Wolverines Edge Team USA 4-3

On Friday, the No. 9-ranked Michigan hockey team completed its exhibition schedule with a 4-3 win over the United States National Team Developmental Program Under-18 team. After falling behind by two goals on two separate occasions, Michigan rallied from behind with three power-play goals in the second period to overcome Team USA and remain undefeated in the yearly exhibition contest.

In the opening frame, it was Team USA that struck first as the Wolverines woes with the extra skater continued. After being held off the scoreboard on four power plays in the first period, the Michigan drought hit 34 opportunities without a Michigan goal.

And, unfortunately for the Maize and Blue, Team USA was able to capitalize where the Michigan team wasn't. On the United States' first power play of the game, the visiting team took the lead with their first power-play goal of the night. 10 seconds into the advantage, USA took advantage of a giveaway inside the Michigan zone to tuck a rebound past Michigan goalie Billy Sauer.

Michigan would try and answer back as the period wound down, but the Wolverines were still unable to solve their power play problems as a shot from Andrew Cogliano rang off the post to the left of USA goalie and future Ohio State Buckeye Joe Palmer.

In the first period, the Wolverines outshot Team USA despite the 1-0 deficit.

Team USA extended their lead up to 2-0 at the 4:40 mark of the second. With a three-on-one rush, USA's James O'Brien, a future Golden Gopher, beat Billy Sauer to shock an unusually mild Yost Ice Arena crowd.

At 6:57, the Wolverines would finally claw their way onto the scoreboard as they ended the 30+ power play drought. Chad Kolarik's goal, a rebound from just off the left post beat Palmer to make it 2-1.

USA would answer with a power-play of its own at 9:01. Erik Johnson, another future Minnesota Golden Gopher, sent a laser from the blue line past the screened Michigan goalie to end the night of Michigan freshman Billy Sauer.

However, at that point, the game would turn in the Wolverines favor. After a five-minute checking from behind penalty to Team USA's Brian Strait, the Wolverines continued to roll with the man advantage. With the five-minute power play, Andrew Ebbett brought the Wolverines within one from the bottom or the right circle. Ebbett snapped a one-time shot past Palmer to make it 3-2.

And later on the same power play, Michigan would tie it 3-3. T.J. Hensick knotted it up with Michigan's third power-play goal.

"We had three power-play goals tonight and none last weekend," said Hensick. "So if we can look at it as our special teams vs. theirs, it was a win for us tonight. Hopefully, we can continue to have that hard work on Tuesday."

After a tricky bounce just outside the crease, Hensick's shot from the point hopped over the left arm of Palmer into the net to tie it as the clock wound down and only six seconds remaining in the second period.

Michigan would continue to roll early into the third, netting the game winning goal at the 3:08 mark. With a faceoff in the USA zone, Danny Fardig won the draw to Zach MacVoy. MacVoy quickly found Brandon Naurato on the edge of the circle, and Naurato quickly snapped the puck low to the far post and into the net.

Over the final 17 minutes of the contest, Team USA would test Michigan goalie Noah Ruden time and time again, but each time, the Michigan goalie was up to the task as the Wolverines held on for a 4-3 victory.


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