U-M Icers Knock Off Huskies 5-3; Claim Third

On Friday, the No. 6-ranked Michigan Wolverines hockey team concluded the 2005 Great Lakes Invitational with a 5-3 win over the Michigan Tech Huskies to claim third place in the annual holiday tournament. In the contest, the Wolverines rallied back from a two-goal deficit midway through the second period to escape Joe Louis Arena with a 5-3 victory.

As was the case against Colorado College last night, Red Berenson saw his team fell behind 1-0 tonight after surrendering a power-play goal five minutes into the first period. With the man advantage, Tyler Shelast put the Huskies on top from on the goaline just off to Sauer's right by jamming the puck between his legs.

However, unlike last night, the Wolverines would answer back before the end of the first twenty minutes. T.J. Hensick, the Wolverines leading point scorer at the middle point of the season, knotted the score 1-1 with his 10th goal of the season at 11:36. Hensick beat the Huskies goalie, Rob Nolan, high after coasting from the corner all the way around the top of the circle where he found the space to snap a quick wrist shot.

In the second period, Michigan Tech jumped out to a 3-1 lead by the midway point thanks to sloppy play on special teams by the Wolverines. While on the power play, Michigan allowed a shorthanded goal for the second consecutive game after giving the puck away inside the Huskies zone. Michigan Tech's Chris Connor stripped the puck and carried it into the Michigan zone. After his shot clung off the post, the rebound popped right in front of the net to Brandon Schwartz who tucked it in past Sauer.

A minute later, the Huskies would add their second goal of the period with a five-on-three advantage. Lars Helminen sent the puck over the right shoulder of Sauer from the top of the circle as Michigan defenseman David Rohlfs dove in front of the shot in an attempt at the block.

Down and nearly out, the Wolverines then looked to their upperclassmen to lead. Alternate captain Matt Hunwick trimmed the lead to 3-2 with a power-play goal with close to five minutes remaining in the period. With the puck near the right boards, Brandon Naurato found Hunwick crashing the far post for a quick blast off the back of Nolan into the net. Michigan trailed 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Only five minutes into final period, Jason Bailey recorded his first GLI goal to tie the score 3-3. Bailey sent the puck past the Huskies goalie from just inside the slot after Brandon Kaleniecki forced a Michigan Tech turnover behind its own net. With the pressure, the puck popped out to T.J. Hensick along the boards who quickly found Bailey to tie the score.

After the teams exchanged opportunities, Chad Kolarik put the Wolverines on top for good with a nifty goal from just off the right post. After dumping the puck behind the net, Kolarik had the puck played back to him. With Nolan covering the post, Kolarik set himself up with a backhand shot and quickly flung the puck past Nolan to the far post to provide Michigan with its first and only lead of the game.

Tim Miller added an empty net goal in the last minute to secure the Wolverines 5-3 victory.

Michigan returns to CCHA action next weekend with a pair of games at Yost Ice Arena against the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks.

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