on his mindset coming into Sunday's game. "We're all fans and we all get excited about what's going on and that can leave you in an emotional lull."

It didn't take long, however, for Michigan to put to rest any hopes that Merrimack had of coming into Yost Ice Arena and walking away with the upset victory. In the first period, the Wolverines outshot the Warriors 21-8 on the way to seven goals. Kevin Porter, a sophomore from Northville, Michigan, tallied three goals in the first period of play for the Wolverines who improved to 4-0-0 on the young season.

"It felt good," said Porter of the first period hat trick. "We started out a little slow in the second period. We ended up tied 1-1 in the second period, but we got it going early in the first period and that carried us through the rest of the game."

Junior alternate captain T.J. Hensick opened the scoring for the Wolverines 4:41 into the game following a five minute checking from behind penalty to Merrimack. With the man advantage, Hensick found his way into the slot as Zach MacVoy hit him with a pass from behind the net. Hensick quickly snapped the puck past Warriors goalie Jim Healey for a 1-0 lead.

Minutes later at 8:01, Kevin Porter added his first goal of the contest after a Warriors turnover inside their zone. With the puck, Porter slashed across the front of the net ripping the puck past Healey.

At 11:05, Andrew Cogliano chipped in with his first goal as a Wolverine ending his early season offensive struggles. Cogliano's rocket from the point beat Healey high on the glove side to give the freshman his first point of the season.

"I asked him if the nets were the same size in Toronto," said Berenson about the freshman's early season struggles. "He could have had a couple in every game he's played but it just hadn't been going in."

Fifty-one seconds later, Andrew Ebbett added his second goal of the season as he was being dragged down to the ice just in front of the Merrimack net. Chad Kolarik found Ebbett from the right corner and sent the puck across ice to the captain for a quick one timer, and although Healey made the initial save, the puck found its way back to Ebbett as he hacked the puck across the goaline.

Again, within the next minute, the Wolverines extended the lead. Andrew Cogliano added his second goal of the game on a shot from the lower left circle that beat the Merrimack goalie to end his night.

Kevin Porter welcomed Frank McLaughlin, the new Warriors goalie, into the game at 14:06, sending his second shot from just inside the slot past the new net minder. At 17:41, Porter added his third goal of the period on an odd man rush with Jack Johnson.

In the second period, another new Wolverine scored his first career goal. 7:54 into the second stanza, Tyler Swystun jammed home a centering pass from Andrew Cogliano on the power play to make the score 8-0.

With under a minute remaining in the period, Merrimack broke Michigan goalie Noah Ruden's shutout attempt by slipping the puck through the legs of Michigan's back up goaltender with 36 seconds remaining in the period.

In the third period, Merrimack cut the lead 6-2, sending the puck past Ruden as a shot that looked to be heading wide of the net found the stick of Warriors winger Hank Carisio to be tapped in.

On the night, Noah Ruden recorded 25 saves on 27 shots.

Zach MacVoy brought the Wolverines offensive onslaught to an end with his back to the net at 8:58, slipping the puck backwards through his legs as the Warriors third goalie, Patrick Watson, tried scrambling back into position.

With the 9-2 victory, the Wolverines now shift their focus to the Spartans of Michigan State, something that doesn't seem to be difficult for the Wolverines.

"I hate Michigan State with a passion," said tonight's hat trick hero. "My two older brothers went there and since they left I've just hated them. It's going to be a good game. They're a tough team and they're going to come to Yost working hard. We're going to have to work just as hard."

On Saturday, the No. 7 Wolverines and No. 10 Spartans will do battle at 7:35 in Ann Arbor

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