No. 7 Wolverines Roll Mavericks

On Saturday, the No. 7-ranked Michigan hockey team took the ice at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor for the second time in what head coach Red Berenson called "a pair of must win games." Behind an offensive attack that featured seven goals in the first two periods, the Wolverines coasted to victory over the visiting Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in the teams last pair of games before the holidays.

If knocking off the Mavericks last night was meant to remove the sense of urgency from the No. 7-ranked Michigan hockey team, someone forgot to tell the players. With last night's 4-2 victory putting Michigan back on the right track, the Wolverines offense continued to roll tonight as the Wolverines piled on seven goals in the Wolverines 7-3 victory in front of 6,631 at Yost Ice Arena on Saturday night.

As was the case last night, the Mavericks of Nebraska-Omaha jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Only 1:54 into the first frame, the Mavericks leading scorer Scott Parse got the visiting team on the board. After a misplayed puck inside the Wolverines zone by the Wolverines sophomore forward Kevin Porter found its way to Brandon Scero, Parse took a pass inside the slot and carried it to the backhand side flipping it over the blocker of Michigan goalie Billy Sauer.

After a near miss off the post by Jack Johnson minutes later, the Wolverines tied the game 1-1 on the power play.

With the one man advantage winding down, Michigan alternate captain Brandon Kaleniecki netted his second power-play goal of the weekend after coasting into the Mavericks zone with a two-on-one rush. As the defense collapsed on Kaleniecki, the senior quickly fired the puck high over UNO goalie Jerad Kaufmann's glove.

Nebraska-Omaha struck back to regain the lead, however, after the Wolverines were victimized by their second giveaway inside their own blue line. As Jack Johnson attempted to clear the puck down the center of the ice, the puck deflected off the skate of a Mavericks player right to forward Bill Thomas who tucked the puck past Billy Sauer through his legs to make it 2-1.

However, like before, the Wolverines would answer back. Kevin Porter's 10th goal of the season tied the game 2-2 with 11:44 remaining in the first period. In a rush with line-mate Chad Kolarik, Porter crossed over behind his teammate to the top of the right circle where he unleashed a laser over the blocker of Kaufmann into the top shelf of the net.

Following the Porter goal, Michigan took its first lead of the contest with just under one minute remaining in the action packed period. Jason Bailey's second goal of the season put the Wolverines on top 3-2 with 28-seconds left after his centering attempt deflected off the skate of a Mavericks defender and past Kaufmann into the net.

In the second period, the Wolverines extended the lead as they began to outwork the Mavericks on both ends of the ice.

Only 1:20 into the frame, Andrew Cogliano scored shorthanded for the Wolverines to push the lead to two goals. After dumping the puck out of the Michigan zone, the freshman center chased down the loose puck along the far boards and sliced through the Mavericks defense high between the circles where he unleashed a shot over the glove of Kaufmann to end the goalie's night.

At that point, the Mavericks looked to Greg Barrett to try and slow the Wolverines offense. A freshman like Kaufmann, Barrett stepped in and was tested immediately. Andrew Ebbett scored his second goal of the weekend at 13:40, sending the puck past the goalie's stick side from the high slot after taking in a pass from Jason Bailey.

And the Wolverines kept piling it on.

After a five-minute checking from behind penalty combined with a two-minute cross-checking after the whistle penalty, the Wolverines went on a seven-minute power play and blew the game open.

Jack Johnson netted his sixth goal of the season on the power play, sending a shot from the left point through the legs of Barrett to put Michigan on top 6-2 with just under one minute remaining in the middle stanza.

Then, 34 seconds later, Jason Bailey chipped in with his second goal of the night, this one coming off of his skate after a Jason Dest shot from the point took a good bounce and found its way past Barrett.

At the end of two, the Wolverines led 7-2.

In the final period, the Mavericks would net one goal late in the period thanks to a two-man power play, but that was as close as the Mavericks would get in a choppy final period that saw five player ejections in the final five minutes of regulation.

With the 7-3 win, the Wolverines remain in second place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association trailing the No. 2 Miami RedHawks by two games in the standings.

After tonight's contest, the Wolverines are off until the Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena on December 29.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories