No. 6 Wolverines Fall in GLI Opener

The sixth-ranked University of Michigan ice hockey team dropped its opener in the 2005 Great Lakes Invitational on Thursday night 6-1 against the No. 7-ranked Tigers of Colorado College.

It was obvious that the Wolverines were overmatched from the beginning. With star players Jack Johnson, Kevin Porter and Andrew Cogliano all sitting out the GLI while representing their countries in the 2005 International Ice Hockey Festival along with defenseman Mark Mitera; the Wolverines entered the 2005 GLI undermanned for a contest with the No. 7 Colorado College Tigers. Michigan would have to play near perfect to pull off the upset.

Over the first 15 minutes, the Wolverines did just that. Despite being outshot, the No. 6 Wolverines played with the Tigers to a 0-0 tie. And then things started to get ugly. Chris Fragner, a sophomore walk on added to the roster in mid-October, was sent to the showers early for checking from behind. With the five-minute power play, CC went on top 1-0 just before the first intermission. Jimmy Kilpatrick's shot from the point made its way past Michigan goalie Billy Sauer after a deflection in front of the Michigan net.

And in the second period, Colorado College continued to press the overwhelmed U-M team. Outscoring the Wolverines 3-0 in the middle frame, Joey Crabb boosted the Tigers lead twice. Only three minutes into the frame, Crabb upped the CC lead to 2-0 shorthanded after intercepting a clear attempt by the Wolverines Matt Hunwick. Crabb carried the puck in and snapped it high past Sauer into the net. Then, on the power play, Crabb put in his second goal of the game by splitting the Michigan defense and, again, beat Sauer up top.

Brian Salcido added the Tigers final goal of the period on the power play after he had rung a shot off the post at the beginning of the period.

Despite the deficit after 40 minutes, the Wolverines came out firing in the third. U-M opened the period with a quick flurry of opportunities before finally beating Zaba just under three minutes into the final period. Brandon Naurato carried the puck in along the boards for the Wolverines before beating his defender and sending the puck past Zaba to the far post.

CC would answer, however, beating Noah Ruden, the Wolverines goalie for the final period of play, after Brett Sterling capitalized on a takeaway by skating inside the U-M blue line and tucking the puck through the pads of Ruden to extend the lead back to four goals.

Trevor Frischmon added another shorthanded goal for the Tigers with just under two minutes remaining in the contest to make it a 6-1 final.

Michigan will conclude the 2005 GLI at 4:30 p.m. in a game carried on Fox Sports Net Detroit on December 30 against Michigan Tech.

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